Though spring is creeping in on level ground, winter is still rampant in the mountains, meaning there are plenty of ski days left before summer. If you’re looking for a great way to lose weight, tone your body, improve mental health, and boost your immune system, you should take advantage of some of those days and hit the alps. Skiing is not only a pastime many enjoy; it’s also great for your health.

Become More Fit

When you ski, you work out a lot of different muscles. In order for you to maintain the balance and precision needed to successfully maneuver ski paths, you need a lot of strength in your core. The more you ski, the more your abdominal muscles and other muscles in the stomach and lower back area will flatten, given you a toned tummy and torso. Skiing also helps to tone your legs, since you do a lot of crouching as you glide downhill. You can also enjoy toned arms from all the times you’re on flat ground and need to scoot along using your poles.

Get a Great Cardio Workout

The standard recommendation for cardio exercise is at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Skiing goes above and beyond this recommendation. Most people spend 4-8 hours a day skiing, which is far more than the recommended average. The sport successfully raises your heart rate, improves blood circulation, and burns up to 500 calories per hour.

Lose Weight

Fitness experts claim you can lose up to five pounds in just one week of skiing. Most people ski for several hours at a time, which gives them quite a cardio workout, the best form of exercise for weight loss. This only works, though, if you’re disciplined when it comes to the buffet and bar at the resort!

Improve Mental Health

Any kind of physical activity is good for your mental health, since it encourages the brain to release feel-good endorphins. Skiing is particularly good for your mental health. It is much more entertaining for most people than jogging on the treadmill, and being outside in the sun allows your body to receive more vitamin D, a known preventative of depression. A good ski vacation can do wonders to relieve stress and restore mental sanity.

Fight Age

Skiing may not remove the wrinkle around your eyes, but it can help prevent the dreaded aches and pains that generally come with growing older. Skiing takes a lot of balance as you perfect tight turns and precise movements. Prolonged participation in skiing strengthens joints, especially in the knees. It can help prevent osteoporosis and knee damage, both common conditions that accompany old age. Just think of it; by doing something you love, you can secure a lifetime of feeling younger, healthier, and happier!