Is skiing good exercise??
Skiing is good exercise. Skiing is a great combination of cardiovascular exercise, and a workout for your muscles. As with any sport or activity, the amount you push yourself will determine how much you get out of it. Provided you ski within your capabilities and you know your limits, skiing can be a great form of exercise.
For anyone who has been skiing before, even if just for a day or two, you will know how tired skiing leaves you by the end of the day - this is of course assuming you choose to ski the entire day. It might seem a bit odd to heart that skiing is quite an energetic sport, as it appears to simply be sliding down a mountain on two pieces of wood/plastic/metal. Skiing is a unique sport for the body, as you effectively have to use the entire lower half of your body to stabilise and control yourself as you ski down the mountain, perfecting your parallel turns or your snow plough, depending upon which stage of learning you are at. You will use muscles in your legs that you didn’t even know existed, and your core muscles will also more than likely be aching the next day as well.
Is skiing tiring?
Unlike exercise such as jogging or weight lifting where you can really feel yourself and your muscles tiring as the session wears on, in a day of skiing I find that it will only be at the very end of the day when I relax, that I realise how much exercise I have done that day. This is part of the reason I believe skiing is so good for your fitness, because hours will pass by of going up and down different part of the mountain without you even realising, and these are hours of almost constant exercise, and a full body workout! Although it may seem like a bit of a hassle having to catch the chairlift or the gondola back up the mountain at the end of each ski run (hopefully they will invent teleporting soon), I find this to be a great opportunity to recover a bit of energy in between periods of good varied exercise, and appreciate the beautiful scenery in the mountains.
Which muscles does skiing use?
A lot more than you realise is the simple answer to this question! As I said above, you will find every muscle in your legs fatigued at the end of an honest day of skiing. There is no doubt that skiing Is a great sport for strengthening your leg muscles and burning calories.
The main muscles required for skiing, and the ones I always find to get tired first are the Quadriceps - the large muscles in your thighs. These are important for skiing because they give you the strength to make each turn, and they are responsible for carrying your body weight when you lean forward as you ski. As well as this, your Gluteus Maximus (your bum muscles) are very important for skiing as they are also important to carry your body weight, help you turn, and stabilise your entire body. I mentioned earlier that your core muscles such as your Abdominal muscles are also key muscles. Your abs will help you maintain your balance and stability through each turn, and keep yourself steady when you pick up a bit of speed going down the mountain.
Another part of your body which is often forgotten about for skiing, but is very important, are your arms. Only when you are stuck on a flat part of the piste because you didn’t quite muster enough momentum coming down the slope, or you are scrambling towards the next left at the end of a run, will you realise that having good upper body strength will pay dividends for ensuring you are not the one everyone is waiting for at the back of the group.
The best part about the fitness and strength you develop from skiing, is that you won’t even realise you are using all of these muscle groups until the end of the day, or progressively throughout the week, maybe party due to the adrenaline running through you as you ski down the mountain! By the time you return home after your skiing holiday, you can be sure your fitness level will be higher than when you left.