Published on November 22nd, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Exercise Spotlight: Skiing
When most of us think of skiing, we imagine a vacation in the Alps, or some other beautiful mountains, wearing modern skiing clothes and sliding on snow on brand new skis. This is why it might surprise you that skiing isn’t actually one of those quirky modern sports someone odd came up with for us to have fun in the snow every winter. Skiing is actually a 5000 year old sport and necessity of the people of Norway. How do we know this? A man on skis was found drawn on a cave’s wall in Norway. This picture is known as the “bola man” and it is quite clear that is depicts a person on a wooden board holding a cane in his hand.
History of skiing
The “bola man” might be our earliest indication of human beings skiing, but there are plenty of historic mentions of the sport in Norse mythology and history. There is a whole race based on a story that happened in 1206. The king was in danger and sent his best ski-worthy men to save his son. The two skiers took the child and travelled for around 54 kilometers in terrible conditions. The race takes place to commemorate this story and the athletes all carry a 3.5 kilos heavy bag in place of the king’s child.
Skiing wasn’t just used for exercise. It was often the only way to travel when the snow was high. Different sizes of skis were needed for different jobs. There were skis for hunting, travelling and even for going to church with!
We have beautiful examples of old, carved skis that have beautiful depictions carved on them. As you can realize, skiing has a whole culture behind it. It was even used in wartime from antiquity till recent years, as a method of transportation and infiltration into snowy areas.
More recently skiing has gained its modern form, which is mostly for leisure and some competitive athleticism. Skis gained their final form and special equipment was designed to make this sport more fun and competitive.
Benefits of skiing
Skiing is an excellent sport, especially if you live close or in a snowy area. While it is an expensive pastime for those who live in sunny countries, people who live in colder climates can enjoy skiing without a lot of cost. There are various levels of skiing, some of the almost harmless, while others are quite dangerous.
For children, skiing should be a safe experience on a safe snowy hill. Extreme sportsmen like to ski on dangerous mountains and extreme slopes. This can be hazardous and isn’t recommended as a pastime, or as a way to exercise. Choose safe and enjoyable routes to ski on and enjoy the exercise fully.
Skiing is an aerobic sport. It is amazing for the cardiovascular system and tones mostly the legs. Your whole body gets some exercise of course, but it is your glutes and legs that get the most of it. If you ski vigorously, you can tone your stomach muscles quite well.
What is best about skiing is the whole experience though, not just the exercise it offers. Drifting swiftly through snowy plains can be an amazing stress relieving experience that will stay with you for life.
Downsides of skiing
Like most sports, skiing has its downsides. It isn’t ideal for cold sensitive people, since you almost always ski in snowy areas and mountains. You should always pack warm clothes or wear special ski equipment when skiing to avoid getting a cold. Don’t rest/sit on cold surfaces, or your kidneys might pay for it.
Skiing has its dangers, since snow can be slippery and treacherous at times. Snow can conceal holes in the ground and small canyons. This is why you should not ski in the wild if you don’t know the area like the palm of your hand. It is best to choose safe, predestined routes that professional keep clean and tested. You want your skiing trip to be fun, not devastating.
In the end skiing is a colorful and extremely pleasurable sport. From an old way of life to a modern pastime, skiing is something most healthy people should try at least once in their life. It can be expensive to do if you don’t live in cold areas, but it is still a worthwhile experience for everyone!