Skiing for Fun and Your Health

By Heather Darling

All too often the things we enjoy doing the most, are the things that aren’t very good for us. But luckily, that’s not the case with skiing and snowboarding. In fact, ripping up the hill and shredding the powder is great for us, both mentally and physically. 

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​Heather Darling, who works in the LiVe Well Center at Park City Medical Center says these two snow sports bring a lot of health benefits. For example:

  • The thrill of the sport has shown to increase mental health by releasing endorphins to help reduce anxiety and enhance mood. 
  • The average person burns about 500 calories per hour of skiing or boarding. The more difficult the terrain and the harder you work, the more calories you burn.
  • Downhill skiing is good for improving balance, flexibility, agility, and leg and core strength. Skiing uses mostly the muscles called the prime movers: hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, hips, and feet muscles. Also the abdominal muscles are used to stay in control and arm muscles are strengthened each time you use your poles.
  • Snowboarding works calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles to help guide the board down the mountain. Abdominal muscles are also engaged for balance.
If you're not feeling in-shape to take on the slopes try these skiing exercises​ to ramp up for the season.