Have you considered your insurance coverage for your next ski trip?
Undertaking a skiing holiday and neglecting your insurance is simply not an option. Winter outings can be demanding enough as it is without the constant worry that you’ll fall into an accident or damage your equipment.
Should the worst happen, you could find yourself running into extremely pricey health costs. From hospital care to emergency transport, an uninsured injury could rack up into the tens of thousands in expenses.
It’s simply not worth the risk.
Thankfully, we’ve got the information you need to find the right snow sport insurance and stay safe out on the slopes. Read More
If you’re looking for a sport to get you outdoors, enjoy a good day with your family and friends, and have vast amounts of fun, then you’ll want to give snowboarding a try if you haven’t already.
Not only is snowboarding highly enjoyable, it’s also really good for your body and will have many positive impacts on your health – both physically and mentally.
Check out our graphic below as we explore the key health benefits of snowboarding.
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The Physical Health Benefits of Snowboarding
Before taking look at the psychological benefits that snowboarding has to offer, let’s explore the physical impacts and benefits the sport can have on your body.
Snowboarding is a high-tempo sport and requires you to change direction, speed and body position very quickly.
It might take some getting used to but this will improve your ability get into different positions and create different angles and shapes with your body.
Not only will this help your snowboarding but your enhance flexibility can have benefits in everyday life and when doing other sports too.
Snowboarding Can Help Improve Your Balance
You’ll know how difficult it is to balance on a moving board if you’ve ever tried skateboarding or surfing. When you add snow and ice into the mix, things get even more difficult.
Snowboarding is one of the best activities for improving your balance. With every session on the slopes and as you improve your snowboarding ability, your balance will be improving and your co-ordination will be getting better too.
Increased Core Strength
Snowboarding is one of the most rigorous and energy consuming sports because you use a wide range of muscle groups all over your body. At the centre of it all, controlling everything is your core.
Your core muscles are a vital part of your body and they protect your major organs, so if they’re strong and healthy you’ll be taking care of your more than just your muscles.
Better Cardio Conditioning
As we’ve mentioned, snowboarding gives your body a good, healthy workout. When you work your entire body and your heart rate increases, you’re exercising heart too. Of course, snowboarding isn’t the only sport to do this, but because snowboarding works your entire body, your heart rate gets puts through its paces.
As a result your stamina and your body’s ability to cope with physical activities will improve.
Burns Calories and Helps Weight Loss
Did you know that when you snowboard, your body can burn up to 600 calories per hour? And the average amount of calories being burnt at around the 450 per hour mark?
Not bad for such a fun sport!
As a result, your food intake and diet will become more balanced as you have to refuel on good, healthy foods that will replenish your energy and keep your body working well.
Strengthens Leg Muscles
As you’d expect, snowboarding is going to be tough on your legs and if you’re not used to it, your legs will let you know the next morning.
But that’s a very good thing! Your legs and lower body muscle groups will feel the benefits of snowboarding and will increase in strength and condition.
Good for Bones and Joints
Snowboarding puts healthy amounts of tension and weight on your knees, ankles and feet, which will help to strengthen the joints and bones in your legs. This will also help to prevent knee damage and osteoporosis later in life.
You’ll find when you run, swim and play other sports, that this leg strength will help you out there too.
Psychological and Mental Health Benefits of Skiing
Now let’s take a look at how snowboarding can positively impact your mind with the mental health benefits of snowboarding.
Improves Your Mood and Happiness Levels
Studies have found that when you snowboard, your body releases more of the hormones that influence the feeling of happiness.
To support this, Health Fitness Revolution state: “Snowboarding releases endorphins, the neurochemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and well being. Exercising outdoors also helps to elevate mood and reduce anxiety, so snowboarding can lower stress levels and support mental health.”
Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Following on from the fact that snowboarding can improve your mood and increase happiness, we also know that snowboarding helps to reduce stress and anxiety which will have positive impacts on mental health.
