Don't hibernate this winter, hit the slopes instead! by Sarah Bennett

Don’t hibernate this winter, hit the slopes instead!

       Author -  Sarah Bennett

One of the best parts of summer is the long list of outdoor activities that help people stay active. Of course the gym is still a great place to work out, but outdoor activities allow people to enjoy the fresh air and sun while also working out their body. Once the air starts to cool down and winter is on its way, many people stick to the gym and don’t get any exercise outside. But what if there was a way to enjoy the outdoors and stay fit during the winter season?

Skiing and snowboarding are the answer to your outdoor fitness needs during the winter months.  Both sports provide some great fitness benefits for both the body and mind. As a great alternative to the gym they can still give you a good workout, but they add benefits that you can’t get at the gym.

One of the benefits of skiing or snowboarding is improved flexibility. Stretching the muscle groups that either sport uses (core and leg muscles), before hitting the slopes, helps get your muscles ready for your workout and can improve your overall flexibility over time.

Both sports are also great for muscle fitness. Skiing and snowboarding require the use of core muscles for balance and use of your legs muscles to steer your body down the hills. Arm muscles are used as well in snowboarding for added assistance in balancing and in skiing when using poles. The stances used for both sports put extra strain on these muscles, allowing for a more intense workout and good strengthening exercises.

Skiing and snowboarding are great for cardiovascular fitness as well. Simply carrying your equipment, pushing yourself from the bottom of a slope to the chairlift, and the effort of going down each slope actually provides a great cardio workout. The heart rate accelerates, increasing blood circulation to bring nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. This helps burn calories fast, and only a couple hours of skiing can mean hundreds of calories burned for the average person. This is why some people choose to ski or snowboard to lose weight, since it’s fun and effective.

What makes these sports so great for fitness is that they go beyond physical health and effect mental health as well. While you ski or snowboard, your body releases adrenaline and endorphins. These help to improve your overall mood and can help relieve anxiety or stress. Flying down the slopes surrounded by a winter wonderland can do wonders for helping anyone relax and both sports are something you can do individually or with others.

As tempting as it is to shut ourselves away from the cold for the winter, getting outside and enjoying the fresh, crisp air is a good thing. It provides a change of atmosphere and a break in your routine. If you go skiing or snowboarding on a sunny day, you can also benefit from some extra Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is vital to the human body because it helps our immune system and bone health among other things. Without this essential vitamin, our risk for chronic diseases increases.

It’s easy to see how someone can benefit from skiing or snowboarding. The health benefits are ongoing and affect your body and mind. This is why we love skiing and snowboarding so much here at Chicopee. Not only is it a fun recreational activity you can enjoy in solitude or with others, but it has all of these benefits that can improve anyone’s overall health and wellbeing.

Instead of hibernating this winter, try hitting the slopes here at Chicopee. If you have never tried skiing or snowboarding before, then don’t worry. We have programs specifically designed for beginners to make your learning experience great. So break that winter routine and hit the slopes. You won’t regret it!