Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Discover the Health Benefits of Skiing

It's s'no joke that, as soon as the winter season hits, many people choose the comfort of their sofa and slippers and leave the exercise and activity of summer behind. Some do opt for the gym to stay in shape at this time year, however, whilst a more fun, and often healthier, alternative is to hit the slopes.

Skiing, as well as being great entertainment and the ultimate winter holiday, is also incredibly good for you. While seemingly effortless in the form of sliding down a ski run, the activity is actually working a number of muscles and is very demanding on the body.


The art of snow skiing involves much balance and concentration, and this results in the use of core muscles which, in turn, work to tone your stomach and thighs. The act of trying to keep upright in the difficult conditions of moving on the slippery slope makes you unconsciously tighten your stomach muscles to keep your balance.

You will become toned in the act of turning and controlling your skis in the difficult conditions and increased flexibility is needed to compensate for impact from bumps. This is why, if you hope to be able to complete a full day's skiing, you have to prepare months in advance and train your body to be able to cope with the strain of the activity.


The legs work the hardest in skiing and, while the activity works all the major muscle groups, it is the thighs, hamstrings and buttocks which take most of the strain due to the crouching position needed when skiing. The increased use of these muscles works to tone the lower body as a result of the amplified pressure. This is why professionals in the sport have very strong legs to cope with the strain and why it is important to work on these muscle groups before you set off to ensure you are able to keep up with the demands of skiing for sustained periods of time.


Not only does skiing tone and work various muscle groups, but it is also a great cardiovascular workout. The simple act of carrying your equipment and walking up slopes in the cold conditions gets the blood pumping and improves fitness. This, in addition to the act of skiing itself, releases endorphins and adrenaline into the bloodstream which gives a sense of overall wellbeing, making skiing good for both the mind and body.

As skiing is so demanding, it is important to keep energy levels up when on the slopes, as a typical day's skiing will burn around 3,000 calories. Be sure you can carry on reaping these health benefits by making regular stops for food and drink so that you don't run out of energy.

Tuning Your Skis: Everything You Need to Know

After a season of hard skiing, it is necessary to treat your skis to some TLC to ensure they are in top condition for next year. If you take good care of your skis, they will last for many trips to come and stay at the level of performance you are used to. There are a few simple ways to tell if your skis need tuning: if they aren't acting like normal, if they catch when skiing or feel unstable, then you know your skis may need looking at.

Ski Tuning

Ski tuning is a difficult task; if you don't have the appropriate materials, it is best to leave it to the professional and take your equipment to a ski shop. However, if you and your family are regular skiers, it might be worth investing in some tools so that you can tune your skis yourself at home.

To tune skis you will need a vice to hold them in place, a tuning iron to melt the wax and cloths, a brush, and wax to finish the job. This can be expensive but, if you ski often, it could be a cost effective way of keeping up performance.


Waxing improves the performance of your skis and makes them waterproof, causing the wax at the base of the ski to break down water into small beads, resulting in faster and easier turns. To wax your skis, first melt the wax on the waxing iron, though be sure not to heat the wax too much, as this can cause damage. Then drip the melted wax along the base of each ski and then, in backwards and forwards motions, iron the wax onto the base and let the skis cool. Use a scraper to scrape off the excess wax and then brush the remaining wax from the base.

Hints and Tips

It is always best to have your skis tuned professionally if you are unsure what you are doing or don't have the correct equipment to carry out the task. Also, be sure to be careful with freshly tuned skis, as the edges will be far sharper than normal so never try to catch them with a bare hand.

If your skis have metal tips, take these off before you start the waxing process, as this prevents wax build-up. Finally, be sure to take your time with the task because undue care and attention can result in damage to your skis or injury to yourself.