Learning to Ski or Snowboard Contributes to a Healthy Lifestyle

The holidays often contribute to overeating and lack of exercise. With winter around the corner skiing and snowboarding can help participants lead a healthier lifestyle because they offer an opportunity to stay active during the winter months.

Skiing and snowboarding burn calories. The number burned per hour depends on the participants weight and proficiency. This Calorie Chart lists a wide range of combinations for adults and youths. Snowboarding in particular is an aerobic sport that provides a significant cardio workout.

Skiing and snowboarding can improve muscle tone and balance. Both utilize core muscles in the abdomen and also work muscles in the calves, arms, hands, ankles and feet. These workouts naturally improve one’s balance. Snowboarding requires changing directions frequently and this movement in particular can improve flexibility and muscle strength in feet and ankles. And, because even older participants can enjoy skiing and snowboarding, the sports can help prevent muscle loss as well. 

Skiing and snowboarding can enhance mood, “This is a great benefit especially during a lengthy winter when days are shorter and temperatures are colder,” said Mary Jo Tarallo, director of the snow sports industry’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. “They make you feel better if only because they offer a respite from day to day worries.”

Any physical activity promotes increased production of endorphins which, in turn, creates feelings of relief and happy.

In a study reported on recently by the Huffington Post, a group of South Korean researchers claim that the pleasure gained from a skiing holiday is enough to improve your overall happiness and well being — even if you only get to the mountains occasionally.

The skiers and boarders who got the most benefits were those who got "into the flow," meaning they focused on their skiing and forgot everything else while on the slopes, the researchers said.

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition list Alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing among activities that count toward a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), a program of the President’s Challenge.

Good nutrition and hydration are important elements in having an enjoyable snow experience. Go to the Adult/Kids Tips section of www.learntoskiandsnowboard.org for further details. The section also provides suggestions on modest exercises that can help newcomers get in better shape for a quality snow experience.


A Snow Sports Industry Initiative

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