As the cold weather really sets in, you may just want to hunker down with your Netflix account. Why not get out and enjoy some winter sports as well?Winter brings a lot of good things with it, like the cheer of the holiday season and much-needed breaks from work and school. We all generally feel like curling up with a blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good book or a new Netflix show during the winter. Why not fight this cold-induced hibernation and enjoy the weather instead? Winter sports are simply recreational activities carried out on snow or ice, usually at high altitudes. There is a versatile range of winter sports you can try, the most popular being skiing and snowboarding. Besides getting you outside to enjoy some fresh air, there are a multitude of health benefits to winter sports!
Great WorkoutCompared to indoor workouts, winter sports tend to burn more calories. This is because your body is working harder to maintain its core temperature. Obviously the amount of calories burned will depend on the individual's body mass and temperature, but on average an afternoon of skiing burns about 1,000 calories, the same as an average hour-long spinning class (but with a much better view). Because it's such a hard workout without you even realizing it, it's very important to warm up your muscles before you start skiing.
Healthier Lungs and HeartEscaping the polluted city air and getting up to the mountains is nothing but good for your body and mind. The fresh, pure air in the mountains will help cleanse your lungs. Cold weather also pushes your heart to function harder, boosting cardiovascular health. Just don't overdo it!
Vitamin D ExposureSure, it's cold, but that doesn't mean the sun isn't shining! Vitamin D helps you develop strong muscles and bones. Rather than sitting inside and becoming vitamin D deficient until summer comes around again, get out in the sun and enjoy some winter sports! The natural light is actually more restrained in the winter, so the benefits of some sun rays are more substantial.
Uplifted MoodDuring summer, the humidity and heat can make it hard to stay outside for too long. In chilly weather, your body is determined to stay warm, which leads to the production of endorphins. This boosts your mood and leaves you feeling more positive and upbeat. This will also help battle cabin fever and winter depression.
No Adventure CeilingFor just a second, we're going to talk very specifically about the two most popular winter sports: skiing and snowboarding. Once you've got the basics of these sports down, there are tons of ways to up the adrenaline they give you! Trying out a new mountain can make the sport feel brand new. You can also venture into the backcountry to try a completely different version of skiing. You can visit a terrain park and try out all sorts of unique jumps, rails and tricks in a controlled environment.
This winter, trade your blankets in for a parka and your slippers in for some boots and get out there to try out some winter sports! Not only will you get a good workout and enjoy some sun, but you'll also have a really fun time doing something other than hibernating! Make sure you wear warm clothes and take plenty of water with you! Are your kids looking to improve their sports skills? Sign them up for a summer camp with Woodward! If you register your kids before January 31st, you could save up to $200! Learn more about Woodward's on-snow programs here. What's your favorite winter sport to enjoy? How about your kids? Tell us about it in the comments below!