Is Snowboarding a Good Workout? 10 Benefits of Snowboarding for Your Physical and Mental HealthPublished on 03/08/2023 · 8 min readLooking for yet another reason to hit the slopes? Snowboard Expert Will Koons details all the mental and physical benefits of snowboarding!
Photo by Yann Allegre
Snowboarding has been taking the world by storm (or should we say by snow?) for the past few decades, attracting millions of enthusiasts worldwide. From the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the slopes of the Swiss Alps, snowboarding has become a favorite winter pastime for thrill-seekers and adventure junkies alike.
Now, you may be wondering, is snowboarding really a good workout? And the answer is a resounding yes! In fact, snowboarding can provide numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. And don't worry; we're not just pulling this out of thin air. We've got the research to back it up.
Picture this: You're standing at the top of a snowy slope with your snowboard strapped to your feet, ready to take on the world. As you glide down the mountain, you use balance, coordination, and strength to navigate the terrain. It's a thrilling experience that can challenge your limits while providing a sense of freedom and excitement.
“But wait,” you might say. “Isn't snowboarding an extreme sport? Won't I break my neck or something?” While snowboarding does come with its fair share of risks, when practiced responsibly, it can be a safe and enjoyable activity for people of all ages and skill levels, even a beginner. And the best part? You don't need to be a seasoned pro to reap the benefits.
So, without further ado, let's dive into the top 10 benefits of snowboarding for your physical and mental health. Strap in, folks!
Top 5 Physical Benefits of Snowboarding
If you're looking for a fun way to stay active and healthy during winter, look no further than snowboarding. Here are the top five physical health benefits of snowboarding:
1. Cardiovascular Health
Who knew shredding the gnar could be good for your heart? Snowboarding is an excellent aerobic activity that can increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular endurance and overall health. In fact, regular snowboarding can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. So next time someone tells you to take care of your heart, just tell them you're already doing cardio on the mountain.
2. Full-Body Workout
Snowboarding engages all of the major muscle groups in your body, providing a killer full-body workout. Your legs—especially hips, quads, and thighs—are the primary muscles used for snowboarding, as they control your speed, balance, and direction. Riding is definitely more fun than doing lunges at the gym. Lower body muscles might do the heavy lifting but don't forget about your core muscles! Your abs play a significant role in keeping you stable and centered while you ride. As a result, riders get serious core exercise.
And your arms and shoulders? They're working hard, too, helping you maintain your balance and control your movements. So if you want a total body workout, just head to the slopes.
3. Strengthens Muscles
Are you looking to build some serious lower body strength? Snowboarding can help with that. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes work together to help you turn, stop, and control your speed, and they can become stronger with regular snowboarding. Plus, snowboarding can also help tone your core muscles, improving your posture and stability. Who needs squats when you can shred powder instead?
4. Improves Balance and Coordination
Have you ever watched a skilled snowboarder make their way down a mountain and wondered how they make it look so effortless? The answer is improved balance and coordination, which can come with practice. Snowboarding requires a high level of balance, flexibility, and coordination, as you must maintain your balance while shifting your weight and adjusting your movements to navigate the terrain. In addition, improved proprioception, or your body's ability to sense its position in space, can help prevent falls and injuries on and off the snow. Plus, who doesn't want to feel like a graceful snow bunny?
5. Burns Calories
Last but not least, snowboarding is a calorie-burning machine. According to the American Council on Exercise, snowboarding can burn up to 450 calories per hour for a person weighing 125 pounds and up to 550 calories per hour for a person weighing 155 pounds. So if weight loss is your goal, look no further. Of course, the number of calories burned depends on various factors like weight, speed, and terrain, but it's safe to say that snowboarding is a great way to stay in shape during the winter months. So go ahead and indulge in that hot cocoa. You earned it.
In summary, snowboarding is a fun and challenging way to stay active and healthy. From improved cardiovascular health to full-body workouts and improved balance and coordination, hitting the slopes can offer numerous physical benefits. Just be sure to practice safe snowboarding techniques and follow proper safety precautions to ensure a positive experience. And who knows, maybe one day you'll be the one making it look effortless on the mountain.
