From skiing and snowboarding, to ice skating and hockey, curling to fat biking, there’s no shortage of athletic options for those looking to work up a sweat even in the middle of winter. Yet there are many who don’t take advantage of the unique sporting opportunities that the colder months provide, opting instead to stay close to the fireplace binging on holiday leftovers.

Here are four big reasons why those people are missing out:

Winter sports help keep you in shape

One of the biggest and best reasons to try winter sports is the same reason it’s good to try any sport: it keeps you active and helps you exercise.

Studies have shown that participating in sports has an overall positive effect on one’s health over time. The kind of physical activity that playing sports requires is excellent at burning calories and trimming fat, which in turn helps prevent health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer.

More specifically, winter sports like skiing and snowboarding increase arm and leg strength, and also improve balance while sharpening alertness.

Winter sports get you out of the house

For many, winter is the hardest time of the year to get out of the house. Low temperatures and shorter days leave people with little time and little incentive to leave the warm, cozy confines of their homes.

The fact is, though, that human beings need a certain amount of time outdoors in order to be healthy and happy. Without sunlight and fresh air, millions of people every winter suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), Vitamin D deficiencies, weakened immune systems, significant weight gain, and just plain old cabin fever.

Having a sport you enjoy and which you can participate in during the winter can go a long way to fighting the season’s negative effects.

Winter sports encourage you to travel

Not everyone has a ski slope or ice rink in their backyard, unfortunately. Participating in winter sports, then, gives one a good excuse to travel widely and visit new places.

Among the most popular destinations for winter sports athletes are Aspen, Colorado in the United States, the Swiss Alps, the Dolomites in Italy, and Courchevel 1850 in France. Of course, Canada in general is a must-visit location for anyone interested in winter sports, with spots like Revelstoke, Lake Louise, and Whistler-Blackcomb being among the most famous winter sports destinations in the world.

In point of fact, there are more than 8,000 acres with over 200 ski runs on Whistler real estate alone, making it an ice-cold hotspot for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

Winter sports are FUN

Sometimes the best reasons are the simplest ones. Winter sports are just plain fun.Seasonal Affective Disorder

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