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Does skiing make you smarter?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I keep reading these new releases from scientific studies that using and woking your mind will keep you from getting mentally old. I just got back from a 5 day ski trip and I am beginning to think that those thousands and thousands of turns did something to me. It might have made me smarter? Seriously, skiing down a slope with moguls, other skiers and varied conditions has to work the brain to a very high degree, and of course skiing works the body "fully" unlike any other activity. Yes, I have a spring to my step and my mind today...(once the pain wore off)

Just a thought, maybe someone has gotten dumber from skiing, not me! And just look at those 500K condo's lining many of the slopes, someone must be smart enough to have people give them enough $$$ to afford those things?
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
I keep reading these new releases from scientific studies that using and woking your mind will keep you from getting mentally old. I just got back from a 5 day ski trip and I am beginning to think that those thousands and thousands of turns did something to me. It might have made me smarter? Seriously, skiing down a slope with moguls, other skiers and varied conditions has to work the brain to a very high degree, and of course skiing works the body "fully" unlike any other activity. Yes, I have a spring to my step and my mind today...(once the pain wore off)

Just a thought, maybe someone has gotten dumber from skiing, not me! And just look at those 500K condo's lining many of the slopes, someone must be smart enough to have people give them enough $$$ to afford those things?
The guy that got dumber may have hit his head on a tree and survived. Improvement in reaction time and overall well being is probably a result of skiing lots of runs. I think that we should conduct a double blind study to address the issue. The double blind part won't refer to the sight lines of the skier however!:
post #3 of 26
Could be you're experiencing the equivalent of "runner's high." In response to all that exercise, your brain releases endorphins that just make you feel good.

It's certainly a mental workout though, even if you discount the physical activity. I know that I feel exhausted after spending time racing cars, which requires a lot of mental awareness, you know? Dunno if that sort of brain activity helps with mental acuity, though.
post #4 of 26
With apologies to Cheers:

Quote:
Well ya see, it's like this... A skier can only ski as fast as the reaction of the slowest brain cells. And when the skier falls, it is the slowest and weakest brain cells that that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the skier, because the general speed of the skier keeps improving thus enabling more powder turns.
Skiing kills brain cells; no doubt about it. But naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular skiing eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
post #5 of 26

Does skiing make you smarter?...

...Yes...but only if you are solving a Sudoku puzzle on each lift ride:
post #6 of 26
I do 2 Sudokus per lift ride, and 1 per run.

People look at me strange when I'm skiing down working a Sudoku, but when I get a Nobel Prize, I'll just laugh.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
I do 2 Sudokus per lift ride, and 1 per run.
urasudokumaniac
post #8 of 26
In the spirit of Kevin's post --the guys hawking Guinesss in a commercial have a tag line that may apply here -------BRILLIANT !!!!!!
post #9 of 26
All jokes aside, any healthful activity should improve mental function.

However, I ran cross-country and was also the Captain of the Ski Team in high school. The cross country runners went to better colleges than the Ski Team did . Maybe it was what the Ski Team was smoking : .

Michael
post #10 of 26
My thesis is on a very similar topic... Exercise reducing the risk of dementia in elderly populations.
post #11 of 26
The fact that you are outside in relatively clean air for a few days is sure to improve things. It's way better than being cooped up in an office or bar breathing high levels of CO2 and CO. I always feel a lot better once I'm out of NYC.
post #12 of 26

Problem Solving

No question skiing requires problem solving.

eg. How did I get myself here and how the #*@* will I get myself down from here!

Any exercise that requires you to plot a strategy ( ie. pick your line), adjust that strategy in a split second (ie. avoid that learning snowboarder) and generally requires you to think on your feet ( as opposed to on your behind sliding down the hill) has got to be good for your brain. I believe I have heard about studies sugesting people with jobs which involve problem solving generally have a lower risk of senior dementia.

