Dressed up in warm, pink clothes from head to toe, the little girl seemed intrigued and reticent at the same time. She would have tried that very moment, after seeing how other children had the time of their lives on that slope, but she still had one small thing to clarify. There’s that question that is as old as mankind and that manages to make things hard for parents every single time: “Why?”. Of course, from that moment, the slope became all of a sudden, the place for debate between two well-intended parents and the most curious future female-skier.
“Why do we ski?” Even though it came from a little girl, this question is a perfectly legitimate one. Any adult interested in taking up this sport would have the same curiosity. What makes skiing so attractive and popular?
Bellow you will discover the story of an extraordinary sport and all the main reasons why you come back every winter on the slope with the same enthusiasm.
Skiing has an impressive history. Its story began thousands of years ago, when the Northern people of Scandinavia and Russia started to use wooden planks as a means of transportation. In Russia, scientists discovered fragments of ski sticks dating back from 8000 or 7000 BC. It was a unique way to help people adapt to the environment and another chance to get over the cold winter periods in the region and to get food fast.
Later on, skiing became part of the military and war areas of interest. Countries such as Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia or Poland had had skiing teams since the 15th century. During the two World Wars, skiing was highly used for military purposes.
It was only by the end of the 19th century when skiing started to be recognized as a sport and, later on, it was also included in the Olympics. Once the platter lifts appeared at the end of 1930s, this sport grew even bigger in popularity in Europe and North America. Nowadays, millions of passionate skiers visit the most popular slopes in Europe every winter.
The reasons why we choose skiing instead of other sports are many, starting from the ones related strictly to the pleasure of practising it and ending with social, emotional and health reasons.
#1 The unique feeling you get when skiing
Similar to a superhero movie, the speed you can reach when going down the slope while skiing is spectacular, and you will hopelessly fall in love with this sport. For a few moments, you will feel like you’re flying. Skiing is a sport that requires concentration, but it can also work as a meditation technique. On the slope, you are anchored in what happens during that very moment, it’s only you and the wind blowing in your cheeks and you’re all focused on the movement of your body.
#2 It’s one of the most pleasant ways to help you stay fit
Skiing, just like swimming, cycling, jogging or aerobics, is part of the cardio sports, well-known for the beneficial effects over the cardiovascular system. Skiing is a type of sport that requires the whole body to move, which will also help your muscle mass to grow. Among the most worked muscle groups when it comes to skiing, there are buttocks and thighs. Skiing will help you to improve not only your leg and abdomen muscles, but also your flexibility and balance and will motivate you to follow a healthier diet and lifestyle.
If you want to lose some weight, your body will consume a higher quantity of calories. According to a table published by Harvard Medical School that lists various types of sports and the number of calories burnt per hour, skiing for one hour will help you burn between 360 and 532 calories, depending on your total weight. Among other types of sports that provide similar results, there are swimming, dancing, hiking. In fact, skiing for one hour can burn more calories than one hour of playing volley, badminton or practicing equitation.
#3 A good way to spend some quality time with your loved ones
Most of the times, you’ll go on a ski trip either with a group of close friends, or with your family. It’s a good way to relax, enjoy some quality time next to your loved ones and, at the same time, be active.
Numerous people gather on the slope, thus forming some sort of a community and creating the perfect context for socializing. In fact, there’s even a term referring to the social activities following a day on the slope – après-ski.
If you choose to go skiing with your children, it is best to resort to the services of a professional ski instructor. They can help your children turn skiing into passion. The little ones will learn easily and fast and they can engage in these courses from as early as four years old.
The benefits of skiing in children are various, starting from improving focus and coordination skills and ending with having a healthier lifestyle.
#4 You can enjoy mesmerizing natural landscapes
Skiing offers you the possibility to fully enjoy impressive natural landscapes and to discover some of the most beautiful mountain areas. This is another reason why people consider skiing one of the best sports.
Among the most popular ski holiday destinations in Europe, there are Courmayeur, Cervinia and Livigno in Italy and Chamonix, Megève and Courchevel in France. There are numerous top ski slopes in Europe and many of them provide various opportunities, not only for beginner skiers, but also for experts.
Moreover, active holidays can easily turn into urban holidays. You can choose to travel to Courmayeur ski resort in Italy, or to Chamonix in France, in order to discover one of the most spectacular massifs in Europe – Mont Blanc. From here, you can easily get to various cities, including Torino, Milan, Geneva or Lausanne and continue your urban holiday.
#5 It boosts your well-being
It is well known that practicing sport can be beneficial to one’s mental health, help in decreasing the stress level, improving sleep quality, as well as self-confidence. Skiing is not an exception to this rule. After a skiing holiday, you will feel refreshed, you will want to improve your skills even more and you will want to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. You’ll need to keep on practicing it and everything will be totally worth it in the end. All you need to do to begin this journey is to make the first step. The most spectacular ski slopes in Europe are already waiting for you!