Leave it to the Swedes to discern that skiing doubles your lung capacity. A Mid Sweden University study found that active skiers, particularly seniors, have twice the oxygen uptake capacity of those who do not ski. This study tested Swedish skiers, some of whom were over 90 years old, and showed that the maximum capacity for oxygen was twice as great among seniors who skied in the Scandinavian country.
After being out West last week skiing at over mile-high elevations, I concur that skiing can give your lungs a legit workout. My mom still skis at...sorry can't disclose. It's fun to have three generations carving up the groomers together.
So next time you are headed to the slopes with the family, make it multi-generational. A ski trip is a better plan than visiting your folks in Florida; neutral mountain territory should mean no turf wars and less tension than having the kids splash the elders in the retirement community pool. So bring Grandma and Grampa on your next family ski trip, and you will all breathe a little easier.
Photo by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.