As winter begins to rear its ugly head, joggers enjoying cardio in the summer sun slowly begin to dwindle away from the streets and fields. Only a dedicated few can be seen running in the cold weather and miserable rain. Jogging may seem much more arduous in the cold, but winter does bring one of the most fun and overlooked forms of cardio exercise: skiing.
How To Start Skiing
Skiing can be a dangerous activity for newcomers. Don’t expect to jump straight into it, as you’ll need to take some lessons beforehand. However, no matter what shape you are in, it is fairly easy to pick up the fundamentals and within no time you’ll be skiing on your own. Many skiing reservations have slopes of varying difficulty, so you progress to the more challenging runs when you get better.
Skiing is one of the best forms of cardio there is, and it’s an excellent way to burn fat and lose weight. Typically, an hour of skiing can burn upwards of 500 calories. It is a particularly intense form of strength training and cardio combined, but, and this is one of the major perks of the activity, its great fun at the same time. Although you’ll feel tired afterwards and will have built up a sweat, many skiers don’t think of it as exercise.
Using Your Muscles
As skiing demands balance, the body’s core and back muscles are always engaged for stability. The abdominal muscles, particularly, are used in skiing, as you need to keep upright when traveling at high speeds and steering your body in different directions. Of course, as you on your feet all day and adopting a crouched position, your legs will also be getting a good workout. Skiing engages your major leg and buttocks muscles, and it is a great way to tone them. As well as being good for cardio, skiing can be an effective way to build lean muscles as part of a strength training routine.
Making Skiing Part Of A Cardio Routine
Cross country skiing involves climbing hills and demands a lot more walking with little time for resting, so it burns much more calories than downhill skiing. However, downhill skiing is no slouch, as you can still expect to burn around 300-400 calories an hour at a moderate effort. Try to incorporate both into your routine. Focus on downhill skiing on days when your muscles are still tired from cross country skiing but you still want to hit the slopes. As with all exercises, just make sure you always put the effort in.
Of course, not everyone is fortunate enough to live near skiing trails. There are many sports facilities up and down the country that have indoor slopes, and these are still an excellent way to exercise. Always remember that, like all forms of cardio, dedication is the key and you need to be exercising at least 3-4 times a week to really shred the calories. If you don’t have the time to go skiing as often as you’d like, try to throw in a mid week jog instead, so that you’re still getting your cardio fix in between skis.