Fitness

Move Monitor: Is Skiing Good For Us?

Woman cross country skiing in Finland

1. On the pulse

“Skiing’s great for the heart and lungs to work out at altitudes where oxygen levels are low, it makes our cardiovascular system more efficient at carrying oxygen to our muscles,” explains Tim Allardyce, physiotherapist (surreyphysio.co.uk). “The deep breathing and fresh mountain air is amazing for clearing out the lungs and can help people with bronchitis problems,” adds Enrico Aroldo, personal trainer and ski expert from Everyone Active (everyoneactive.com).

2. Mind, body and slopes

“There are proven psychological benefits to being out on the slopes,” claims Jason Jenkins, owner of Ski Basics (skibasics.com). “Not only will you benefit from increased vitamin D intake from being outside all day – thus counteracting seasonal mood disorders – but the feel good chemicals in your body are heightened when doing such an activity. Skiing indoors or outdoors can elevate mood as a result of increased endorphins and adrenaline, and create a greater sense of wellbeing and happiness.”

3. Balancing act

“Skiing effectively helps you to utilise almost all of your lower limb and core muscles,” says Dr Daniel Fenton, Clinical Director at London Doctors Clinic (londondoctorsclinic.co.uk). “The side-to-side motion helps you work the full spectrum of your abdominal muscles, including the internal and external obliques, which are typically difficult to work on with simple stomach exercises such as sit-ups and crunches.

4. Bon bones

“Skiing is a weight-bearing exercise and your knees and joints work hard to withstand the pressure as your body turns and manoeuvres down the mountainside,” says Jason. “Your bones are made stronger by bearing weight impact on your legs, which can help to counteract osteoporosis and other knee and joint damage in the future.”

5. Gain momentum, not weight

According to Bupa (bupaclinics.com), most adults require between 1,000 and 1,500 more calories per day than usual while skiing. This is due to the high levels of activity and the body’s attempts at keeping us warm in snowy conditions. If that means more chalet food without the 2 worry of weight gain, we’re on board!

Health & Wellbeing