It’s tough to stay in shape when the air is cold and the days are short. It takes just about everything you have to make it through the workday, and when you’re done, you’re much more interested in relaxing in your warm home rather than lacing up your running shoes and heading out into the cold.
Gyms are an option, but how many of us really enjoy that time on the treadmill? This goes for stationary bikes, rowing machines, ellipticals, and the rest—it’s all just exercising in one place while keeping your eyes fixed on a TV screen to help pass the time.
Of course, there’s no denying that the gym works. But what if you could get the same fitness benefits through another activity? A fun activity. Something perfect for the winter season, while being an absolute blast for everyone involved?
Staying Fit Despite the Cold
Skiing is a full body activity that requires balance, coordination, and exertion. Even just balancing on your skis will require some core strength, and as you begin to move down the slopes, you’ll start working your legs, glutes, and back. The stronger you get, the more you’ll be able to do.
It might not seem like hard work when you’re still getting used to the basic movements, but once you get moving, it turns into a great workout. According to research, a 150-lb person may burn as many as 490 calories per hour of skiing! That’s a better workout than you’ll get from an hour of calisthenics, yoga, or even stationary biking.
In terms of calories per pound, skiing is a great way to stay in shape. But when you compare how much more fun it is compared to something like calisthenics or stationary biking, there’s no question. Who wouldn’t rather be out there in the fresh air instead of grinding away in a sweaty gym?
The Health Benefits of Skiing
But exercise isn’t just about how you look—it’s about how you feel.
We all know that exercise is good for our health. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week to reach maximum health benefits:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved cholesterol
- Better insulin sensitivity and hormone regulation
- Lower levels of body fat
Experienced skiers get a great workout, but even novices benefit due to just how involved skiing can be. You’ll need to gear up, have your passes, and make the trek up to the slope. Most people who ski make days out of it where they spend hours outside, burning calories and enjoying nature all at the same time.
Given that most of us have sedentary jobs that don’t provide much activity throughout the day, this type of commitment can be a great way to get used to a more active lifestyle while learning a great new skill at the same time.
Because at the end of the day, skiers aren’t thinking about how many calories they’re burning or how healthy they’re being—they’re too focused on the fun they’re having! This is the biggest benefit of skiing for exercise. It doesn’t feel like exercise at all. And for you gym goers already tired of your indoor winter workouts, a trip to the ski lodge might just be the thing you need to shake things up.