Being outdoors and exercising are proven to help reduce stress, and being surrounded by friends, interacting with other people and having fun will improve your mood.
Helps Form New Relationships and Increase Existing Bonds
Although snowboarding isn’t a team sport, but it is very much a group and very social activity.
It’s not very often that you find yourself on the slopes on your own, and because of this you spend a lot of time surrounded by like-minded people that share at least one interest – snowboarding!
You’ll also meet plenty of new people and form new relationships when you’re out on the slopes.
Greater Sense of Self-Confidence
As your start to master the skill of snowboarding and get more confident in your ability, your overall self-confidence will start to benefit and increase.
“Snowboarding involves height and speed – two adrenalin pumping things that can be daunting for many people. Pushing yourself to face these potentially scary elements can be a great way of improving your self-confidence, which benefits all other areas of your life.” Blaque.
Enhances your Ability to Concentrate
There’s a lot going on when you’re snowboarding and a lot of information to balance. How fast you’re going, when you need to turn, how steep the hill is and much more. All of this is going on while you’re trying to keep your balance and stay upright.
As a result, you’re getting a pretty good mental workout and your concentration is being worked on.
If you’re a snowboarder, you’re familiar with terms that people might use to describe you such as “knuckle dragger”, “shredder”, “berm buster”.
If you don’t know what those mean, that’s okay – neither did we the first time we heard them!
“Bed rider”, that’s a term you might not want to hear this upcoming snowboarding season. If you’re too injured to “shred the gnar”, you might end up healing up in bed the whole winter from your injuries.
As with any sport or physical activity, one way to help prevent yourself from getting in that position is to prepare yourself for the sport with some pre-snowboard exercises.
Snowboarding is healthy sport, but is also rigorous and at times can be a dangerous activity, but it just happens to be one of the coolest (pun completely intended) things you can do this winter. By prepping yourself with some simple snowboarding exercises, we can prepare your body for the winter season.
What Your Body Goes Through When Skiing
We’re highly recommend that you prepare your body for what you’re about to put it through when skiing – especially if you’re not a very active person in your day to day lifestyle.
But doing some simple exercises for snowboarding at home will absolutely make the difference throughout your season.
Each time you head up for some serious shredding, you’re going to burn anywhere between 600-1200 calories every hour. Even if you’re a beginner, you’re going to expend some energy on the hill, and you’ll feel the toll on your body the next day.
Your legs will be sore, your bum will be bruised, your abs will be sore and your entire body will feel tight and aching.
But you can help prevent and ease these aches if you take the time to prepare for the day. You should plan ahead before you head out for a boarding session. Make a plan to start a training regime 4-6 weeks, at a minimum, to avoid the cost of aching muscles, or injured body parts. Snowboard fitness is so important.
We want you to stay safe and have fun on the slopes this season, so we’ve compiled some of the best snowboard exercises that you can do at home, giving you access to a world of workouts designed to get your body into shape, specifically training you to handle the rigours of snowboarding this winter.
We’ve broken it down into the main areas you’ll need to focus on for maximum results; legs and core. Once you target these areas, you’ll prepare yourself to overcome injury, last longer during the day, and even recover much more quickly from any nasty falls you may (probably) have on the hill. This snowboard workout is your key to a better winter experience.
If you’re going out for the hundredth time, or if you’re simply wanting to give it a go, snowboarding is tough on your legs. Make no bones about it, you will be feeling the burn after a few hours of leaning back on forth on the board, twisting and turning, bouncing over bumps and jostling over jumps.
You need to prepare your legs for what’s about to come with some targeted snowboarding exercises on each muscle group of the legs.
Ok, let’s begin with one of the most important muscle groups you’ll need to train. It’s not going to be easy to prepare this set of muscles, but it will be so crucial to having the best snowboarding experience you can.
Your quads are located at the front of your legs, above your knees. They’re important for snowboarding and because they’re so big, they’re going to be doing a lot of the work.