Top 5 Mental Benefits of Snowboarding
1. Reduces Stress and Boosts Mood
Snowboarding is a great way to reduce stress levels and boost your mood. Nothing clears your mind like skiing in deep powder. When you're out on the slopes, you're focused on the present moment, which can help clear your mind and reduce stress. If you want to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, grab your board and get out there. Additionally, the physical activity of snowboarding releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting hormones. The thrill of snowboarding can also release dopamine, creating a sense of euphoria and a positive outlook. Whenever I hit a stressful week at work, I schedule a day off to go snowboarding. There's something about the cold air and adrenaline rush that makes all my worries disappear.
2. Increases Confidence and Enhances Focus
Snowboarding can help increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. You can feel a sense of accomplishment and pride as you progress in your ability level. Additionally, snowboarding requires a high level of focus and concentration, improving your ability to focus and concentrate both on and off the snow. The first time I landed a jump while snowboarding, I felt like I could take on the world. It was an incredible feeling that I carry with me in my daily life.
3. Provides a Sense of Freedom
Snowboarding provides a sense of freedom and liberation from daily stresses and routines. When you're on the snow, you can escape from the pressures of work, school, and other responsibilities and immerse yourself in the present moment. This creates a sense of freedom and excitement, leading to improved mental well-being. I remember the first time I went snowboarding with my friends. We all felt like kids again, free to play and have fun. It was such a liberating experience that we made it an annual tradition.
4. Enhances Coordination and Body Awareness
Snowboarding requires a high level of balance and coordination, which can improve with practice. You must maintain your balance while shifting your weight and adjusting your movements to navigate the terrain as you ride. This can improve your proprioception. When I first started snowboarding, I felt like a newborn giraffe trying to find its footing. But as I kept at it, I noticed my balance and body awareness improved not just on the snow but in other areas of my life too.
5. Builds Resilience and Overcomes Fears
Snowboarding can push you out of your comfort zone, helping you develop a growth mindset and overcome fears and challenges. As you learn new skills and face new obstacles, you build resilience and develop a can-do attitude. For example, I was terrified the first time I went down a black diamond run. But with the encouragement of my friends and the determination to push myself, I made it down. It was a huge confidence boost that I still carry with me today.
The Benefits Will Make You Want to Hit the Slopes
Snowboarding is a fun winter activity and an excellent way to improve your physical and mental well-being. By reducing stress, boosting mood, increasing confidence and focus, providing a sense of freedom, enhancing coordination and body awareness, and building resilience, snowboarding can contribute to an overall healthier and happier life. In summary:
- It's a full-body workout. Snowboarding requires you to use your entire body, from your legs and core to your arms. It's a great way to strengthen your muscles and improve your overall fitness.
- It improves cardiovascular health. Snowboarding is a high-intensity activity that gets your heart pumping. It's a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and burn calories at the same time.
- It's a unique challenge. Snowboarding requires balance and coordination, which can be a fun and rewarding challenge. You can test your limits and push yourself in new ways.
- It's a stress reliever. When you're on the slopes, you're focused on the present moment and can forget about the stresses of daily life. Plus, the rush of adrenaline you get from snowboarding can release feel-good hormones and boost your mood.
- It's a social activity. Snowboarding can be a fun way to spend time with friends and family. You can hit the slopes together and cheer each other on as you conquer new challenges.
So, why not get outdoors and give snowboarding a try? Sure, it may seem intimidating at first, but with the right instruction and practice, anyone can learn to snowboard. And trust us, it's worth it for the rush of adrenaline and sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you conquer the mountain. So, grab your snowboard and hit the slopes for an unforgettable workout experience. And who knows, you may just discover a new passion in life, and we can almost guarantee you’ll be happier for doing it! If you need help gearing up for your next trip to the mountain, reach out to one of the Snowboard Experts here on Curated for personalized assistance finding the perfect gear!