Skiing boosts physical and mental health

22nd July 2019, by Abi Butcher

Skiing, and being out in the mountains, does wonders for your mental health

Skiing, and being out in the mountains, does wonders for your mental health

Skiing brings massive gains to physical and mental health say experts in a new guide produced by ski agents Ski Line.

The guide, The Health Benefits of Skiing, reports that skiing can help deal with depression, improve self-confidence, and improve your physical shape and fitness. In short, experts quoted in the guide say skiing can be ‘life changing’ — so it’s no surprise that we at Where to Ski and Snowboard love it, and that you do too. The guide draws on research from various bodies, including a survey from the British Mountaineering Club (BMC) that show 99% of skiers claim to have a higher fitness level than their peers, but also that 93% were reported to be freed from depression.

As well as the mental benefits of spending the day outside with friends and family, skiing can do wonders for self-confidence, says Neil Maclean-Martin, a ski-fitness expert of BeFitApps. He says skiing can change lives “in many positive ways.’‘

“The beauty, for many, is the amazing mountain environment and that it is so easy to push limits and conquer fears. The rush is hard to beat,” says Maclean-Martin.

“Pushing limits can do wonders for self-confidence, satisfaction and helping you to set perhaps new unforeseen goals in all aspects of your life.”

Reports vary, but Ski Line’s guide The Health Benefits of Skiing says an average day on the slopes will burn up to three times as many calories as the average day at home — if you push it hard you could expend 3,000 calories, as opposed to the 1,000 you might use up on a day spent sitting at your desk working.

Doing physical exercise at altitude is particularly beneficial, and the guide draws together research from various different studies that shows how proprioception, core and lower body muscles are all strengthened from a ski holiday. 

But with so many of us struggling with stress at home, the mental benefits of being on the mountain should not be underplayed, says the report.

Lynn Mill, a former professional skier and current instructor at said on behalf of Ski Line: “The lifelong skills learned just by being out in the mountain environment are priceless and many of my students have grown up to be adventurous, proactive and successful even in areas with no connection to snowsports.

“It planted life skills for them.”

She added: “It clears the mind, allows people’s heads to get away from the everyday worries for a few hours and is really fun once you’re up and running. It also does wonders for your core and leg strength as well as your cardio system and proprioception.”

For more information on the physical and mental benefits of skiing, as well as hints and tips on how to prepare ahead of a first trip to the slopes, visit

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