Let’s be honest, we all hated this exercise in school, but now we realise just how powerful it can be for training those pesky quads.
Using any wall as support, lean against it, lowering your body down so that your back is straight and flat against the wall with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle. It should feel like you’re sitting on an invisible chair.
Staring straight ahead, hands on your knees, hold that position for up to 2 minutes if you can, but if this is your first time try something lower like 30 seconds. You’ll feel the burn in this isometric exercise. That’s just a fancy word for not moving the muscle back and forth. By holding it in position, you’re allowing the muscle to fatigue and then rebuild tissue stronger.
Bulgarian Split Squats
One of the best ways to get an even snowboarding workout across either side of your body is to isolate each limb on its own. Using this simple squat you can do at home, you can focus on building up your quads on your left and right legs individually.
Using a chair, a bench, or even a set of stairs, place one leg behind you, resting on the edge. You should be able to bend down and lower your knee to the floor while your foot remains elevated.
Using the elevated foot as your balance, lower your body until the knee almost touches the floor, keeping your knee centred over your ankle while you dip. This unilateral exercise should be done 10-12 reps on each leg, resting a few minutes in between each set.
Your calves are the muscles at the back your legs below your knee, above your ankle.
To build your calf muscles, we need to find ways to isolate that muscle so that you’re not relying on the heavier, workhorse quads to do all the effort.
We’ve included two different snowboard exercises here that should put all the weight on your calves, building them up and prepping them for the slopes.
To begin, let’s use a calf raise to isolate this muscle group. Use a plank of wood, a thick book, or a free weight lying flat on the ground. Stand on it with your heels hanging over the edge. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet.
Raise your body up on your tiptoes. Hold a couple seconds then lower your heels down as far as they can, to the floor if you can manage it.
Beginners should use just their body weight, but if you’re looking for something more advanced, trying holding weights in your hands while performing this move.
The calves should do most of the work, so adjust your position until the entire movement is being performed by the lower leg muscles.
We don’t need a video to explain what running up a hill looks like. Just find a hill and, well, run up it.
At least twice a week, supplement your program with an uphill run. That will force your calf to push your body’s weight, and keep your balance at the same time.
As you run, focus on keeping your calf muscles engaged. If this becomes easy, or in the days leading up to your snowboarding session, try doing a couple of these runs backwards or up your speed and run down the hill too. This will force your leg muscles to prepare for the extreme effort you’ll use during the boarding season.
Ankles and Shins
Your lower legs might not do a lot of work when they’re strapped in to your boots, but you still strengthen them. This will enable to you to keep power in your ankles and shins, carving more easily across the fresh powder and combed runs you’ll encounter.
This is also crucial for preventing season-ending injuries that could sideline you when you least expect it.
Using a cone, a book, or simply marking a spot on the ground, start to alternate legs while jumping back and forth over the spot.
With one leg going back and one leg leading forward, land on the balls of your feet before “scissoring” your legs to alternate back. Do a set of 12-15 jumps before giving your legs a break. This will help increase your mobility in your ankles as well as improving your reaction time in your feet.
Here’s a very quick (seriously, very quick) example of what we’re talking about…
By far, one of the most effective snowboard exercises you can do for your ankle and shin strength is to jump rope. It’s so much more than just a kid’s play activity.
Start with some simple skipping to begin working on your ankle strength. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, trying to hop lightly and not use your knees. The power from your jumps should come from your ankles and lower legs mostly.
Here’s a tutorial that will show you the proper technique of using a skipping rope.
Snowboard Exercises for Core and Abs
If you’re getting ready for a day out on the slopes, the most efficient way to prepare your body is to build a better core. You’ll depend on that grouping of muscles on your abs, your sides and your lower back to give you “oomph” throughout the day.
As you twist and turn, carving up the slopes, your core is keeping you balanced and providing all the power for your run. Look after your body with some simple core exercises to keep your body in tip-top shape.
