|Posted by Cheryl Joyce on November 10, 2014 at 9:25 PM|
Skiing Provides the Key to a Healthy Life
Lose calories on the slopes
Mention skiing vacations to most people and it will conjure up images in their mind of expensive resorts in Colorado such as Aspen or the luxury Alpine hotspots of Europe. Most people who haven't been on a skiing holiday assume it is a time when very little skiing gets done while an awful lot of over indulgence is practiced. But this image is outdated and untrue as skiing is not just the preserve of the rich anymore and is certainly not a sport for unfit individuals.
In fact, it is now very well known that snowsports are an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise and a fantastic way to tone much of the body including legs, arms and rears. Such are the physical benefits of an afternoon on the piste that a number of studies have been carried out by experts across the world.
According to the Ski Club of Great Britain, skiing for six hours can burn a staggering 3,000 calories - if you are lucky. While South Korean researchers claim that the pleasure gained from a week's skiing vacation is enough to improve your overall happiness, even if you rarely get to the mountains. Researchers from Yonsei University conducted a survey of 279 visitors at three major ski resorts in the Asian country. From this sample, 45.2 per cent of those who took part skied, 40.1 per cent were snowboarders and 41 participated in both activities. The survey's respondents spent on average less than five days at a resort, while more than 90 per cent went skiing fewer than five times in a season.
The personal satisfaction of skiers and snowboarders was determined by analyzing the sense of pleasure they gained from their time on the slopes as well as their level of engagement in the activity. The skiers who benefited the most were those who were able to switch off from work and problems at home. Hyun-Woo Lee, head researcher, reported that even one-off or fewer skiing outings were of benefit.
But this no minority pursuit as according to the National Ski and Snowboarders Retailers Association, an impressive 5.5 million people participated in the sport in 2007. The study showed that the average skier skied for 6.2 days. Many of these skiers will have taken up the sport not knowing about its unheralded benefits but now that they have discovered that they can keep fun while enjoying the great food and hospitality which is on offer at most resorts they will never look back. Ski experts Iglu Ski have helpfully calculated that three pints of beer, or 546 calories, can be burned off in just one hour and 18 minutes on the slopes. If Gnocchi with tomato sauce and lashings of cheese is your thing then this will take you one hour and 42 minutes to be rid of its effects.
Olympic success boosts skiing's profile
The profile of skiing in the US was given a huge boost following the Sochi Winter Olympics in February when Ted Ligety claimed the second Games gold of his career when he triumphed in the men's giant slalom on the Russian slopes. Team USA finished fourth in the overall medals table at the Winter Olympics, giving armchair sports fans everywhere much to shout about. The slopes proved to a successful location for Team USA's Olympians, who excelled at the newly introduced extreme sports such as half-pipe, which was won by 22-year-old David Wise while Jamie Anderson was the first over the line in the women’s snowboard slopestyle.
Less fashionable locations prove popular
To the rest of the world North American skiing is Colorado and the upmarket resorts of Canada but New England, and New Hampshire in particular, is a hidden gem for the nation's skiing enthusiasts.
The Franklin Memorial Ski Area is a place which is popular with many, particularly those who may not always get the chance to go skiing regularly. The area, which is run and funded by the Franklin Outing Club has a long-standing policy of allowing the area to be used by the boy and girl scouts, youth organizations, summer recreation programs and nearby schools.
The story of the area is an inspirational one: A Veterans Memorial Fund had been set up to honor those who had lost their lives during World War II and the Korean conflict of the 1950s. The decision was made by the city council to create a more living memorial by investing $4,000 of this fund to build a lodge at the ski area in April of 1962, when it was given its current name.