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Skiing since the age of five and passionate about all things snow. On a mission to bring you the latest updates, news and features from all of our resorts.

Skiing: the undercover health retreat

Thu July 26, 2018

How many times have you woken up on the last day of your ski holiday feeling as though you could do with an IV drip and several days of bed rest in a darkened room before returning to work? The heady mix of altitude, exercise, alcohol and over indulging at breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner can leave skiers feeling decidedly run down. Finding a way to cram cheese and chocolate into every meal may seem like a good idea, doesn’t everyone know that “calories don’t count in the mountains?”

Fortunately, we’ve done some research into the hidden health benefits of skiing and found plenty of excuses to do away with the end-of-week guilt, plus tactics to help you balance out the inevitable indulgences. Pass the red wine!

Skiing burns calories

Firstly, how could we ignore the fact that a day’s skiing is one of the only ways to exercise from dawn til dusk without even realizing. Absolutely uniquely placed to offer a killer combination of endurance, cardio and resistance training, skiing has been likened to cycling or rowing and can burn up to 400 calories per hour. This increases markedly if you are a beginner, although unfortunately the gains come with traversing, poling and pulling yourself to your feet after a fall. Skiing teaches balance, spatial awareness and works muscles which you didn’t even know you had – a fact which anyone who has woken up with strange aches after the first day on the slopes will attest to. Skiers engage in interval training, one of 2018’s biggest fitness trends, without noticing. A blast downhill followed by a rest on a chairlift will repeatedly elevate and lower your heart rate – just rinse and repeat for all the benefits of a fitness class without any of the misery of attending the gym.

Skiing boosts mental health

We’ve taken care of the physical side, now what about the mental side? There’s good news there too as spending periods outside is widely recognized as one of the best ways to boost your mental health. Add in the time spent socializing with your nearest and dearest and you’re on to a winner. The beauty of the mountains is the ideal setting in which to switch off from the distractions of your inbox and reconnect with nature.

Carry on the good work

After a long day on the slopes it is all too easy to lose the zen at apres-ski, but think of it as another opportunity to shape up and work those muscles. Dancing is almost as beneficial as skiing and you can easily ditch another 300 calories without realizing by tearing up the dancefloor for an hour. If your idea of apres is more sedate, choosing to drink red wine over beer or the deadly toffee vodka has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, safeguard against the common cold and even lower your chances of developing dementia. Add a slice of orange with your vin chaud and it’s practically a fruit salad.

...and relax

Many of our chalets are equipped with hot tubs and slipping into one after last lifts can continue the good work you’ve put in throughout the day. A half hour dip in a hot tub will help to lower blood pressure, relieve stress and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. A glass of red wine in the hot tub is clearly not to be sniffed at in wellness terms!

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Please contact Louise, Jonnie, Andy, Katie, Libby or Lottie if you have any questions. Email ski@vip-chalets.com or click below.

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