Why Skiing is Good for Your Health


Thinking of finally taking up downhill skiing this winter? Great! Downhill skiing is a great recreational activity for all ages and abilities. You’ll discover the fun and exhilaration of this winter sport while reaping the many health benefits it offers.

1. Downhill skiing will strengthen your joints and bones. 

The movements you make while skiing give your knees a healthy work out! While you carve down the slopes, your knees will have to hold the weight of your body as you turn repetitively. While you do this your bones will become stronger as they bear the weight. This can help prevent osteoporosis, knee damage and improve your proprioceptive strength.

2. Downhill skiing will make you happier.

People are generally happier when they’re having fun. There is no shortage of fun and excitement as you glide down the hill! Plus, a good dose of physical activity and spending time outdoors will also contribute to better mental health.

3. Downhill skiing will build core strength and improve your balance.

With every turn down the hill, your body is working hard to stay balanced and you will be using your core muscles at all times. Not only will building core strength and balance help you become a better skier, it will also help your body fend off falls later in life.

4. Downhill skiing will make you more flexible.

All that balancing, engaging your core and other muscles will make your body more flexible. Again, this will make you a better skier but it will also reduce muscle strains and sprains throughout life. Improve your flexibility further by stretching before and after skiing.

5. Downhill skiing will improve your proprioception.

What is proprioception? It’s the ability to feel the position of your body parts and the effort required to move them. With all the balance, coordination, shifting of weight and movement of muscles involved in downhill skiing your body will learn how to feel and use your different body parts. Since proprioception weakens as we get older, the more you ski the better you’ll feel as you age!

6. Downhill skiing will strengthen your endurance.

You’ll feel the thrill of carving down the slopes and when you get to the bottom, you’ll feel your heart pumping! Skiing is an aerobic activity which means your cardiovascular endurance will improve while you burn calories and even lose weight.

7. Downhill skiing strengthens muscles.

Just like any kind of aerobic activity, you will be engaging lots of muscles while you ski! The movements you make while downhill skiing will make your body feel like you’ve done about a thousand squat exercises. You’ll get a good workout in your thighs, hamstrings, quads and glutes. Plus, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even realize how hard you ware working out!

8. Downhill skiing increases your vitamin D intake.

During the winter we tend to spend less time outdoors and with daylight hours being so short, it’s hard to get enough of that natural vitamin D produced by the sun. Spending the day out on the slopes under Alberta’s sunny skies will help you get more vitamin D and fight off seasonal affective disorder.

9. Downhill skiing promotes healthy eating.

You’ll be burning a lot of calories during a day of downhill skiing, so you’ll have to give your body the proper fuel it will need. Make sure your meals include protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and less sugary foods.

10. Downhill skiing will improve your sleep.

Let’s face it, after a long day of skiing you are going to feel tired, but it will be a good tired! As your body learns this new sport it will need to rest. Getting this much exercise will help you get a deeper night’s sleep.

Ready to reap the many health benefits of downhill skiing? Join us this winter season at the Edmonton Ski Club. We offer a range of skiing and snowboarding programs for all ages, skill and ability levels as well as a high-quality fleet of rental equipment. Whether you are strapping on skis for the first time or wanting to get back into the sport, the ESC is a great place to start!