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.