Everyone knows that a gym day pass is the way to go when you’re trying to get in shape. But sometimes we need to take a step away from the gym and mix things up. For your next guilt-free vacation hit the mountains for a full-body workout. Getting fit while shredding down the mountain is one of the most enjoyable full body exercises you can engage in. But just what exactly are you improving when you’re bombing downhill?
That’s right, all of them. Imagine yourself in the skiing position, your legs are bent, your body is tense, and you are constantly putting pressure on your lower body to help you navigate down the mountain. Your quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes are constantly being called into action. After a day of skiing you’re bound to feel the effects all over your lower body.
Along with the constant attention your lower body is being given, your core too is being asked to perform the difficult job of being locked into a constant crunch. Your core assists you, helping to steer you in your next direction.
At higher altitudes with less oxygen to help you perform, your body must quickly adjust to the conditions. In reality, weeks of training on the slopes must be done to reap any benefit from altitude training. But regardless of the amount of time spent on the mountain, your body will be asked to work harder to maintain enough energy to get down the mountain. If you’re skiing the easy trails, take your skis off and walk twenty-five yards or so to get your heart pumping.
Repeatedly flexing your body to get the shape you want in order to cruise down the mountain can quickly improve less than stellar flexibility. A skier is asked to hold abnormal shapes for a second or two longer than they would in other sports. This mobile form of yoga will make anyone lither after a couple of runs.
A full-body workout, friends, screen-saver like views, and a full night’s rest is the perfect concoction for a great day. What better way to go about getting and staying in shape than by leisurely hitting the slopes with a group of friends?
I wish skiing wasn't so expensive. I have been once in Austria and loved it and it was certainly an excellent workout. I would also say that the whole being outdoors with other people made it mentally stimulating and feel really healthy.
I love my annual ski trip - exhausting, incredibly expensive and hard on the knees but oh, those views and that air. I will continue as long as the cruciate ligaments hold out!