Forget downhill skiing, how about snowboarding or cross country skiing for a winter holiday workout?
Why you’ll love it
Snowboarding has never been so popular. 'It’s a lot of fun and gives you a real buzz,' says Lucy Tape, snowboarding instructor from The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. And let’s face it, snowboarding is cool; although it’s infinitely more so if you don’t spend 90% of the time on your bottom. So why not learn nearer to home before you book your mountain snowboard trip?
A beginners’ session will take you through how the board works, and you’ll get used to sliding about with one foot strapped into the board, the other resting on the back - all on flat ground.
‘Once you’re more confident, you learn how to find your balance and, most importantly, how to fall over,’ says Lucy. ‘It’s part of the sport! We’ll teach you the best way to go down to protect yourself and how to get up again. Once you’ve done it a few times, you realise it’s not so scary, which helps build your confidence.’
Beginners often worry about not being able to stop, but it’s actually easier for a beginner to stop on a snowboard than on skis.
The body benefits
‘Snowboarding is great for the legs,’ says Lucy. ‘It’s the equivalent of doing hundreds of squats, so it will tone your glutes and thighs brilliantly.’ But it’s not just pin-perfecting, you’ll also be working your core for balance, to master turns on the board and to get back up after wiping out. And all of that will see you burning off about 400 calories in an hour.
Give it a go!
A 90-minute group lesson at The Snow Centre costs from £45, including equipment hire and helmets, and a six-hour beginner snowboard day costs £155, including equipment hire, lunch and drinks. Sno!Zone has centres in Milton Keynes, Castleford and Scotland and also offers snowboard lessons or visit the Snow Dome in Tamworth.
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