The bracing air on your face and the rush of snow beneath your skis: Not many activities intuitively feel as healthful and invigorating as downhill skiing. But is it actually any good for you?
The answer, unequivocally, is “yes”—although how good skiing is for you depends in part on your skill level, how hard you push yourself and the types of terrain you tackle on the slopes.
“Alpine skiing is a mix of endurance and resistance training,” says Dr. Josef Niebauer, a professor of sports medicine and cardiology and director of the Institute for Molecular Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria. “It has positive effects on the heart and circulation, as well as peripheral muscles—predominately the legs.”