Snowboarding: Shred your way to Summer

Adie Bush

Adie Bush

Snowboarding is an intense and exciting sport where one slides down a steep and snow covered hill. It is an experience unlike any other, one that everyone should try at least once. As a Native Coloradan, I am no stranger to snowboarding. The feeling of exhilaration as you shred down the mountain is unforgettable. There are not many fun ways to spend snow days, but I snowboarding will do the trick!

Just as fun as it can be to shred the slopes, it can be just as good for your mind and body!  Per the health fitness revolution, snowboarding can provide some major flexibility boosts. The ability to shift your position and balance so quickly will increase your overall flexibility. As your ability to snowboard grows, so too will your overall balance and reaction times. 

If you are looking for a way to shed some pounds with winter, look no farther than snowboarding! This workout will help you to melt away your excess weight with its heavy physical demands on your body. Per Fit-Day, an aerobic workout is anything that increases your heart rate. This type of exercise will fortify your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Fit Day claims that the average person can burn up to 650 calories per hour!  

 For those who want to build up their muscular endurance or strength snowboarding offers a full body workout. Per WebMD, snowboarding uses the calf, hamstrings, quads and foot muscles for steering. The abdominal muscles are used to keep your balance and direct the board. For those of you not counting, that is a total of five muscle groups targeted by one sport! 

Snowboarding can give you the workout you need this winter. Not only can you shred the slopes, you can shred that winter body back into shape. The physical health benefits for snowboarding are well worth the trip up the mountain, but what else can snowboarding do for you? In fact, there is a whole host of mental benefits that you can gain from coasting down the mountain.

Like many physical demanding sports or exercise, Snowboarding will increase your overall mental health through the increase of chemicals flooding the brain. Per Entertainment Guide, the exposure to sunshine that a snowboarder will experience can alleviate some of the seasonal depression many of us face during the “darker” months of the year. This sunlight can work wonders on a person’s mood increasing levels of serotonin and vitamin D. Coupled with the incredible workout you get, snowboarding is equipped to combat your winter blues!

Now before we go any farther, I think it’s important that we start to discuss some of the risks associated with snowboarding. I’ve been the slopes a couple of times and I have witnessed and experienced a fair amount of pain while boarding.  For example, people warned me to fall backward onto my butt and not forwards onto my wrists. Being the overconfident and cocky man that I am, I decided to disregard the warning. I mean who wants a sore butt? Big mistake. By the end of my day on the slopes, my wrists felt like they could shatter at any moment. In fact, I was told that a hard fall onto your wrists could even break them if you are going fast enough. Additional dangers can be from a head, spinal or shoulder injuries from collisions and falls.  Per the national library of medicine, the most common type of fracture while snowboarding is the wrist fracture and I can see why. So, do yourself a favor, and fall backward. 

Despite the danger, snowboarding can be an incredibly safe and rewarding sport if done properly. When I started to learn, I took it slow and I made sure that I didn’t let my cockiness take me to a slope I wasn’t ready for. (Ok, I did try the big ramp and fell more times that I can count.) It’s so important to practice until you can do the basics. Be warned, it can be frustrating to be learning how to stand up on the board while others are doing backflips off ramps. Keep at it and you’ll be gliding in no time!

So, you like the benefits, are aware of the dangers and you want to start snowboarding. How do you do that? Fortunately, snowboarding won’t cost you your monthly salary to get started. Many people seek group discounts and you can get a pass for as little as 60$! For an additional 20$, you can get a board, bindings, helmet and boot rentals. Look around at different resorts and see if you can connect with some local groups to get the group discounts. 

Beyond the pass and rentals, make sure you bring a heavy jacket and some snow pants. It should go without saying that gloves are necessary, but if you are like me you might forget. Goggles are also a very useful item to bring, the sun reflecting off the snow can be blinding. Underneath the outwear, it’s wise to wear layers to keep yourself warm. Another handy tip is to wear two layers of thick socks. Snow will get into your boots, and you do not want to have wet socks.

Snowboarding can be the adventure of a lifetime. Sledding down the snowy hillside as fast as you can go is an experience that can’t be missed. From the intense physical workout to the anti-depressant characteristics, snowboarding will have you hooked in no time. Have fun and be safe, and get out there before the winter is over!