Have you ever wondered why those pictures of skiers with their wet hair slicked back, the snowpack stuck to their goggles, and the jackets look so happy? Or why do those selfie pictures of your friend in front of a mountain get so many “likes” even though they’re not selfies, but photos taken by someone else? It’s because skiing is one of the best workouts around.
Skiing is an excellent workout. It’s one of the fastest, most efficient ways to build a solid and healthy body. Skiing works out your legs, arms, and back, uses a lot of muscles simultaneously, and helps burn body fat and calories. This makes skiing better than many other workouts for getting in shape quickly.
HERE’S WHY SKIING IS A GOOD WORKOUT:
We’ve known that skiing and snowboarding torch calories and provide a great aerobic workout for decades. But new research shows that they also develop strength in your legs, core, arms, and back—while simultaneously providing low-impact conditioning for the whole body.
Skiing incorporates all of the major muscle groups in your body and burns more calories per hour than any other mainstream sport. A 180-pound person can burn up to 630 calories in just one hour of cross-country skiing—the equivalent of running six miles at roughly a 10-minute mile pace.
The numbers are eye-popping: In an hour of skiing, your burn about 350 calories (for an average 155-pound person) and about 550 calories in an hour of snowboarding. That’s roughly the same as if you were to run five mph for an hour—but without the wear and tear on your joints.
Skiing and riding work all the major muscle groups in your lower body: quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. But because you also use upper body muscles like the biceps and triceps to maintain balance.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS YOUR BODY BENEFITS FROM SPENDING TIME IN THE SNOW:
It Improves Proprioception
Proprioception is the body’s ability to perceive its position in space — in other words; it’s what keeps you from falling over when you take a step or get off balance. It also improves athletic performance and helps prevent injuries, two things any skier can appreciate.
It builds core strength
Skiers use their core muscles to keep themselves balanced on the slopes and transfer power from their legs to their skis. Without a strong core, even intermediate skiers will struggle with control and maneuverability.
skiing is an excellent cardiovascular workout. Unlike running, which can be hard on your joints, skiing is fairly low-impact and easy on your knees. Strengthens the core and lower body. Skiing requires you to use all of the muscles in your legs, including quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and more. It also engages your core muscles as you work to maintain balance and control.
It burns major calories
One hour of skiing burns around 400–600 calories if you weigh 150–200 pounds. That’s equivalent to half an hour of swimming or running and more than twice as much as walking at 3 miles per hour.
It improves balance
Moving over uneven terrain with speed and agility requires excellent balance — something most people could stand to work on. Skiing will help build stronger leg muscles and improve balance, benefit you even when you’re not skiing on a hill.
It can help you sleep better
The colder winter temperatures make it harder for you to fall asleep because your body naturally lowers its temperature when you rest. Skiing helps elevate your body temperature while you’re active, making it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
You’ll be more alert
Research has found that participating in winter sports activities can help improve brain function and increase alertness. This is because skiing requires a lot of concentration and coordination, which enhances your brain’s ability to focus and stay alert.
5 Reasons Why You Should Try It
SKIING IS A GOOD WAY TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF
As any beginner skier or artist knows, putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is a vital part of growing as a person. And the feeling you get after conquering an unfamiliar challenge is, as any veteran skier or artist will tell you, well worth the risk.
SKIING IS A GREAT WAY TO MEET PEOPLE
Remember that you are not the only person trying to meet new people at the resort. Many skiers “date” at the mountain. Spending time in an enjoyable environment with people who share your interests can help you make new friends or find a partner.
SKIING WILL MAKE YOU LOVE WINTER
If you avoid winter activities, try learning to ski. Powder days, bluebird days, and all days with snow mean it’s the best time of the year! Being a skier means that you can look forward to returning to the slopes each winter.
SKI VACATIONS ARE AWESOME
While you may never need an excuse to travel to a gorgeous place with your friends, a ski vacation certainly makes for an easy out.
SKIING IS A GOOD EXERCISE
Working out inside during the winter months can be a bummer. It is good that skiing is an excellent way to work your body, with all of its many benefits (cardio, fresh air, and a full-body workout).
So, what does this all mean for you? Well, if you’re looking for an active winter workout that gives your heart and lungs a great workout, gives your legs a solid workout using multiple muscle groups, and boosts your balance, coordination, and athletic ability at the same time, then skiing is a great winter workout option you shouldn’t ignore. It’s also a fun way to get outdoors during the winter months.
The bottom line is this: the next time you find yourself looking for an outdoor winter activity that will get your blood pumping, give you a great cardiovascular workout, provide a stress reliever on top of its physical benefits, help improve your coordination and athletic performance as well as boost overall endurance and lung capacity–then go ahead and get yourself on skis or snowboard.