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4 Reasons Why You Need Holiday Ski Therapy Right Now

Tips & Ideas Friday, January 15, 2016

Snow storms, delayed flights, traffic, last-minute shopping—all little stressors that add up to one big cortisol dump that can leave you feeling tired, angry, and even suppress your immune system. Good news: Nordic skiing can reduce your stress. Here’s how.

1. Repetitive motion is soothing.

The rocking of a chair, a baby’s swing, the click of knitting needles and yes, the kick, glide, pole of Nordic skiing all can soothe a wired brain. These motions activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which quiets the twitchy, jittery fight-or-flight response.

2. You’ll find flow.

An immersive, meditative sport like cross-country skiing can induce a state of flow, a term psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined to describe a state of deep absorption in activity when nothing else seems to matter. And flow, Csikszentmihalyi asserts—and decades of research supports—is the secret to happiness.

3. A healing dose of nature awaits.

Numerous studies show that “green” time—time spent in nature or even gazing out a window—lowers stress, improves mental function, and induces calmer, happier states. A recent Stanford University study compared participants who walked for 90 minutes in a park verses 90 minutes in an urban setting, and those who had physical activity in a natural environment more effectively reduced negative thoughts.

4. You’ll keep cortisol in check.

Numerous studies show that “green” time—time spent in nature or even gazing out a window—lowers stress, improves mental function, and induces calmer, happier states. A recent Stanford University study compared participants who walked for 90 minutes in a park verses 90 minutes in an urban setting, and those who had physical activity in a natural environment more effectively reduced negative thoughts.


Go Get Some Zen

Nordic center directors share their favorite trails for a relaxing (not punishing) ski.

1. Beaver Creek Nordic:
Out Morningstar, around Discovery loop, back on Aurora

2. Breckenridge Nordic:
Baby Doe to Gold Digger for an easy warm up on Legend Forest beginner Trails

3. Frisco Nordic:
Up Expressway to RJ's Vista and onto Olympian’s Link

4. Keystone Nordic:
Easy Does It

5. Devil's Thumb Nordic:
Loop of Ranch Walk to Broken Barn, Start Green to Meadow

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Proudly funded by the Colorado Tourism Office