This time of year, when the air gets frosty and the forecast says snow, we start getting ready for the slopes. Skiing is a wonderful winter activity, not least of all because of the Après-ski activities – which usually include music, merriment, and plenty of wine! But even without the after-party, skiing is so much fun. It’s a great way to get out and enjoy the winter weather! No matter if you’re a seasoned skier or a newbie who’s nervous on the bunny slopes, it’s an easy sport to get into. Round up some friends, grab your skis and get outside together! Even if you’re inexperienced skiers, you’re sure to share some laughs on the ski lifts.
Skiing isn’t just a fun activity for the winter months – it’s also an excellent way to burn calories and tone your muscles! To keep your balance on the slopes, your core is working overtime, and you’ll have the newly strong abs to prove it. Plus, to stay upright as you head downhill, your legs have to be in a constant crouching position. Say hello to strong legs and toned glutes – no boring squats required. All of this hard work will get your heart pumping, which will improve your cardiovascular health and even boost your endurance on the treadmill. So despite the snow, you’ll be working up a sweat – we promise. Best of all, skiing can burn over 400 calories per hour! That seems like a good reason to treat yourself to some after-ski cocoa.
In addition to its physical health benefits, skiing can also do wonders for your mental health. Winter can be hard on your mental wellness, what with the colder weather and darker, shorter days. In fact, many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), which leaves them feeling depressed in the fall and winter. According to an article in Psychiatry MMC, people suffering from S.A.D. may experience relief from their symptoms by exercising outside during the day. A combination of sunlight, fresh air, and exercise can always improve mood, regardless of whether you suffer from mental health difficulties or not.
Skiing is the perfect sport to fend off winter blues! For one, being so high up on the snowy slopes allows you to get some much-needed sun exposure. (Just don’t forget your sunscreen!) Pick a clear, sunny day to ski so you can soak up as much Vitamin D as possible. A healthy dose of Vitamin D helps your brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter (aka “brain chemical”) that helps control your mood and ease anxiety. Besides sunlight, getting plenty of fresh air improves your serotonin levels too! When winter weather typically keeps you inside, skiing is incentive to get out and breathe in the wintry-fresh air.
Although winter can make it hard to find the motivation to exercise, skiing is the perfect way to combine fitness and fun. Although any exercise is good for your mood, being stuck inside on an elliptical can get old. Skiing allows you to make the snowy-slopes your gym! While you’re sweeping down the Black Diamond, endorphins, (aka “happy chemicals”) are being released in your brain. By the time your ski-session is over, your mood will have lifted, and for the rest of the day you’ll feel relaxed and anxiety-free. So the next time a cold winter day has got you feeling “meh,” call up some friends, pull out your goggles, and hit the slopes. Your mind and body will thank you.