The benefits of time spent with friends and family on the chairlift, memories made over après, and laughs had on the slopes are immeasurable, but the physical and mental ones can be measured, and the numbers don’t lie.

By this point of the season, our ski/snowboard legs are taking shape, sustaining us through powder sessions and hot laps. Perhaps you’ve noticed an extra pep in your step en route to the chairlift? That’s the repeated dopamine hits you get from a thrilling session on the slopes. In addition to the feelings of euphoria, dopamine produces a surge of melatonin which aids in healthy sleep hygiene, metabolism and immune function. Furthermore, melatonin can be in short supply during winter months due to reduced sun exposure; even more reason to go skiing! Need more support? A recent study found that skiers may be at a lower risk of anxiety disorders.

It’s well documented that skiing and snowboarding benefits cardiovascular health, overall fitness, strength, coordination, balance and more. Regardless of your health and fitness goals, strapping on a pair of skis or a snowboard is sure to fulfill some of them. Due to the versatility of skiing and snowboarding, it can encompass the benefits of a cardio workout, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, and strength training session, all in one fun activity.

Whether you’re just starting out on the magic carpet or crushing double black diamonds, the health benefits of skiing and snowboarding are far reaching. The benefits of time spent together with friends and family on the chairlift, memories made over après and laughs had on the slopes are immeasurable, but the physical and mental ones can be measured, and the numbers don’t lie. In one hour of downhill skiing, you’ll burn a ton of calories (approximately 432 for a 155lb person!) and the calorie burn will continue after you’ve finished your day on the slopes, according to this study. The direct effect skiing and snowboarding has on your lower-body strength and muscle mass will be evident after a day on the slopes as your quads, calves, and glutes feel the burn!

Suffice to say a day on the slopes is not just for leisure. It is in fact, just what the doctor ordered!

This post is also available in: French