Skiing in Summit County is one of many reasons the county’s population is one of the healthiest in the country.

You zigzag down the mountain, making tracks in the pillowy snow. You are surrounded by picturesque views of mountains and forests. Your nose is cold but your blood is pumping.

Skiing is pure freedom and exhilaration. And it’s good for your health. 

Americans visited the slopes a record 61 million times in the winter of 2021-2022. The popularity of the outdoor sport is growing and it’s more than just beautiful views and fresh air.  

There is no denying that skiing is fun, but the health benefits of skiing are numerous as well.  People are looking for winter activities that get them outdoors, give them valuable time with their family and friends, and have the added bonus of making them healthier at the same time. 

Keep reading to find out about the amazing health benefits of skiing!

1. Skiing Strengthens the Lower Body

Skip the gym and hit the slopes to feel a great lower-body workout! Skiing is a high-intensity sport that involves full-body motion and a wider range of activation than other sports. Once you put on the right pair of skis, you’ll be descending the mountain, constantly squatting, turning, and bending, leading to big results when it comes to strengthening the lower body. 

After spending a day on the slopes, you will definitely feel the burn. Here are some of the areas that will be activated and strengthened.  

2. Skiing Improves Flexibility

Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding use repeated movements that improve your body’s overall flexibility. The act of balancing and engaging core muscle groups while descending the slopes makes the entire body more flexible. 

The constant movement of muscles, tendons, and ligaments while skiing helps build and maintain, and healthy range of movement and motion. This helps prevent injuries and reduces the risks of sprains and strains. 

While skiing helps build flexibility, it’s always recommended to do some warm-up stretches before hitting the slopes. 

3. Skiing Boosts Your Mood

Go skiing and you’ll feel better! Skiing is proven to have mood-boosting effects. 

You feel the wind on your face, and you’ll be surrounded by idyllic scenery, including mountains and forests which are also therapeutic. Combine the good feeling of skiing down the slopes with the benefits of nature-based therapy, and you’ve got yourself the perfect human-nature interaction. 

Cardiovascular exercise has long been known to improve people’s moods. Exercise releases a boost of feel-good hormones, known as endorphins, which are triggered by a good, thrilling run down the ski hill. 

The pleasure you get from skiing also produces a surge of dopamine and melatonin. These hormones aid in healthy sleep habits and body metabolism and boost the immune system. Recent studies show that skiers may also be at a lower risk for anxiety and depression. 

4. Skiing Increases Cardiovascular Health

Skiing is great for the cardiovascular system which is made up of your heart and blood vessels. The sport involves physical exertion through repeated motion and muscle movement. As you control the trajectory of your run, your direction, and speed, your heart and lungs have to work harder, delivering important oxygen and nutrients to your entire body. 

Over time, skiing will improve your cardiovascular endurance, increasing your ability to maintain moderate or high-intensity workouts for longer periods of time. Taking up skiing as a regular activity also provides many other cardiovascular benefits such as:

5. Skiing Is a Good Way to Burn Calories and Fat 

Doing cardiovascular exercise, such as skiing, is an excellent way to burn some serious calories! Recreational downhill skiers burn between 260 to 600 calories per hour on the slopes.

This amount of calories lost depends on the weight of the skier and their skill level. A more experienced skier has a more efficient technique that burns fewer calories. However, this can be offset by skiing steeper runs because the body has to work harder to stay balanced. 

Cold weather conditions also contribute to additional calorie burn, as the body works harder to raise its body temperature.  

Because of the high-calorie burning nature of skiing, it is an excellent way to contribute to the loss of body fat as well. Get your heart rate up on the slopes and are having fun and burning calories and fat at the same time. 

6. Skiing Improves Balance and Core Strength

Skiing requires keeping your body upright using core strength and balancing techniques. The core muscles in the abdomen and back are hard at work keeping the body engaged while descending the slopes. Each time a skier crouches, steers and avoids falls, they use their balance and core to stay on their feet. 

The core work required while skiing improves abdominal muscle tone and overall core strength. This has many benefits including:

7. Skiing Strengthens Bones and Joints

Taking on skiing as a regular activity is a good way to strengthen your bones and joints.  As your body turns and makes its way down the mountain, your bones and joints withstand weight-bearing tension that makes them stronger.

Regular skiing contributes to stronger joints and bones, reducing the possibility of future injury. Bones become thicker and denser, reducing future risk of fracture and even osteoporosis later in life. 

The Amazing Health Benefits of Skiing

We have so much fun on the slopes that we sometimes forget about the many health benefits of skiing. From mental health benefits to physical benefits, there are many reasons to head to the ski hills! 

Ready to hit the slopes? Contact us at Norski Sport Rentals for all the equipment rentals you will need for your ski adventures and winter activities. We have two locations for all of your sport rental needs at Keystone and Copper Mountain. Your alpine adventures are waiting for you!