The health benefits of skiing and snowboarding
Snowsports are fun and can have great health benefits too. Learn how skiing and snowboarding are good for your bones, joints, muscles, balance, heart and mind.
Whether you’re planning your first snow trip or you’re a seasoned ski or snowboarding enthusiast, there are a range of health benefits you can experience on the slopes.
Snowsports are a great workout
One of the main benefits of skiing and snowboarding is they’re excellent aerobic activities. While going off-piste is a more strenuous workout, the groomed runs, beginner slopes and even walking in the snow also get your blood pumping.
Benefits of snowboarding and skiing on heart health
Keeping physically active is one of the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease because it:
- gets your body moving
- strengthens your heart
- burns calories and stimulates metabolism
- reduces blood pressure
- boosts circulation
- improves sleep
- lowers cholesterol levels.
Just being in the snow encourages you to be physically active. Whether you choose to take a skiing class, walk around the village or build a snowman with your family, you’re being physically active and that’s great news for heart health.
Skiing and snowboarding can strengthen muscles
Skiing and snowboarding heavily target the lower body muscles. You spend a lot of time in the squat position, building up your glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings. Muscle strengthening activities lead to better stamina, flexibility, bone strength and joint support, improving mobility and reducing your risk of injury.
Snowsports can improve balance, core strength and flexibility
Snowsports take a lot of balance to stay upright. This forces the core muscles to stay engaged, building stomach muscles and overall core strength. The constant movement as you quickly change your body direction to choose your path down the mountain builds flexibility all over your body. Having good balance, core strength and flexibility can help you prevent injuries on and off the slopes.
Stretches and strengthening exercises to avoid injury
Like any sport, you should prepare your body for the exertion of skiing and snowboarding to avoid injuries. If you don’t get the chance to ski or snowboard too often, make sure you do some skiing exercises ahead of time to help get the most out of your snow trip, prevent injury and for your overall physical health and wellbeing.
Exercise keeps bones and joints strong
Just like muscles, bones and joints need exercise to stay strong and for longevity. The most significant risk factor for bone damage and joint injuries is doing nothing at all, leading to deterioration.
Do a range of bone and joint strengthening activities
Engaging in a variety of activities is best, and high-intensity activities like skiing and snowboarding are great as long as you’ve done some stretching and strengthening exercises in preparation.
How do skiing and snowboarding help bone and joint health?
● Builds and maintains bone density and joint strength.
● Makes bones stronger from the weight-bearing impact on your legs.
● Strengthens knees and creates flexibility in muscles and joints.
● Controls swelling and pain by keeping muscles and ligaments strong.
● Improves balance to help prevent falls.
Snowsports to boost your mood
Heading to the snow can be an excellent form of self-care. Studies have shown exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety and depression and improving mood and self-esteem.
Like most exercise, skiing and snowboarding produce endorphins, which can make you feel calmer and happier. And because it’s such an ideal activity for family and friends to enjoy together, you could improve your mental health just by having fun together, whether you ski or not.
Going to the snow also has the added bonus of getting you out into the winter sunshine. A winter vitamin D boost can help counteract seasonal mood disorder if you’re experiencing it. Just make sure you remember the sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
Protect yourself against risks
Even though there are many benefits of skiing and snowboarding, they’re also activities that come with risks. Even pros get injured because accidents happen.
If you want peace of mind in case things go wrong, check out Flip, Australia’s first on-demand injury insurance*. Flip pay out cash on a range of injuries. For example, if you have your Flip cover on and tear your ACL on or off-piste and need surgery, you could get a $2,000 cash payout. On-demand means you can turn on your cover just for the week of your ski trip (for just $9). You can sign up in minutes on your way to the slopes or schedule it a few months ahead when you book your holiday. There are no waiting periods or lock-in contracts.
Published July 2022
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*Flip advice is general in nature. We don’t take into account your personal circumstances, so please consider how appropriate it is for you before taking action. It’s important to read our Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide and Target Market Determination before signing up, too.
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