How to

9 November 2016

The Major Health Benefits of Skiing

Exercise is a crucial part of maintaining a good, healthy lifestyle and keeping your body at peak condition. Unfortunately, dragging yourself out of the house to exercise in winter is far from appealing, even if it does actually boost your performance. One solution comes in the form of winter sports; these activities are enjoyed around the world for the fun they provide, but they actually result in some major benefits to your overall health and fitness. Today, we will focus on all the good you can get from a good session on the ski slopes.

Increased Cardiovascular Endurance

Skiing is known to be an excellent aerobic endurance activity. This means that not only will it help you to burn through calories and lose weight, but it will also boost the overall endurance of both your heart and lungs, allowing you to push yourself further each time, achieving better and better results. You can get a little boost to this effect by opting to walk up the slopes rather than using the ski lift.

Strengthened Lower Body Muscles

Skiing is a fantastic way to work your thighs, hamstrings, quads and glutes. This is in part due to the constant squatting position the sport forces you into, coupled with the fact that your lower body takes the bulk of the strain through any turns or other movements. Trust me, after a few hours on the slopes your legs will certainly feel it!

Improved Balance & Core Strength

Balance is obviously somewhat crucial to the sport of skiing, even if it is something of a detriment to the comedic library of YouTube. Because of this fact, your core is continuously engaged, and will significantly strengthen over time as a result. Your balance and agility are both boosted in a similar way, particularly when twisting your body through sharp turns, all while trying your best to stay upright.

Strengthened Bones & Joints

The sport of skiing is hard on your joints, with your knees in particular having to endure the brunt of the resulting forces. These forces increase significantly as you turn or move quickly downhill, leading to a noticeable strengthening of your knees and other joints over time. Even your bones themselves will increase in strength as a direct result of the weight-bearing impact on your legs.

Improved Proprioception

The true sixth sense, proprioception is defined as ‘the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself’, which basically means knowing where the various parts of your body are without visual confirmation. As skiing requires a constant awareness as to the exact positioning of your body as well as any and all movements you may make, this sense is improved through repeated use. Proprioception typically diminishes with age, so engaging in such activities can help to keep you healthy well into your golden years and beyond.

Improved Flexibility

Flexibility and skiing go hand in hand; a rigid body will argue when you try to push yourself through tight turns at high-speed. In order to build your flexibility and avoid any muscle strains or sprains, you should engage in a thorough stretching routine focusing on your abdominals, obliques and hips. Each of these muscle groups endure heavy use when skiing, so strengthening them can only be seen as an asset.

Deeper Sleep

Because of the way that skiing engages just about every core muscle group in your body, increases the heart-rate and generally puts your body under strain, you will find yourself thoroughly worn out by the time you hit the hay. Those who struggle to get a decent night’s sleep will soon notice that they find the process significantly easier after a day on the slopes. The knock-on health benefits of this are numerous, so this effect should not be underestimated.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.