Winter sports are nothing but recreational activities carried out on snow or ice, generally at high altitudes. We all feel slumberous during winters, all you want to do is tuck into your cozy bed and sleep all day. Why not try and fight this laziness and actually enjoy the cold snowy weather? Do you know about the health benefits of winter sports?
When you first hear of winter sports, I know snowboarding, skiing or ice hockey is what flashes in your mind! But, there is versatile range of other winter sports that you could try out! Apart from having fun and getting that much-needed fresh air, there are several other health benefits of winter sports.
You can effectively sculpt your muscles, enhance your stamina levels and also gain a sense of balance.
Let’s go through the health benefits that winter sports have in store for you:
- Burning Calories. Improves Metabolism
As compared to indoor workouts, sports activities carried out during winter tends to burn more calories. That’s because your body works harder to maintain its core temperature. However, the amount of calories burnt will completely depend on an individual’s body mass and temperature.
- Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Cold climate impels your heart to function harder and circulates blood all throughout your body. People with healthy cardiovascular endurance can make the most out of winter sports. Cross-country skiing is one of the amazing sports to build your stamina and burn calories.
Since the slope is not that steep, your upper and lower body muscles work determinedly to keep you going forward. Thus, your heart rate goes up and it pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.
- Drink It Up:
Being out there in cold weather for a long period of time can be undesirable for your health. Which is why you need to stay hydrated and keep warm as much as you can. Your body produces sweat which is quickly evaporated due to the cold and dry air.
You might not realize that your body is losing water, but it is extremely important for you to drink water throughout the day as you perform these winter sports. Don’t wait until you start to feel thirsty, drink water frequently between intervals to keep your body warm.
- Improved Endurance Level:
Winter season causes your muscles to become stiff and lazy, but with increased activity, it gets much easier to perform better. Your body will get used to the exertion and eventually, your endurance level will be improved.
- Get All Of That Vitamin D:
Even though it’s cold, you will still be exposed to the sun and all of its essential nutrients. During winter, the natural light is actually restrained, so the benefits from sunrays are more substantial. Exposure to sunlight, especially in winter, will cause your body to make vitamin D. Which in turn, strengthens your bones and muscles.
- Uplifted Mood & Positive Vibes:
During summer, the humidity makes you feel like the air is too heavy and it gets harder to stay out. In cold chilly weather, your body is determined to stay warm and the production of endorphins are also increased. And that is the reason, you will feel extremely happy and light while performing winter sports.
Many times, you may feel like trapped inside the house, which can be termed as “winter depression”. To change this feeling and cheer yourself up, get out there in the cold and try skiing or snowboarding.
- Sense Of Balance:
Winter sports can improve your coordination power and sense of balance as you are training yourself to stay upright and control the gear. Skiing and snowboarding are excellent activities for strengthening your core muscles and improving your body posture. In addition to that, your body’s ability to balance also improves.
Benefits Of Specific Winter Sports
- Snow Softball
Softball in itself involves hitting, jumping, throwing and several other quick movements. Addition of snow makes it more challenging for your body to improve its strength and build muscular power. Make sure you carry catchers gear for softball before getting on with this winter sport to avoid injuries.
Skiing is an extremely popular sport in so many countries and an amazing aerobic activity. While skiing, your heart muscles are stimulated and overall blood flow is enhanced. Skiing involves being upright, lots of turning, switching directions and moving up/down. All of these movements greatly engage your calves, thighs, hamstrings, limbs, etc.
Snowboarding is hard to master as it requires a great sense of balance and lower body strength. Snowboarding does not have any kind of poles like in skiing, so balancing on a board is much harder. You will lean sideways and completely depend on your core muscles and lower body strength for controlling the board.
While skiing and snowboarding, always wear snowmobile goggles to protect your eyes from heavy wind or flakes of snow.
- Snow Football
Snow football is a vigorous sports activity, providing you with full body workout. It involves a lot of running and tends to stimulate your metabolism, improve cardiovascular health and also builds stamina.
However, make sure to consult with your physician before trying out this winter sport, just to be sure. As this sport mainly involves footwork, invest in shoes for football to reap maximum benefits out of it.
Sledding is the most fun and entertaining activity out of all these winter sports. As you run down, there is increased the release of adrenaline, your breathing is quickened and every muscle is toned in your body.
To conclude, I would say that winter sports are really exciting and a fun way to get your body up and going. My advice is to always make sure to wear right clothes for these sports, the fabric should be water-resistant, well-ventilated and warm enough.
Additionally, always carry a hydration pack with you to avoid dehydration and weakness. Apply sunscreen that has SPF +50. And, after vigorous activities, always take your time to cool down. As you sweat a lot, give your body enough time to recover itself.
Harry Wilson is founder of Sportslifestyle360.com. He has had complete experience with sports. The main purpose of his blog was to be able to connect with others like him, all around the world, and share his passion and love for outdoor activities.