K
post #13 of 26
im pretty shure it makes you more stupider.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeski View Post
The fact that you are outside in relatively clean air for a few days is sure to improve things. It's way better than being cooped up in an office or bar breathing high levels of CO2 and CO. I always feel a lot better once I'm out of NYC.
And the fact that skiing is basically a blast and not about much that's "serious" - great anditode to general life and workplace stress/politics which has to be high on the list of toxic cultural elements and bad for the brain, soul, and body...
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
....And just look at those 500K condo's lining many of the slopes, someone must be smart enough to have people give them enough $$$ to afford those things?
I don't know where you were skiing, but it must not have been Utah, as there are no $500K condos lining the slopes around here anymore (and for sure not at Snowbird). Try $1.0 mil. and up.

Powdr
post #16 of 26
Exercising at a high altitude where there is less oxygen trains your body to absorb oxygen better and create more red blood cells. This allows your body to run on less oxygen than normal. When you return home from a skiing holiday, you may feel restless and full of energy, this is why.

Also, skiing requires good reactions and co-ordination. Skiing, as well as other sports, may improve your reactions and co-ordination.
post #17 of 26
Sometimes too much information.

My buddy and I got on the Thunder lift with this cute women. Were talking about skiing, the great powder, sun was out, and what a great day it was when her cell phone rings. It was her secretary calling. Turns out the women was a Urologist and her secretary called to discuss the urinary tract of one of her patients. By the time I got off the lift there was not much I didn't know about some guy's urinary tract problem. At the end of the call you could here the secretary say, "Your not in that conference are you. Your out skiing. "

Yeah I was way smarter that day. Note to self. Don't ride ski lift with Urologist, no mater how cute they are.
post #18 of 26
Backcountry skiing requires alertness and the ability to process information in a relatively severe decision making process. This includes route selection, slope stability, and self rescue. Not only do these require education, making you 'smarter', they also reinforce confidence and self reliance. Nobody is going to help you.

On the other hand, riding lifts with little bro brahs who think they are off the sickter richter scale because the did a 180 on a little kicker- listening to that definately makes you dumber.

Course, my family and girlfriend would probably say that due to me dropping out of law school and becoming a little mountaineering dirtbag would be a reasonable arguement that I am now stupider. Yes, stupider is not really a word, but I'm stupider.
post #19 of 26
not sure about if it makes me smarter but it sure makes me happier

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post
Backcountry skiing requires alertness and the ability to process information in a relatively severe decision making process. This includes route selection, slope stability, and self rescue. Not only do these require education, making you 'smarter', they also reinforce confidence and self reliance. Nobody is going to help you.
Ok, so perhaps it does make me smarter. I think I was smarter for going here on Saturday vs the resorts. (click the attached image)

more images from a smart decision:

http://www.foothillfreak.com/2007/ma...idge/index.php
525x525px-LL-vbattach1379.jpg
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by powstash View Post
Ok, so perhaps it does make me smarter. I think I was smarter for going here on Saturday vs the resorts.
freaking brilliant.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
Just a thought, maybe someone has gotten dumber from skiing, not me! And just look at those 500K condo's lining many of the slopes, someone must be smart enough to have people give them enough $$$ to afford those things?

Find me someone willing to sell a slopeside condo at Whistler for $500,000 and I'll have some evidence that something made someone dumber.
post #22 of 26
I once read an anouncement of research done on mountain climbers that indicated those who performed best during oxygen debt conditions suffered more brain damage from the oxygen debt then did those who performed less effectively.

My interpretation is that this explains the concept of "the dumb athelete".
Most of the sports I trained for in school had us doing wind sprints in an attempt to increase anarobic threshold.

Arobic= good. Anarobic = killing brain cells?
Skiing slowly at low altitude=smarter? Skiing fast at high altitude=dumber?
post #23 of 26
A timely article on CNN:
"Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower"
http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet....eut/index.html
post #24 of 26
Being smarter makes you more likely to be a skier.
post #25 of 26
Actually the Air Force looked at this years ago: Our problem solving ability goes down and our reaction time goes up with every thousand feet of elevation past about 3,000. Gets quite noticable above 10,000, thus mandatory oxygen masks for pilots above that. So the skiers at Tahoe are a lot smarter and quicker than than the skiers at Vail.
post #26 of 26
Exercise keeps your brain young according to some studies.

Spiritually/mentally skiing helps me in the winter - particularly with those who have a tendency towards being SAD (due to lighting).

Outdoor exercise --> decrease SAD issues --> make brain younger --> good for mental health --> good for brain performance.
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