Phil Watt reveals why skiing and snowboarding is as good for you as both meditation and sex.
Regardless if we board or ski, there are many benefits to hitting the slopes, including some that we might not have thought about.
First is the obvious advantage: it’s ridiculously fun. Floating across the mountains and dominating unchartered fresh tracks is like being a pioneer explorer because no one has ever been in that exact snow.
Hanging out with our best snow buddies and pushing each other to progress in our trick repertoire is a blast. Pulling off that manoeuvre that even last season we thought unattainable is also a proud sense of achievement.
Another benefit is that it’s good for our fitness. It stretches out our body in a way that no other sport does. If we play hard, we work up a good sweat in even minus degree temperatures.
Sometimes we are out of breathe only halfway down a run, so our heart and lungs are also getting a rad workout. It’s no doubt a great way to keep fit because it’s simply so bloody enjoyable.
Not only is it good for our fitness, it’s also beneficial for our overall health. When our body is put under temporary stress, or we are in our happy place, a release of mood increasing and immune strengthening chemicals occurs.
For example, hugging our loved one for 20 seconds or going for a run results in an explosion of elemental ecstasy. Even just being in an environment where we love to be introduces lots of good stuff into our mind and body.
Like many other sports and activities, carving up our run injects us with the good stuff of norepinephrine secretion, serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and endorphins. They make us feel good, both in mind and body, regardless if we’re a beginner or advanced snow enthusiast.
Releasing these chemicals into our system is also accompanied by our changed brain wave frequency or mind state. Recently, new research has shown that particular activities, such as the act of laughter, are a form of meditation.
In the past, scientists have measured the brain wave frequencies of people who meditate, and recently they have done the same with those experiencing humour. They’ve found that the two acts resemble each other in frequency.
When we meditate, we begin in a beta range which is around 13-40 cycles per second (Hz). It’s our normal waking state. Then we enter the alpha range of 7-13Hz. Following is the theta range of 4-7Hz and the delta range of 0.5-4Hz. The slower we go the deeper we go.
It is the alpha stage that we can reach daily without the need for focused or advanced meditation. All we have to do is stop that annoying noise of our chattering ego.
Normal activities such as sex, exercise, listening to music, cooking or even reading a book are potentially alpha states of meditation. The kids will be spewing once they find out that reading is actually good for us.
But most importantly, snowboarding and skiing is also a mild form of meditation. That’s right, when we’re on the slopes, tuned into and connecting with our run, we’re actually meditating in an alpha brain wave frequency.
We know anecdotally that meditation is not only empowering and enlightening, but also through extensive scientific research that its super healthy, such as helping us overcome anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia. It helps with physical pain, such as back problems. It’s even sometimes considered a miracle pill for managing severe symptoms of chronic illness.
Therefore, not only are we having a rad time, getting fit and injecting powerfully-positive physiological properties into our system, our snow addiction is also healing and balancing ourselves in many physical and mental respects. It’s super good for us on so many levels.
And that’s not even considering the elevation to our spirit which results by immersing ourselves in the reverence that Mother Nature provides.
Phil Watt writes for multiple sites dedicated to mindful, informed and adventurous living. He also works with children and adults as a self-help guide and relationship mediator. Visit his website www.haveacrackatlife.com.au