Now this isn’t an ordinary fitness activity. It’s not something you’ll likely do 3 times a week but for something completely different, we thought we’d take a look at the fitness benefits to taking up skiing. Not only is this sport incredible for your health but it is a sport that could become your hobby, fuel your choice in holiday destinations, help you meet new people and bring you closer to others. In addition, it’s one of the great winter sports for a good reason and not just for the snow.
When we think skiing the first thing that comes to mind is woodland lodges, snow covered slopes, tracksuits, hot chocolates and elegant manoeuvres. Unfortunately we don’t all have the luxury of jetting off to somewhere this spectacular to hone the skill but there are plenty of dry slopes and snow centres you can take up this activity in the UK. In fact, it’s a great place to give it a try and see if you like it and many centres will offer introductory rates for you to see what you think. If you like it, lessons are a must to really help you get firm feet on the slopes to help you feel more capable and confident.
From a health perspective, skiing is an aerobic endurance exercise. It is a sport that’ll burn more calories per hour than any other. And just think to even stand and move forward entails a lot of muscle and bone training and strength. Walking back up the slope rather than getting the lift will also give your heart and lungs are good workout too. In addition, to complete manoeuvres it takes great balance which entails engaging a whole range of muscles including your core, glutes, thighs, buttocks and quads. Participation in skiing will help you become much more aware of your different muscle groups and what is required to help you achieve momentum, awakening unused muscles and most definitely giving the whole body a bit of a workout.
There are plenty of mental benefits too. In the winter many of us suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), getting some fresh air and physical activity outdoors will not only energise you but the sun exposure will do you the world of good; we’ve highlighted previously the rise in vitamin D deficiencies and the winter time is when we all fall foul to this because we simply don’t get out in the limited time we do have some sun. Just think, you team this sport with a holiday in the mountains and you’ll feel like a completely different person on your return; your endorphins will be sky high!
So why not give something new a try or take up an activity you loved but haven’t practiced in a while. Ski Club Great Britain has lots of really valuable information from the types of slopes available in the UK and a handy map on where to find them from where to book your skiing holiday and everything you could possibly need in between.
If you’ve been skiing before, do you have any advice for those just starting out?