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How does skiing reduce stress and therefore extend your life?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just saw a study about stress on PBS. One point it made that I related to skiing was that if you are of low status in society (bottom man on totem pole) and have many powerful stressors in your life, your life expectancy is shortened, brain cell branching reduced, genes frayed, hormones amuck in hunger, worry, fear, anger, low self esteem.

However, if your are in the mailroom at work, and you are captain of the company softball team, the positive factors of softball in your life are sufficient to cause your life expectancy to goe up. It seems to more than balance the stress, because you focus on it and give it importance and weight in your life. You are a happy softball player with a lousy job, that's all.

So when a person, who's position in life is producing stress, ellects to wholeheartedly surround himself with skiing, something for which he gains esteem, comradery, and.(what?)........ his life expectancy is____________________________ (what?).

Feel better now?

So, what about skiing works for your goal to live longer, better, stronger? Be specific, please, this is NOT a stressful test, but could provide others with the rationalizations they have been looking for.

post #2 of 11
My reason for skiing is because there's too much snow on the ground to go backpacking, and if I don't get up to the mountains ever so often I start to get a little batty.  ;)
post #3 of 11
My doctor has told me she wishes ski season would last all year long because my blood pressure drops 20 points plus while I'm getting my 60 days in.
post #4 of 11
It's totally true -- I've been skiing my entire life and I totally haven't died once!
post #5 of 11
Sorry to say this but I,m pretty sure my stress level goes wayyyy up during ski season.
First of all I have the problem of ,do I need new ski equipment? How meny holidays do I have left ? How can I raise monies to get and do all I want? Can I get extra time off work? are my relatives gunna get really upset cause I opted out of going to visit them at X mas for an extra week of skiing?
Then I have the drive to the hills. My human GPS sitting next to me arguing with me and the other GPS on the best way to get to the hill,
Then I get on the hill and the same GPS  is telling me im skiing too fast again and Im skiing too close to her ( Hmmm if Im skiing so fast how is it you are still near me??)
Did I mention accomidations? Can I find ski in/out for the same price of a tent in outer Mongolia?
Just sitting here thinking wow Skiing must be alotta fun for us to deal with this and still be excited about going!!
post #6 of 11
you are alive when you are standing at the top of a mountain and it's just you and your abilities. sun, wind and weather are perfect. just you and the creator. nothing can help you on your travels or save you from the lack of abilities. sun is on your face, you feel more alive than anything. can almost touch the heavens. this is skiiing for me. i was a navy f14 pilot for years and have been a speed junky all my life. the only thing that comes close is sky diving. i've tried them all (drug free) and nothing compares to the heavenly feeling of you and the snow enjoying life. status in life has nothing to do with skiing in my view. one can find great used skis at a fraction of the cost and enjoy just like the upper crust. i'm 39 years old and retired from the work force. i own an internet business that i love and just live life to the fullest. skiing doesn't have to be a rich mans sport and should be enjoyed by all. i buy alot of good older parabolic skis, poles and boots and hot wax and tune them and GIVE them away to less fortunate kids and families so they can enjoy skiing as much as i do. i think last season i gave away 178 sets. skiing is a way of life. a way to enjoy nature and not a lifestyle. just because something looks expensive doesn't mean it is. i can polish a turd to a bright gold finish, but underneath it's still a piece of crap. we are only on this earth for a short period of time. i would like to be remembered for what i did for other people, rather than what i did for myself. my reward for good deeds is "Me" being the person standing at the top of the hill with the sun on my face........life for me is remembering where i came from and embarrasing the ones who don't. if you read this post and appreciate skiing and life like i do, you will be standing at the top of the mountain. it will be just you and your abilities. the moment will be right. just you, God and the mountain and that will be Your moment and you will remember this post. stress you ask????? what stress? flying down the hill at oh my God speed doesn't produce stress........it produces life. lets you remember that your not dead.......well yet!
post #7 of 11
Well said Chris!!! I agree 100%. I would add.. After a great spring or powder day coming in to to lodge and sharing  smiles and a couple of brews with friends and strangers that all just felt what I felt elicits a certain bonding that is priceless and I am present fully.
post #8 of 11
Many factors come to play with life extension. As far as skiing? It can put one in a Zen-like meditative state while still keeping the brain engaged and concentrated. Just like rock climbing or MTB'ing.

The king and queen of good health is proper nutrition and exercise and they must sit on a throne of low stress living for a long reign.

I wrote much on these subjects, but can't figure out how to get my text files to post here. When I use AOL it wont let me post here. When I use the Explorer I can post but it wont let me use my text files. So this is all I have time to type in.

Good luck!
post #9 of 11
Are you trying to upload something or just copy and paste?
post #10 of 11
when i lived on the east coast, surfing was much like skiing. when you can only rely on yourself for survival it makes the experience much more real. you fail....you may die. when you live on the edge within reason you are closest to life. sitting in an easy chair your entire life watching only causes future stress and regrets. get out and enjoy life so you can respond to questions like these. i would hate to go through life without any memories. i remember being in austria and going way to fast for conditions and blowing through a snow fence and falling down a 20 foot cliff into a stream. i remeber the ski chatter, weather conditions, color of the snow fence, part of the mountain i was on and everything right up to the wipeout. i also remeber climbing the cliff to get back up on the trail, skiing down to the bottom and changing cloths. this was 16 years ago and because i wasn't injured, was one of the coolest days ever skiing in my life. never would have this memory if i wouldn't have got out and done it. forget stress.....live life.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Boot, I can relate to what you're saying, even tongue in cheek.

Before moving up to the mountains and getting a pass, there was some stress to skiing. I would push myself each day to improve, as I knew I wasn't getting enough days to ski how I wanted.  The travel was tough as I almost always drove up with a storm on my head or chasing me up the mountain, road closures, bad drivers, delays. It is possible to bring our negative behavior into skiing and make it just like everything else we stress about in our lives. But we won't do that to skiing, it's self-destructive.

I will go out on a limb and say that the experience living in the mountains and skiing with a pass is fundamentally different than being a week-end warrior, more relaxing and fullfilling. That said, once you're skiing powder, it's the essential experience, everything else falls away until there is just the conditions, the mountain, and your movement through it all.

Chris: skiing alone in a storm in great terrain does have a unique feeling, self-reliance gets you into the zone, and the zone is life-supporting, stress free, effort without negative feelings.

jantzie, I have two words: mountain bike!
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