After the past year, the need to boost well-being has never been higher. According to a YouGov poll, negative emotions hit a peak in 2020, with:
- 27% of people, on average, feeling sad
- 39% of people, on average, feeling frustrated
- 40% of people, on average, feeling stressed.
With restrictions on our social lives and activities, it’s no wonder our mental health has suffered. Physical activity is often hailed as an all-round solution to helping reduce stress levels and improve your quality of life, both mentally and physically. But even as restrictions ease, we’re entering the winter months – a time where many would see their moods drop even without the pandemic. With this in mind, could taking up a winter sport such as skiing be the key to wellness?
Skiing is a great full-body, cardiovascular workout and is also great fun for all ages and a range of fitness abilities! Downhill skiing is a great way to burn calories and also provides many cardio-metabolic benefits, from improved insulin resistance to a drop in blood pressure.
Research by Harvard Medical School found that someone weighing 11 stone would burn 223 calories in 30 minutes, highlighting how skiing is a great way to maintain a healthy weight! But don’t forget to refuel at the chalet to allow your body enough time to recover.
Skiing also provides a great benefit to your legs, as your knees and ankles are required to endure the tension and weight of your body. The impact not only strengthens your joints but your bones too!
It’s well known that fresh air and time in nature can do the world of good for our mental well-being, so the appeal of skiing in beautiful mountain ranges around the world isn’t hard to see. When skiing, adrenaline and endorphins are pumping around your body, helping to produce a ‘feel good’ mood that counteracts any waves of depression.
Social interactions can also help produce endorphins, and a skiing holiday is the perfect place to meet new friends and make amazing new memories, whether that be on the slopes or dancing at après ski. You could even take the time to pause and reflect within nature, allowing yourself to fully disconnect from the stresses of everyday life.
A new skill
As well as the benefits to your well-being, skiing can help you develop much more than your skiing ability – you could even take part in a ski instructor course and help develop life skills! Not only will you receive a new qualification, but you will also develop leadership and communication skills. Being in a foreign country, you may also pick up another language and have the ability to embrace different cultures, while also learning to be patient with beginners and maybe even help more experienced skiers out of sticky situations! Learning to be a ski instructor is a great experience that will bring a sense of achievement – perfect for banishing any feelings of listlessness lockdown may have given you.
For those of us who haven’t had the chance, now is the perfect time to switch off and head to the slopes. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned skier, there is something for everyone on the mountains. For those with years of experience, it may be time to share that with others. For a beginner, now is your time to shine!