How snowboarding can benefit your health
Snowboarding is a sport that my middle son Josh is super keen to try. He loves skateboarding and riding his scooter and thinks that he will be a snowboarding pro. And what he doesn’t also realise is how good it can be for his health.
Snowboarding is one of those sports that makes people shiver and think ‘oh wow they’re brave’ or ‘they must be one of those adrenaline junkie types’. Well, they are not wrong, snowboarding is a sport that requires skill, motivation and to be fearless. But what it also needs is someone to be fit, healthy, have muscle tone and determination- all of this is can and should benefit everyday life.
What may go forgotten is snowboarding like all other sports, can benefit your health and your day today. So, if you needed more reasons to try snowboarding, book a winter getaway or encourage others to try; we are here to provide a list of all health benefits of snowboarding. Other than the main reason, being that snowboarding is fun, it does also provide a great list of health benefits that will motivate anyone to give it a go. Also, make sure that you go for the right equipment when buying a snowboard. The right length of your snowboard and the right setup of board and bindings will help you to make your snowboarding experience as comfortable and healthy as possible!
Improving cardiovascular endurance
It may seem obvious in sports such as long-distance running or swimming, that your heart rate increases for an extended period. Also, that training regularly can increase your endurance; It is precisely the same in snowboarding. When going down multiple runs, you can be snowboarding for over 20 minutes without a break, and it is a full-body workout, which is increasing your heart rate and getting that blood pumping. It’s been found that for every half an hour of boarding, around 450 calories can be burned- which from our experience, can be better than the gym! The best part is that you don’t realise how hard your body is working or how intense the workout is. At the same time, you are out there having fun (until your head hits the pillow after a long day on the mountain), unlike your gym glass.
Snowboarding makes you stand in a position with your knees bent, your calves strong, your arms out poised and your stomach tight, for an extended period. Just like when developing your cardiovascular endurance, you don’t realise how hard your muscles are working and how strong they are becoming.
Your quads and hamstrings will become toned and strong once you start snowboarding and will develop pretty quickly so that as you improve, the muscle pain isn’t so obvious. Your arms become firm and toned from lifting yourself up so often and remaining in a position to help balance you and your core works on overtime to help keep the balance steady. It is definitely recommended to train before a snowboarding trip, so your muscles don’t get a shock once you get on the snow. If possible, try and stretch or do yoga after the long day, to ease any soreness.
Improving mental health
Snowboarding is like all other sports where it releases endorphins and adrenaline, which make you feel amazing during and especially after. This is so amazing for improving mental health because these hormones help boost your mood.
There is also the element that snowboarding is a sport that mainly can only be done outside in the beautiful and picturesque mountains, which in itself makes you feel good. Being out in nature has been extensively researched to reduce stress and anxiety, which can help with relaxation and generally improve your mood. It does, of course, help that your view is snow-capped mountains and (hopefully) blue skies.
Another critical point to make about how snowboarding can benefit your mental health is how it can help with your self-confidence. When doing a sport, going out of your comfort zone and improving a skill can all help with increasing your confidence as a person. Being good at something and learning can give you something to work towards and an incredible sense of achievement once you get there. This is key to helping manage mental health and self-worth.
Snowboarding may not be your obvious choice when looking to take on a sport that will improve your flexibility. Still, in fact, it can be just as effective. Snowboarding requires a lot of skill and technique to quickly change position and direction when going down a run. For your body to be able to instantly react and adapt to a new position, your joints and muscles need to be flexible to accomodate. It’s all part of the fun switching your technique, posture and stance according to the slope and the snow conditions, and as you improve, so will your flexibility.
You will also find that snowboarding is a lot of bending down to put on your boots and strap your board on multiple times in a day, plus picking yourself back up every time you fall! This will also start to help your muscles become more flexible and versatile. A tip to benefit you quickly is to warm up at the start of each day before jumping on your board.
As mentioned before, snowboarding is a full-body workout, and that also means your core muscles. One of the main reasons why your core muscles are needed when boarding is because you need to have excellent posture and balance. To maintain the squatted stance while shock-absorbing on one plank, your core needs to be solid to stop you from falling over. As your core muscles develop, your control will rapidly improve, which allows for a technique to develop and stop you from falling so often. Having a strong core can also protect your back while absorbing shock, so can help prevent injury even if you do fall, plus helping you in your day to day life.
So there we have it, if you were trying to convince yourself or make a comprehensive argument to others, as to why you should take up snowboarding, then the benefits to your health alone should be a good enough reason. Like most sports, it helps improve overall fitness. Still, it also has the added bonus of targeting the whole body while making you feel incredible. It is important to note when you first start boarding, it may feel like every muscle in your body hurts. Still, perseverance will mean all your muscles develop and become stronger. To reap the full benefits of snowboarding, you should also try to train beforehand and incorporate a warm-up and stretches each day you hit the mountain.