Not only can exercise be incredibly time consuming, but the majority of time, it’s not very enjoyable. It’s time to change that once and for all. Downhill skiing is commonly sought out as a leisure activity, but research is showing that the practice actually sheds some major pounds. Not convinced? Learn more to get on track to a new you.
Ski Fitness Benefits
Not only does downhill skiing raise the heart rate, jump start the metabolism and respiratory system, and strengthen muscle groups, but is also a form of aerobic and anaerobic exercise! Anaerobic exercise is generally understood to mean any exercise that is intense enough to generate varied responses from the body; exercises that induce heart rates that are above the common range of aerobic exercise are considered anaerobic.
Because the very nature of downhill skiing depends on quick, intense, coordinated movement and fast, sharp, turns, anaerobic processes start to unfold. Participants are also gaining aerobic exercise, however, when they are essentially at rest during their ski, coasting or practicing moderate ski controls.
Flexibility and Muscles
Downhill skiing also greatly contributes to increased flexibility. The lower body consistently has to balance and steer – consider engaging in a few stretching exercises before hitting the slopes, as these will help you avoid any muscle sprains. Additionally, because the bulk of the time skiing is spent crouching with knees and feet bent together, the quadriceps in the legs and the glutes muscle groups will remain strong, which is very important as these are the largest muscles in the body.
Cardiovascular benefits are also hugely present in this sport – because the activity is outdoors, the heart rate will consistently be elevated by the mere physical exertion of continually having to walk and carry ski equipment up and down hills. The psychological benefits that can be reaped are also numerous, as endorphins are released into the bloodstream to induce an elevated mood.
Skiing as a Workout
Skiing is such a fantastic workout, because it doesn’t necessarily feel rigorous while you are engaging in it, but makes a tremendous impact on the body after the fact. To really work some pounds off, consider blazing your own trail on the slopes. Although there are usually paths already created for you, go the extra mile and ski some new trails, working your body harder.
Skiing classes are also now being offered as a means to lose some extra weight. Certified instructors can help you take the pounds off in a speedier, more efficient manner and fellow classmates with similar weight loss goals can aid in the psychological stress that comes with needing to lose weight. Additionally, throwing a strength training routine into your skiing exercise activities will vastly improve your skiing stamina and produce stronger legs.