In the seated position on the ground, try to engage your core as you raise your legs up. For beginners, keep your feet on the ground. With your hands together, twist form one side to other as if you’re moving an object from one side of your body to the other.
In an intermediate position, elevate your feet off the ground to further engage your core. If you’re silly good at this, use a medicine ball or some other heavy weight to move across your body.
This will engage those twisting muscle movements that you depend on for a good ride on the mountain.
We talked earlier about isometric exercises, muscle movements that don’t go back and forth. This hollow hold is one of the most efficient isometric exercises for your abs.
Lying flat on the ground with your legs outstretched, raise your head up, hands stretched up above your head. Now raise your feet off the floor, making sure that your lower back remains pressed flat against the floor.
See the video for more variations if you’re not ready to hold this position for long.
Side planks also work on a key muscle group for snowboarders; the obliques or the side abdominals. These side abdominal muscles are one of your driving muscles for power and turning.
Start in a normal plank position, with your elbows on the ground and your feet together. Now, raise one arm up, reaching for the sky while your turn your entire boy 90 degrees to your left or right. Keep your feet together and hold this position for 30-90 seconds before alternating to the opposite side.
Knee to Elbow Crunches
For a complete abdominal muscle workout, the knee-to-elbow crunches work just about every core muscle group you have.
Start in a crunch position on the ground. Bring your knee and opposite elbow together while you perform a crunch. This works the upper, lower, and side abs all in one movement. It also works on your twisting motion to help eliminate the possibility of injury.
These exercises for snowboarding are for the advanced user because they are so difficult to perform. The starting position is lying on your back with your arms raised and your legs bent up.
Operating the opposite leg and arm, start to slowly lower your leg down and your arm back down to the floor. Without touching the ground, come up again to alternate arms and legs. You’ll feel the complexity of this movement in many different muscle groups.
This is also called the Superman exercise for good reason. You can’t ignore your back when exercising your core muscles. This is harder than it looks, but it’s so good for preventing a tired, achy back that could put you out of commission.
Lying flat on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you, raise your head up. Now with the opposite arm and leg, raise them up off the ground, holding in a tight position for a few seconds. Lower them down again before using the alternate arm and leg. Repeat until your back feels the burn.
Best Stretches for Snowboarding
Of course, part of keeping your body safe on the slopes is the do some post-sport stretches. We’re going to outline just a couple that do well to target those muscles you’ve used the most.
These stretches are best done within a couple hours of finishing up for the day. It should loosen and elongate those tense, tired muscles and help you sleep easier and recover faster.
With a tree or a wall, lunge forward with your hands pressed against the wall or tree. Push your hind leg backwards, pushing out and down your heel. You should feel a stretch all along your calves and thighs and glutes.
Hold for about 30 seconds before changing legs.
The video demonstrates an advanced form of this pose, still effective, and it’s worth working up to this level of deep stretch
IT Band Stretch
One area that’s tough to stretch is called the IT band, short for the “iliotibial band” which operates your hips and glutes and inner thighs.
Follow the video’s instructions on this one because it’s difficult to replicate without directed instructions. This works so well for snowboarders who often get tense muscles and worn knees. Take the time to lengthen those tight muscles and you’ll be ready to pop up again the very next day.
And again, to avoid injury and prevent tense muscles from seizing up, the groin stretch is so important. Sitting with your feet together in front of you, and your knees bent, push your knees down to the ground and keep the soles of your feet pressed together.
As low as you can manage, press your body forward, stretching out your groin as you sink lower down. This stretch actually helps before the days’ session as well as recovering from it afterwards.
We hope that you spend a good amount of time boarding the slopes. The powder is fresh, the runs are combed, the chairlifts are waiting and the jumps are pristine. A quick 4-6 week plan of snowboard exercises should prepare you adequately.
All that’s left is for your body to be ready to tackle it all. Safe shredding, dudes!
If you have a snowboarder in the family, or maybe one of your friends is into snowboarding, you’ll know that snowboarders are passionate about their sport, at some point you’ll probably start to think of snowboarding gift ideas that you can give them for a birthday, Christmas or just if you’re feeling generous.
