Ready to curl up by the fire and hibernate as the temperatures begin to plummet? Think again. The winter could actually be the perfect time for you to get fit and healthy! With snowboarding, you can get outdoors and stay fit during the winter months. So rather than throwing out your healthy living goals this season, consider heading to the mountains and strapping on a board. Snowboarding can help squash winter boredom and inactivity, while providing a myriad of physical and mental benefits.
So, for all you adrenaline junkies out there, or for those wanting to try out a new skill, HFR has compiled a list of the top benefits of snowboarding.
- Enhances cardiovascular fitness: Snowboarding gets your heart pumping faster and increases cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. As a result, it scorches calories. Depending on the difficulty of the terrain, the average person can burn between 250 and 630 calories per hour. Since most people spend several hours on the slopes at a time, this can really add up to a major calorie-busting workout!
- Increases strength: Snowboarding allows you to tone virtually every muscle in your body. You will use your quads, hamstrings and calves while steering the board and your core for balance. Snowboarding also provides an upper body workout, since you must engage your arm and shoulder muscles to maintain balance and pick yourself up after a fall. And yes, you might fall a couple of times, but don’t let that discourage you!
- Improves flexibility and balance: Snowboarding improves flexibility since it often requires you to rapidly change speed and direction. Striving to remain upright while tearing down the slope and carving turns will also help improve balance.
- Makes you happier: Like other forms of exercise, snowboarding releases endorphins, a type of chemical involved in signaling information between nerve cells. Endorphins help reduce perceptions of pain and trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being. Not only will you be having fun, but you’ll be in a better mood after hitting the slopes!
- Strengthens the ability to concentrate: In order to remain upright and avoid falls, snowboarders must pay careful attention to subtle changes in the terrain. The ability to focus is like a muscle. The more you practice, the easier it will be to concentrate on tasks for extended periods of time.
- Helps develop relationships: Snowboarding opens up your social circle to a community of people who share similar interests. It also provides a great activity to participate in with family and friends, allowing you to strengthen these bonds. Even if you are speeding down the slopes, riding up the lift after each run provides ample time for conversation.
- Provides an opportunity to travel: Unless you are lucky enough to have a ski resort in your backyard, most people must travel to get to the mountains. Traveling allows you to escape from the demands of your daily work and routine, which can help you de-stress and feel rejuvenated. Travel has numerous physical and mental benefits, which we wrote about here.
Take the time this winter to plan a trip out to the mountains and get on a snowboard. It’s healthy for you!