We've all seen movies and tv shows with skiing scenes in them. To some, this activity looks deceptively easy. For others, it looks nearly impossible and they believe themselves to be too uncoordinated for such an activity. While skiing is not for everyone, it is something that every healthy person should give at least two chances. I say two merely because, for the average person, the first time is pretty rough, but a necessary step for the joy of the second day. Here are my reasons why skiing is totally worth trying:
This may seem self-explanatory, but skiing truly is really fun. Once you get good at it, you feel like you're flying down the mountain. You're weightless, soaring over the snow and gliding past the trees. Your adrenaline pumping through your veins will fill you with life like few other things can, and when you reach the bottom, you need only to ride a chair lift to go again.
Photo Credit: Denise Williams
Skiing truly is a workout. It takes your entire body to successfully travel down the mountain, and when you're not heading downhill or are even just sitting on the chair lift, your skis and boots become quite heavy. On average, skis weigh about 14 to 15 pounds, with women's ski boots weighing an additional 11 pounds, and men's weighing in at 13 pounds. That means when I was sitting on a chair lift for 15 minutes, or just trying to walk with my boots and skis on, I was carrying an extra 25 pounds of weight with my legs. No wonder my calves hurt after a ski trip!
Need to lose weight or want to slim down? Try skiing! A good day on the slopes can burn up to 700 calories an hour. This intense exercise also gives skiers a perfectly viable reason to load up on the carbs, so if you want to eat big bowls of spaghetti and lots of bread for a weekend with little to no consequence, go skiing. It's so worth it.
Photo Credit: Denise Williams
It's no mystery that spending time outside in natural settings is good for people. Studies show that people who spend more time outside are happier and healthier. Now just imagine spending an entire day breathing in fresh mountain air surrounded by gorgeous views! You can't worry about daily life up there, making it a great mental health break. All you can do is sit in a picture-perfect postcard, and take the opportunity to live in the moment.
Meet New People
They say it's a small world after all, and that is certainly true! People tend to be friendly at ski resorts, and sometimes you may meet someone who doesn't actually live too far from home. For example, on a chair lift I met first one man and later his sister who are from Prescott, AZ, which is where I'm from. The ski resort was in Colorado, 431 miles away. What are the odds?
Ski resorts are almost always in the mountains, and riding a chair lift is a great way to check out the view. Everything looks prettier covered in snow, and pine trees framing scenic mountains are no exception. In addition to great photo opportunities, it's hard not to feel happy surrounded by such beauty.
Earlier I gave the caveat that skiing is primarily for the healthy, and by default young. That's not to say that middle-aged and elderly adults can't or shouldn't ski. In fact, some of the best skiers on the slopes are well into their 70's and 80's, and even their 90's! Unlike many outdoor recreational activities, this one can be done with kids, parents, and grandparents. I can't wait to have kids someday and get them out on the slopes.
Skiing challenges every natural instinct you have. When walking downhill, we typically lean back. On skis if you do that you will fall. If we get to going too fast for comfort in a car or on a bike we hit the brakes. If you try to suddenly stop on skis, you'll fall over. We tend to be afraid of falling, but falling in fresh powder bundled up in layers really isn't painful, and if you wear a good helmet and don't hit any people or trees you'll be fine. It's just a matter of mind over matter, and being willing to fight the fear with a smile as you head down the mountain.
There you have it! My top 8 reasons for you to try skiing this winter. You'll get in a good workout, improve your mental health, make some new friends, challenge yourself, and above all have fun! Having fun is what keeps us young, and adventure is what makes life worth living. So, what are you waiting for? Go rent some ski equipment and get your lift passes!