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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Winter Exercise Activities: Snowboarding

Sep 29, 2014

Many people complain about the winter months and the lack of exercise activities it provides. Obviously they must have forgotten snowboarding. This is an entertaining activity that provides you with a full body workout. Many people gain weight during the winter months but with a little planning, you can actually lose weight during these frigid months thanks to snowboarding.

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History of Snowboarding

There are conflicting stories about who created the first snowboard, but it appears that this sport originated in the late 1920s and started to gain in popularity during the 1960s. The shape of a snowboard is based off a surfboard and skateboard and it was initially made out of wood. In 1982, the first snowboarding competition was held in Vermont. By 2000, snowboarding became the fastest growing sport in the United States.

Weight Loss and Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a cardiovascular activity that burns calories without putting much stress on your joints. An hour spent snowboarding for the average 150 lb person burns close to 700 calories, making it the number two winter weight loss activity. According to a Harvard University study, 60 minutes of exercise per day is needed for the average middle-aged woman to maintain weight. To lose weight, women need to increase that up to 90 minutes of moderate exercise per day.

Muscle Tone

When spending days out on the slopes, you will mainly use your leg muscles, in particularly your hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. The large leg muscles are used to guide the board and the small muscles, such as the calf muscles, help to steer the board. In addition to the lower body workout, you must use your core to maintain balance. As you build muscle mass, you can expect to lose weight. This is because muscle mass is directly linked to caloric burn. A pound of muscle burns more calories per hour than a pound of fat, which means that even while you are sleeping, your muscle will be burning off extra pounds.

Preparing Yourself to Snowboard

To help ease yourself into the winter season, there are several exercises that you can do to help minimize the impact of falls, bumps and bruises. Begin by focusing on your abdominal muscles. While you may detest crunches, a strong core is essential for snowboarding. Your stomach muscles are constantly used while snowboarding. Try to do 3 sets of 30 reps of crunches.

Expectations

For snowboard beginners, consider taking a snowboarding lesson. During this lesson, an instructor will explain the geography of the board, help you determine your style, which means which foot you feel most comfortable about placing at the front of the board, and help you feel at ease on the hill. When selecting what to wear, choose loose fitting, waterproof pants. You will want to layer your upper body so you can remove layers as you warm up. 

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