Exercise is a key part of living a healthy life. Although important, a lot of people don’t like going to the gym or working out at home— I am one of those people. Another option for me to get exercise, especially during the winter months, is snowboarding!
Growing up in Idaho, I’ve been snowboarding most of my life. I want to share some benefits of getting up on the mountain!
Snowboarding really is a fun thing to do. Yes, it might be a little frustrating at first but as time goes on and you get better, you will have more fun each time you go. There is nothing quite like going down the mountain with fresh powder, and you get that feeling of floating or landing that big jump or carving your way down a nice smooth run. It’s just a rush like no other. Mix this with some good friends and you’ll find yourself wanting to go every day.
Good for Your Mind
Let’s face it— for some, the winter is a gloomy, depressing not-much-to-do time of year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you’re on the mountain you tend to think about your technique, how you can do better and which way you should go next, not on daily stresses of life. Also, during physical activity your body releases endorphins which creates feelings of happiness and can block pain receptors. This helps you sleep better by changing the way you physically respond to stress. It keeps your anxiety down and mood up, to beat those winter blues. You also end up meeting a lot people that share the love of being on the mountain and end up making a lot of new friends.
Great Cardio Workout
Snowboarding is a great aerobic workout that gets your heart rate up and increases cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. It also burns a pretty good amount of calories. The average person can burn between 250 and 630 calories per hour, depending on terrain. The more difficult the terrain, the more calories you will burn.
Anaerobic workouts focus on building muscle mass and strength. Snowboarding strengthens almost all of the muscles in your body: your core muscles keep you balanced, your legs keep you standing, and arms and shoulders pick yourself up after falling (See? There’s an upside to falling). Even muscles you don’t use very often, like the ones in your feet and ankles, help you steer your board.
Improves Balance, Coordination and Flexibility
Balance and coordination are very important to develop and snowboarding practices both. The body needs to stay sharp so reflexes work correctly all the time. The coordination you use to get down the mountain is good for muscle memory and specific movements. Flexibility is important since snowboarding requires you to change direction or pace, often and suddenly. Also it helps with concentration because you learn to pay close attention to changes in the snow and other possible obstacles.
So what are you waiting for?! Have some mountains out your window? Get off the couch and go enjoy some slopes! You can make some new friends, get in a little exercise, and take in the amazing atmosphere of being in the mountains. (Not everybody can enjoy them—we’re lucky!)