Well, we’re going to help you out and save you the last minute chaos when thinking of what to buy.
Snowboarding gifts can be difficult to buy due to the fact that snowboarding is a pretty specialised sport, and if you’re not too familiar with snowboarding, or snow sports in general, you might not know what makes a good gift for snowboarders.
If you’ve correctly read the title, you know exactly what we’re going to do here:
We’re going to show you some really cool gifts for snowboarders, ranging from snowboarding accessories, novelty items with a boarding theme, and some other really useful presents that we think the snowboarder in your life will love.
The Best Snowboarding Gifts
So let’s get stuck into it. Check out the best gifts for snowboarders below.
This is a really useful gift for a snowboarder. You can never have enough decent snowboard clothing if you’re into your snow sports.
Your hands are the most vulnerable part of the body to the effects of the cold, so by making sure that your snowboarding friend or loved one is protecting their hands, you’re not just providing them with a great gift, but you’re looking after their hands too.
These gloves come in several colour options, so you’ll be able to find a pair for him and her.
If they’re really into their snowboarding, the chances are that your friend or family member has a GoPro action cam to capture their best rides and tricks (if they don’t, check out our next snowboarding gift idea).
A snowboard mount is a great gift for any snowboarder wanting to get better shots and angle.
If you’re looking for a small, inexpensive gift that will be used well and give hours of entertainment, then this is the snowboarder’s gift for you.
The GoPro HERO Session is a great little camera that won’t leave you with an empty wallet after you’ve bought it.
The HERO Session is GoPro’s budget option, but doesn’t sacrifice on build quality or the quality of the images.
Recording in full HD 1080p and offering high quality still images, with a TimeLapse mode too, the small and compact Session is a great way to get your hands on a fully-fledged GoPro without the hefty price tag.
Fully waterproof too without the need for an external case, this camera is perfectly set up for the slopes and is one of the best birthday or Christmas gifts for snowboarders.
Well, we did tell you there’d be some novelty snowboarding gifts on the list…
These snowboarder cufflinks are a quirky stocking fill if you’re looking for a small snowboarding themed gift.
If you’ve got a snowboarder in the family that enjoys a formal occasion (or maybe really don’t enjoying dressing up with a formal a shirt on) these snowboarder cufflinks will help make the day that little bit better for them.
The Black Crevice Snowboard Bag is once again a snowboarding accessory that can sometimes be forgotten but is highly useful and will get used plenty of times by a keen snowboarder.
Buying essential snowboarding accessories as gifts is a great way to ensure that your present is going to be value for money and will be appreciate by the person you’re buying the gift for.
This is a great option, as not only does it securely and conveniently encase the snowboard itself but there are separate pockets for items such as shoes, ski gloves and other smaller snowboarding accessories. View more snowboard bags here.
Another one of those essential gifts for snowboarders that isn’t just useful, but important to the safety and wellbeing of the snowboarder too.
It gets pretty bright when you’re skiing or snowboarding. Up in the mountains, surrounded by snow with the intense sun bouncing of the floor, it can be pretty taxing on your eyes, so snowboard goggles are a must-have.
These goggles from G4Free are a well priced option that offers high performance.
The UV400 rating provides complete protection from harmful rays and the goggles features a spherical lens for a wider field of vision. The goggles are also OTG, which means ‘over the glasses’ so if you’re a glasses wearer, you can just pop them over the top.
A bluetooth hat, how does that work? Well, it’s not exactly a bluetooth hat – we’re not sure how that would work at all.
But instead, this is a hat with small wireless speakers built into the hat that you connect via bluetooth to your phone. So you can listen to music on the slopes, through your hat.
Now, that’s pretty cool, I’m sure you’ll agree.
A quirky snowboarding gift idea that will get a good response and allow whoever’s got the hat to listen to music without having to put headphones over their hat or have cables running from their mobile to their headphones.