Why Skiing Is a Ridiculously Good Workout

The answer, unequivocally, is “yes”—although how good skiing is for you depends in part on your skill level, how hard you push yourself and the types of terrain you tackle on the slopes. “Alpine skiing is a mix of endurance and resistance training,” says Dr. Josef Niebauer, a professor of sports medicine and cardiology and director of the Institute for Molecular Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria. “It has positive effects on the heart and circulation, as well as peripheral muscles—predominately the legs.” In terms of working your heart, Niebauer’s research has shown that downhill skiing roughly equates to cycling or rowing workouts. Of course, hopping through deep powder will push your heart rate higher than a leisurely slalom down a groomed run. But he says that all types of downhill skiing (and cross-country, too) 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. Skiing also seems to reinvigorate blood vessels and cell health. “We saw positive effects on arterial stiffness, which is a sign of rejuvenating arteries,” Niebauer says. Continue reading…

thumbnail courtesy of time.com