Skiing is the trifecta of wintertime well being
To say it as simply as possible, skiing is good for the mind, body and soul. Whether you are a single or double-planker, there is just something about going downhill on a blanket of white that fills your soul with a sense of satisfaction, a sense of true appreciation – appreciation for nature; appreciation for the geometry and math that hides inside a field of moguls or hides on the cliff that you are about to drop; appreciation that you are doing something you love, something that reminds you that you are athletic and able. Skiing and snowboarding truly help create and mold who you are that day, who you will be the next day, the next week, and the next time an obstacle comes your way.
Physical Health Benefits
Did you know that you can burn up to 3,000 calories during just six hours of skiing? How is that possible, you ask? Let’s start with your cardiovascular system. Skiing and snowboarding elevate your heart rate, which in turn increases blood circulation, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to your tissues, which then helps to remove waste from your body more quickly. Your muscles are able to take in more oxygen and blood, which produces more capillaries and allows your muscles to expand, hence, burn up calories faster.
Let’s next move to your stomach muscles. The art of skiing and snowboarding is staying steady and keeping yourself upright. To help balance, you naturally engage your core stability muscles – the shell of deep muscle that starts on either side of your spine, runs around your body and ends up in your pelvic region. Skiing and snowboarding not only work your stomach muscles, but hit just about all major muscle groups: thighs, hamstrings, buttocks, upper and lower arms, lower back muscles, and the list goes on.
That’s why after a long day of skiing you might feel happily exhausted from using muscles that sometimes never see the light of day. Skiing and snowboarding are full body workouts and a great way to stay fit in the winter and keep you sane during the long hours of darkness.
Mental Health Benefits
Speaking of long hours of darkness, skiing and snowboarding are also great ways to keep your sanity when you only get five hours of daylight a day. In general, physical activity allows the brain to release endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine … the “feel good hormones,” the chemicals that make you happy. This helps combat stress, anxiety and depression. Let’s also mention the social element of skiing and snowboarding and the happiness the interaction can bring. Even if you are taking some solo shred laps, you are still surrounded by people who more often than not, have smiles across their faces and are sharing a passion with you, even if you don’t know them at all.
People of all different ages, genders and cultures can all come together with a shared desire to be in the outdoors, excelling in their sport. Mastering a new skill such a snowboarding or skiing is also a fantastic way of increasing self-confidence. It is important to challenge yourself and even push yourself outside of your comfort zone from time to time. You may feel like you do not have control in many aspects of life, but this, this is your craft, and you have complete control of it. Even when the conditions are changing, you have the ability to strengthen and control your concentration to your surroundings.
Whether you are a longtime skier or snowboarder, or interested in trying for the first time this year, Alyeska Resort is here to feed your soul. Alyeska offers double black diamonds, cliffs, intense hikes and all types of terrain to meet your needs and put a smile on your face. If you are new to the sport, Alyeska has some great beginner terrain and world-class Mountain Learning Center staff to help guide you along the way. Bring those smiles and we’ll see you on the slopes this winter.