Going on a well-deserved skiing holiday evokes pictures of snowy mountains, quaint log chalets and raucous Après Ski. Some people even treat a ski holiday as a sort of fashion parade where both on and off the slopes is an opportunity to parade in your newly acquired ski clothing.
Whatever your reasons for going skiing the actual physical side of the pastime provides excellent health and fitness benefits. In this blog we discover some of the great health effects sliding down the snow can have on your body.
Taking to the slopes definitely improves your proprioception, which is the ability to feel the position of other parts of your body and what it takes to move them. A simple way to test this would be to close your eyes and raise your hand to your face, although you cannot see your hand you know it is there. When you ski your body has to be coordinated and in balance, your body must be aware of this and what to move to keep you on your skis. As you get older you tend to lose the strength of your proprioception, and activities such as skiing are ideal to strengthen it.
Bones and Joints
Skiing is particularly good for strengthening your knee, legs and ankles, your knees especially take most of the weight and tension as you ski and so therefore they grow stronger. So as you are having a great time hurtling down a black run you are also gaining great knee strength and preventing future osteoporosis.
Good for the Spirit
Skiing is undoubtedly good for your physical health but successfully negotiating the slopes gives you a feeling of achievement, which in turn brings happiness. When you are happy your mood gets better and you generally feel better overall so your mental health increases.
Any aerobic activity is beneficial for the heart, and skiing is no different. Not only does it burn up calories and help you lose weight it is amazingly good for the lungs as well as the heart. Just walking up snowy slopes is excellent exercise, so maybe give the ski lift a miss on some occasions.
Sleep is the natural way to repair the body and mind, getting the correct amount of sleep is essential for a healthy body. After skiing you will feel particularly exhausted as the sport uses nearly every muscle in the body, combine this with gulping in fresh mountain air and it all contributes to a deep and restful night’s sleep. Resist the temptation for Après Ski and you will certainly feel the benefit in the morning when you hit the slopes again.
In part two of the health benefits of skiing we look at even more ways that this Alpine activity can help the body, both in a physical way and also mental. These benefits include improving your overall flexibility, improving balance and promoting healthier eating and drinking. Skiing is without doubt a great leisure activity and with all these health benefits associated it becomes a sure-fire winner.