The end of confinement is approaching, and the first vaccine against COVID-19 should be making their appearance in the coming months. So, don’t spend the winter hibernating!
Post-COVID will undoubtedly be different and for many of us, this new era will be an opportunity to refocus on ourselves, those close to us and our well-being. If you’re looking for an activity that’s right for you, we’ve got a little idea in mind! Why not try skiing? Whether you are an avid enthusiast or new to the sport, discover 5 great reasons to ski this winter in COVID weather.
Skiing improves physical health
Skiing is a complete physical activity that helps build physical strength and endurance. Researchers classify skiing as an aerobic-type sport similar to swimming, cycling and running. Many muscles of the body are used with alpine skiing or snowboarding: the abs, calves, glutes, arms, legs and shoulders. Thus, skiing allows you to shape your silhouette and build your muscle tone.
Moderate exercise can strengthen your immune system
Winter is the season for colds and many viruses (some more persistent than others!), And exercise is beneficial.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have shown that people who exercise regularly get fewer colds than those who don’t. According to them, “To prevent colds, it is really important to exercise on a continual basis.”
Yet another good excuse which should delight all those who look to discover skiing this winter.
Finally, an outing in the mountains is also an opportunity to stock up on vitamin D to boost your immune system. Vitamin D, provided by the sun, influences morale and gives a healthy glow. In other words, brightness is a source of bliss not only for moral health, but also for your body.
Skiing helps you burn calories
In winter, the weather conditions often prevent us from participating in certain sporting activities and many of us tend to put on a few extra pounds. So, if you’re looking for a winter workout to burn calories, go skiing! Skiing is a key activity during the winter. It effectively eliminates excess calories and fat that build up in the muscles. A 70 kg person can lose up to 223 calories in 30 minutes of downhill skiing.
If you consider that on average you are on the slopes for three hours, you will burn a lot of calories. So, don’t be surprised if you have an appetite after skiing!
Skiing contributes to better mental health
Skiing doesn’t just burn a lot of calories, it’s fun too. Without a doubt, this is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a beautiful winter day.
When you ski, your body experiences a speed-related adrenaline rush. This phenomenon allows the endorphin or pleasure hormone to be released. With just a few movements, you can feel joy and happiness throughout your body. A sense of well-being and freedom unfolds in you, which helps to improve your grumpy and sad mood.
Skiing makes you happy
In these gloomy times, are you looking to cheer yourself up? Head to the ski slopes!
Skiing requires going out, into the heart of mountainous surroundings, at a time of year when you tend to stay at home. So, listen to the call of nature as it beckons you to ski down the slopes.
Researchers at Yonsei University in Korea conducted a survey of 279 visitors at three major ski resorts. They saw that skiers and snowboarders took great pleasure and satisfaction in practicing these winter sports.
“Being playful as an adult can make you happy; in addition, the activities and social interactions that surround the practice of a sport such as skiing have positive psychological impacts and contribute to general well-being”, says Hyun-Woo Lee, the study leader.
Exercise works wonders for mental health.
Skiing helps fight winter blues
Seasonal depression can affect anyone – young or old, even the happiest people during winter.
Researcher Norman Rosenthal, who identified the phenomenon in 1984, has since conducted a lot of research in an attempt to find a way to treat seasonal depression.
While his main recommendation is the use of light therapy, he also found that an hour of aerobics outdoors (even on a cloudy day) was as beneficial as two and a half hours of light therapy indoors.
Skiing, hiking in the mountains … Any outdoor activity contributes to good mental health. Researchers have found that well-being is significantly higher when in contact with nature. Therefore, do not hesitate to leave your home even when the snow is falling or better yet go skiing with family and friends.
Enjoy the clean air
Don’t we say that up there in the mountains the air is cleaner? In the mountains, the rate of fine particles in the air is very low, or even non-existent, making this an unpolluted environment.
This is even more relative considering how air pollution is an aggravating factor for COVID-19.
The synthesis of studies published to date confirms the aggravating role of air pollution in the COVID-19 epidemic. The proven impacts on health of exposure to pollution (weakening of the respiratory system, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, alteration of the immune response) increase the risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19).
When it comes to social distancing, what could be more natural than to think of the grandiose landscapes that Mother Nature offers? In the mountains, many areas are still wild and difficult to access, where the full force of nature can be felt. Even in a ski resort, the areas are extremely large.
Ski resorts, immersed in mountainous surroundings, have naturally occurring large open spaces. The wide tracks and the skiable surfaces allow for a distribution of the skiers on the slope, avoiding any saturation on the tracks.
In addition, skiing is an activity that is practiced individually, on wide marked trails, adapted to the level of each skier. Well installed on your skis, you will hit the slopes and enjoy the grandiose mountain scenery, without physical contact with any other practitioners.
Well wrapped up in your ski outfit, the helmet on your head, your hands warm in the gloves, you will be particularly well isolated from the rest of the skiers.
For this winter season, some resorts have redefined their opening hours in order to allow a better spread of attendance and avoid any concentration of skiers.
Ski resorts have also adjusted lift queues to maintain social distancing before getting on the chairlift. A health protocol that is easy to follow when the environment around you exudes so much serenity and escapism.
We cannot stress this enough, nothing in the confinement measures put in place to deal with the Covid epidemic, as part of the state of health emergency, prohibits taking an international flight or traveling to somewhere within the Schengen area.
Details on the regulations and traffic rules in force can be found in the travel advice for each country on the French Diplomatic website. In addition, you can read this post with the rules for skiing abroad this season.
If you are still hesitant to go skiing in times of COVID, here is the last argument that should definitely convince you!
In order to adapt to the current situation, and to the uncertainties of these times, the various agencies that make up a ski resort (accommodation providers, ski schools, ski lifts) are offering cancellations and refunds for COVID.
These special conditions generally allow you to choose between a credit or a refund of your choice for one of the following reasons *:
- New official confinement at a national, regional or departmental level or from your country of residence.
- Travel restrictions at a national, regional, departmental level or from your country of residence.
This is true for trips to the mountains, but also for the sale of seasonal passes, for example. Many resorts will reimburse part of the seasonal pass if it is not possible to take full advantage of it.
All you have to do is choose your resort well this winter, taking into account this last argument. That way you will be able to calmly adapt to any changes in the current health situation.
In conclusion, do not forget that skiing is above all a joy to practice and that in this unprecedented period of our lifetime, you are still allowed to have fun.