Benefits of Skiing and Why You Should Hit the Slopes Today

Last updated November 21, 2022

How many times a day do you say to yourself, “I’ll get around to that”? Probably more than you’d like to admit. It’s ok. Quick disclaimer: we’re guilty of off-putting too. 

A recent study found that most adults start to lose their go-getter energy at the prime age of 54. What this means is that as we age, it is much harder to motivate ourselves to leave the couch and try new things. That being said- it is even more vital to get outdoors as we age. 

Have you ever wondered how snowbirds cope 9 out of the 12 months in a year? There’s more to a cold climate lifestyle than sitting inside. Breathing in the mountain air, hitting the slopes and feeling the fresh, cold, powdery snow can have serious benefits to your overall health. Much more benefits than sitting inside with a space heater. 

All ages and skill levels can benefit from skiing. A day spent outdoors trekking across snow-covered terrain is a day well-spent. Below, we highlight four benefits of skiing that you can bring into your everyday life. (As well as keep your mind and body in check).

So gear up and strap on those snow boots. It’s time to hit the slopes. The great outdoors of the tundra awaits! 

POV of backcountry skiers climbing snow slope

Benefits of skiing #1: Balance and staying active 

At no age is it determined that you have to master the skill of balance. Yet the importance of balance does heighten. We tend to grow shorter (or “shrink”, as your parents may say)  as we age. This makes having a strong central gravity more critical than before. Walking your 75-pound golden retriever already requires a great deal of vigilance. Imagine walking your mighty floofer on sheer ice… One squirrel, and you’re flat on your back. You’ll be lucky if you walk away with a nasty bruise.

One of the benefits of skiing is that the sport involves a great sense of balance and coordination. Which makes sense because you are focusing on staying on your feet at all times.  Whether downhill or cross-country, channeling your central gravity is a workout in and of itself. Skiing is great exercise and a full power workout centered around balance. Gliding the slopes and trekking through miles of snow and ice naturally strengthens your knees, bones, joints and your core. If you don’t have central gravity, you definitely will after a day at the lodge!

Aprés ski couple relaxing by a fire

Benefits of skiing #2: Sleep well

How many of us fall victim to not receiving a full eight hours of sleep? It seems that as life goes on, our sleep schedule becomes shambolic. The only people who seem to follow a strict sleep schedule are kids. And even they don’t always follow it.

There are many reasons that people of all ages don’t sleep. Studying for the ACT as a high schooler, working the closing shift, going to a drive-in movie, finishing graduate school, jet lag, and parenting are all reasons for inadequate sleep. Sleep schedules require self-discipline. 

Just because you have a sleep schedule doesn’t mean that sleep will follow your head hitting the pillow. Pent-up energy is yet another reason why people don’t get enough sleep.

A full-body workout from skiing will leave you feeling exhausted. Any excess energy will be drained, but in the best way possible. You will crave relaxation after a long day of hitting the slopes. You will be too tired to entertain the thoughts that keep you up at night. After a hot shower, meal, and episode of your favorite tv show, you will be ready to turn off the lights. You’ll be fast asleep before you know it! 

Skiing is an awesome way to catch more Zs. While also getting active and staying energized, you can wear yourself out.

We are huge advocates for a good night’s sleep. Check out our wellness guide to a good night’s sleep.

Funny winter scene, man jumping, cross-country skiing

Benefits of skiing #3: Mental health 

It’s no surprise that regular exercise keeps your body healthy. Regular exercise keeps your body in shape and your mind balanced. Studies show that being active and exercising is directly linked to lowering levels of anxiety and depression. Now you know why Michael Phelps was so eager to get back in the pool. 

To improve overall mental health, we can pick up sports such as skiing. Skiing (among other outdoor sports) adds much-needed vitamin D to our bodies. It may not make sense at first. It is fair to assume that being insulated in bulky clothing from head-to-toe would block UV Rays. UV rays deliver sunlight to your skin. Your skin then tells your body to produce vitamin D. 

Fortunately UV rays from the sun seep through ski attire. No need to brush off skiing because of indirect contact with the sun. Crazily enough, you may want to lather up in sunscreen before layering your body with ski gear.

Vitamin D is a natural mood stabilizer. It also reduces chances of COVID-19 infection.

The environment also plays a huge role in our mental health and overall well-being. You may think little of how much your home affects your mental health. Where you live can change how you feel- for better or for worse. The crisp mountain air and fluffy white snow is a safe space for mental health.  Gliding down the mountain, breathing in the fresh outdoor air and mingling with the person next to you on the ski lift promotes happiness. Skiing enables you to fuel your body with the best tools for maintaining your mental health.

Group of snow skiers

Benefits of skiing #4: Community 

Last but not least, picking up an activity such as skiing can help grow a community. Community is important for our need to socialize. Humans are socially wired creatures. Group exercise, conversation, and interaction does the body and mind a world of good. Developing a community of like-minded individuals isn’t just good for you. It’s necessary.

Getting outdoors and trying something new is intimidating. No one said it wasn’t. You may be scoffing, “Getting outdoors is intimidating?! What about getting out of bed?” That too is more difficult than the average person likes to admit.  

Saying “today is the day!” will no doubt be accompanied by an anxious adrenaline rush. It will open the door to something fresh and exciting. It doesn’t matter whether you are an amatuer or a national team member. Skiing can bring on a ton of mixed emotions. But it also brings people together. Spending the day in the snow-covered abyss has a strong lasting effect on you and those around you.

What are you waiting for? Get yourself out there and start your next snowy adventure today. Which mountain are you going to glide down next?

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