When was the last time you played in the snow…enjoyed some downhill fun, or a cross country walk through a wintery wonderland breathing in the crisp, clean air?

Skiing is great exercise for the mind, body and soul. While some may consider the sport in their rear-view mirror, there are many different types of skiing to meet any space and pace. 

Most will think first of alpine skiing on downhill slopes, which can be challenging and hard on the body with speed, turns, uneven surfaces, jumps and moguls. Only those well practiced should attempt alpine. 

Not for you? Consider Nordic skiing which takes place on relatively flat terrain with only gradual inclines and declines or undulating hills. It encompasses the various types of skiing in which the toe of the ski boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski. It is also a great workout, but with less challenging elements.

Ever tried cross country skiing (XC)? This form of recreational exercise traverses snow-covered terrain without the use of ski lifts or other assistance. On some XC trails, there may be very slight hills, but mostly just picturesque views of trees, surrounding vistas and the calm quiet of nature. The good news? XC skiing is still a very good full body, fluid work out!

Professor Josef Niebauer MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Molecular Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, says skiing is a mix of endurance and resistance training that has positive effects on the heart and circulation, as well as peripheral muscles—predominately the legs. He compares the workout to cycling or rowing and says that all types of skiing offer cardio-metabolic benefits including improved insulin resistance, body composition and glucose metabolism, as well as a drop in blood pressure, blood lipids and heart rate. His research demonstrates that skiing also reinvigorates blood vessels and cell health.  

Skiing is also a form of interval training, one of the hottest fads in the fitness world, and for good reason. After pushing yourself during a run, you get a nice break riding the ski lift back up the hill. A growing body of evidence suggests this on-off style of training—working hard for a few minutes, then taking a breather—can provide a vast range of health benefits. 

If you are a skier, good for you! Continue to challenge yourself every year; visit a new resort, try a new mountain or more challenging run. If you think your skiing days are behind you, remember, there are more moderate options that can still provide an exceptional workout and winter wonderland adventure. For those curious to try, we suggest starting with XC, a great way to dive in slowly. 

And don’t forget the après ski perks – a warm beverage or brewskie in a cozy lodge and a soak in a steamy hot tub to bask in your triumphs. 

Candice Nicole is a health advocate and founder of HUmineral food derived mineral nutrients. She can be reached at [email protected] or (818) 400.7657. For more information, visit www.HUmineral.com.

Sources: 1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767543/#dme13954-sec-0013title; 2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4763839/; 3) https://time.com/4750262/high-intensity-interval-training-longevity/

Read or write a comment

Comments (0)


Living Wellness with Jenniferbanner your financial health michelle sarnamentoring the futureNaturopathic Family Medicine with Dr. ShannonThe Paradigm Shift in Medicine TodayConventionally Unconventional with Kinder Fayssoux, MD