SKIING & THE MIND
10th December 2018
The benefits of sport on mental health are widely recognised but skiing may not be the first one that pops into your mind.
It’s an age old cure for the mind – to be out in the fresh air.
The mountains, no less, where tranquility, silence, peace and power are the landscape and setting.
Skiing started as a means of transport around the mountains, later becoming a sporting activity, but the essence of being out in the mountains deep in nature hasn’t changed.
Many are understanding the importance and power of these benefits again on mental health.
But are we also respecting and putting the same understanding on looking after our emotions and our minds are working when skiing, and learning how to ski?
We can always count on our friends at the British Alpine Ski School (BASS) to help in this department.
BASS has in the past come up with some really intuitive and comprehensive advice and teaching methods on how to improve our skiing.
Here are some favourites:
Now skiing isn’t without risk.
And this factor can often dominate a skier’s mind.
But BASS can help you feel on top of the world.
Feeling safe in your environment:
“We understand that to achieve the feel-good factor from learning to ski, you need to feel safe.”
“And our teachers pay attention to many factors that will give you the most positive experience.”
Your BASS teacher will choose slopes where you feel confident to learn and try new things.
It’s fun to be challenged by a new activity rather than a scary run.
At PlanetSKI we’re pretty sure many of you can remember early ski moments where, out of depth, you feel forced tackle something you’re not comfortable with.
Some people thrive in this situation.
For others this can really set them back.
BASS instructors are well trained at knowing what is the best way to give someone the best, most positive learning experience.
Feeling safe also comes with understanding how your equipment works.
BASS tries to explain all you need to know about your equipment with pointers from the simple things (that so many of us don’t know!) like just how tight should you do your boots up to the extreme.
Skiers need to feel safe to try something new.
Whether you are a seasoned skier or a novice, trying new things can be daunting.
BASS promises to be right by your side, making sure that your personal challenges provide a sense of achievement, not a fear of failing, or even falling!
“We believe that effective coaching is a collaboration between learner and teacher that can only be achieved by creating a trusting relationship,” BASS states.
You also need to feel safe on your own.
Skiing involves many decisions so it’s important to work with someone who is well practiced and that you trust to understand not just how to turn, for example, but when, where and what to do when things get tricky.
BASS promises to arm you with a bundle of strategies to help you trust your own decisions when skiing on your own, or with friends or family.
As a society, we are becoming braver about talking about mental health.
There is seriously strong evidence to prove that sport and physical activity has a positive affect on mental health and wellbeing.
“So clear is the message, in fact, doctors are encouraged to ‘prescribe’ physical activity for patients experiencing mental health issues,” says BASS.
“With the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK stating that mental health issues are the largest single source of disability in the UK at 23%, we believe that talking is a very good thing.
Skiing: What’s in it for you?
– Stress reduction, improved mood, a lift in self-esteem and a lowered risk of depression and anxiety are all listed as benefits of sporting activity.
– When you choose skiing as your game, you add the bonus of the stunning mountain environment, which is enough to lift anyone’s spirits.
– Children reap the same benefits but also, youngsters who participate in sport are more likely to continue as adults.
– Physical activity also reduces the risk of cognitive decline in adults with a 20-30% risk reduction in developing dementia.
Visit the BASS website to get in touch about a ski lesson.
They teach out of the French resorts of Chamonix, Chatel, Courchevel, Les Gets, Megeve, Meribel, Morzine, Tignes and Val d’Isere.
And if you’re an instructor, this is definitely worth a read:
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.
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