How Downhill Skiing May Extend Your Life – More than Just Health Benefits

Ski hill BarrieDownhill skiing is fun, but it is also an excellent workout for the whole body. Skiing improves strength, flexibility and balance, and it is suitable for almost everyone.

Some of the health benefits of downhill skiing are that it:

• Is an excellent cardiovascular workout
• Improves circulation
• Exercises all the major muscle groups
• Burns a lot of calories and helps to get rid of body fat
• Strengthens the leg muscles
• Improves general mobility
• Improves coordination and balance.

One of the benefits of skiing is that it is not just exercise for the body. Skiing outdoors is also good for the mind and can improve your overall quality of life.

A Workout for the Whole Body

Skiing strengthens all the muscles in the legs, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and the gluteal muscles. The squatting posture in skiing is an excellent position for strengthening the hamstrings and the gluteal muscles. The balancing and squatting movements also help to make your core muscles stronger.

Your abdominal muscles (your core) get a good workout whenever you ski. A strong core helps to improve your posture when skiing and it also helps to prevent back pain. Strong core muscles are important in many activities outside the slopes, too. Even the arms are exercised when you ski: the benefits of skiing extend to all the main muscle groups. Skiing also builds balance and coordination skills in adults and in children.

A Great Cardiovascular Activity

One of the most important benefits of skiing is that it is an excellent aerobic activity. Adults should try to include some cardiovascular exercise to their daily routine several times a week. Downhill skiing is a great cardio exercise for heart health.

Skiing boosts circulation and since it is done in the fresh air it will bring large amounts of fresh oxygen into the body. Skiing also burns fat effectively and is a healthy way to lose weight or to keep your weight under control. Downhill skiing can burn hundreds of calories in an hour, and it also stimulates the metabolism.

Exercise for the Body and the Mind

The beautiful scenery makes skiing more than just physical exercise. Spending several hours outdoors also improves emotional well-being. Skiing can also be an enjoyable social activity. It can be a lot more fun than going to the gym, and like many other outdoor exercises it is a great endorphin booster. Any activity that boosts the levels of endorphins (the so-called happy hormones) is good for overall health and well being.

A Workout for the Whole Family

It can sometimes be difficult to get young children or teenagers to exercise. Yet it is good for the kids to stay active from a young age. Skiing is an activity the whole family can enjoy together, and most children enjoy learning to ski.

Skiing is even good for the older members of the family. Studies on skiers over 60 showed that they developed increased strength, aerobic capacity and balance.

Strong muscles, a healthy heart and better overall fitness are only a few benefits of downhill skiing. To make the most of any skiing session remember to stretch well afterwards. A good stretch will help to make the most of the benefits of skiing, and will prepare your muscles for the next day’s ski sessions.

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