Skiing is a popular winter sport and recreational activity that involves sliding over snow covered terrain using specialised equipment known as skis. Skis are long, narrow boards that are attached to the feet of the skier, allowing them to glide across the snow. Skis are typically made of materials like wood, metal or fibreglass and have bindings that secure the skiers boots to the skis. Ski boots are designed to provide ankle support and snug fit within the bindings. Ski poles are used for balance, stability and propulsion.
Skiers control their movements by shifting their weight and adjusting the angle of their skis. Variou skiing techniques are used for different purposes, such as downhill skiing (alphine), cross-country skiing and freestyle. These techniques involve different movements and styles tailored to the type of skiing being done.
Many types of competitive skiing events are recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Ski Federation (ISF), including downhill races; slalom; giant slalom and super giant slalon, as contested at the World Transplant Winter Games.
The origins of skiing can be traced back to prehistoric times when early humans in snow covered regions used skis for practical purposes like hunting, transportation and communication. Archaeological evidence suggests that skis made of wood and bone have been in use for over 4000 years.
Skiing has deep roots in Nordic and Scandinavian cultures, particularly in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
Throughout history, skiing played a significant role in military operations in snowy and rugged terrains.
Over time skiing has evolved into a competitive sport and recreational activity, with the first ski clubs established in the 19th century. It was included in the Winter Olympics when they began in 1924 and included various disciplines, including downhill skiing (alpine), cross-country, ski jumping, and Nordic combined.
Skiing has been the major part of the World Transplant Winter Games since the inaugural Games in Tignes, France in 1994. Transplant recipients from eighteen countries took part in this first Winter Games.
In 2018, at the 10th Winter Games in Anzere, Switzerland, living donors and donor families competed in skiing for the first time.
Skiing is a great cardiovascular exercise that can help burn a high number of calories and lose weight. For advanced skiers, the steeper the slope, the more calories burned because the body has to work harder to keep balanced. The cold weather also contributes to added calorie burn, since the body is forced to work harder to raise its own body temperature.
Skiing naturally keeps the body in the squat position, which strengthens the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. Balancing and engaging the core and key muscle groups during skiing helps make the body more flexible. Also by having to constantly stay balanced, the core muscles are forced to work hard at engaging, which improves muscle tone in the abdomen and overall core strength.
Getting outdoors and exercising promotes increased production of endorphins, which lift the mood and create feelings of relief and happiness.
Learning to ski takes time and practice but reading and watching videos on the subject is a good start. Then going for a trial lesson at a snow centre or dry slope is a good introduction.
It is recommended to book your first ski trip through an agent that can advise on resorts, accommodation, ski hire, and lift tickets as well as booking you into a ski school to start you off.
You will need basic ski cold weather clothing but skis, boots and other items can be booked through the local ski hire shop so check this out before spending a lot of money.