Snowboarding is an increasingly popular winter sport that also offers a great cardiovascular workout. It not only increases your endurance, it also strengthens many major muscle groups and can help you burn calories to lose weight. Here are some of the many benefits of snowboarding.
Snowboarding, a History
Snowboarding, a winter sport that has been likened to surfing on snow, has become increasingly popular since the 1990s. There are two main types of snowboarding. Freestyle snowboarding focuses on performing tricks and jumps. Alpine snowboarding focuses on riding down steep mountain slopes.
Snowboarding is considered easier to learn than skiing, and many long-time skiers have switched to snowboarding.
Snowboarding Helps Build Muscle
Snowboarding helps to build muscle in nearly all of the body’s major muscle groups. It develops the muscles of the legs, especially the calves, quads and hamstrings. Snowboarders need all of these muscles in order to make turns on steep mountain slopes. The muscles of the ankles and feet are even used to turn and steer.
Snowboarding also tones the muscles of your core, especially the abdomen and back. These muscles are essential to help you balance on the board as you ride. Strong core muscles make you a stronger, more stable snowboarder.
Snowboarding strengthens the muscles of the arms and shoulders, which are usually held extended to either side for balance while riding. You’ll also need to use your arms to push yourself back up when you fall.
Snowboarding Increases Balance
Snowboarding requires good balance and a lot of coordination, but once you’ve learned to snowboard you’ll find that your balance has improved and you’re more coordinated. Snowboarding also makes your body more flexible, especially at the waist. This is accomplished by quickly learning to change pace and direction. Your ability to focus and concentrate will also grow as you learn to perform the coordinated movements that snowboarding requires.
Snowboarding Burns Calories
Snowboarding is a great cardiovascular workout that raises your heart rate to release endorphins and increase endurance. It’s also an intense calorie burner. Just an hour of recreational snowboarding can burn 250 to 630 calories. Combined with a healthy diet, a season of snowboarding can be part of an effective weight-loss plan.
Snowboarding is Good for Your Joints
Unlike many sports, snowboarding doesn’t put a lot of stress on your joints. This is because the joints don’t move much when you snowboard. Of course, when you’re learning to snowboard, you may fall over a lot, and you’ll need wrist, knee and elbow guards to protect these areas of injury. However, once you’ve got the knack, snowboarding can even strengthen certain joints, like the knees.
Snowboarding Makes You Happy
Doctors believe that snowboarding may be good for your mental health. Exercising outdoors promotes the release of endorphins, which induce feelings of euphoria, happiness and well being. Snowboarding can elevate your mood, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.