Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Health Benefits of Snowboarding

Apr 1, 2010

Snowboarding is an increasingly popular winter sport that offers a number of health benefits. Even if you're not the most proficient snowboarder, you can still enjoy cardiovascular benefits and burn calories. Plus, being outdoors helps to reduce anxiety and can benefit your mental health. Here are some of the many health benefits of snowboarding.

Snowboarding is an Aerobic Exercise

Snowboarding is an aerobic exercise that offers an intense cardio workout and helps burn calories. The average person burns up to 450 calories per hour, so it's a great way to lose weight and increases your endurance.

Snowboarding Exercises Major Muscle Groups

Snowboarding works out all the major muscle groups in your body and even works some muscles that you may not use often, like the ones in your feet and ankles. You'll use your quads, hamstrings and calves to ride the snowboard. The muscles in your ankles and feet will help you steer the board, and your core muscles will get stronger as you use them for balance. Snowboarding even works the muscles of the arms and shoulders, which are used for balance and to pick yourself up when you fall.

Snowboarding Releases Endorphins

Snowboarding, like any form of exercise, releases endorphins, the neurochemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and well being. Snowboarding can regularly lead to consistently high endorphin levels. Exercising outdoors also helps to elevate mood and reduce anxiety, so snowboarding can lower stress levels and support mental health.

Snowboarding Improves Flexibility

Snowboarding significantly improves overall flexibility, as it requires you to change directions and pace frequently and suddenly. Snowboarding also requires good balance, so your balance will improve as you grow more proficient at the sport. It also strengthens your ability to concentrate, as you learn to pay close attention to the changes in the snow.

Enjoying the Health Benefits of Snowboarding

You can enjoy the health benefits of snowboarding even if you're not a proficient snowboarder. Beginners can receive a few lessons before heading out on the slopes and it's a good idea to wear a helmet, as well as elbow, knee and wrist guards, especially while you're learning.

Those who wish to snowboard for fitness should choose terrain that's appropriate to their skill level. Choosing terrain that's too difficult for you increases your risk of injury. As you develop the skills required, move on to steeper, more challenging terrain. The steeper and more challenging the terrain, the more you'll build muscle in your legs, abdomen and core.

 

Article Comments