Why Skiing Is the Best Way to Get Shredded This Winter

It’s easy to spot skiers come December — they’re the crazy people cheering about that snowstorm out the window. They’re also the rare few who can be observed in peak physical condition in late January. While the rest of us cocoon and gorge our way through the bleak mid-winter, skiers are celebrating the season and earning their après beers with a full morning of serious exercise. We hit the chalet with two of the North Toronto Ski Club’s directors — one a longtime instructor of alpine or downhill skiing, and the other a Nordic (or cross-country) pro — to get the lowdown on the actual health benefits of their favourite winter sports.


As endorsed by:

Allison Sharpe, NTSC Snow School Director

Biggest Benefit:

Resistance Training

“Going downhill gets all of your muscles engaged in resisting gravity, and teaches you better awareness of your core alignment. Plus, it’s a powerful mental reset. At top speed, you’re so focused on terrain that you really can’t think about unanswered emails.”



“If you spend your entire run bracing, your body locks up and you lose access to your joints. Instead, learn to keep your balance and flow as snow goes from firm to loose and the hill goes from flat to steep. Take some time to just walk around in your boots getting familiar.”


Ski Socks

“Don’t just wear athletic socks — ski socks are very specific to the sport. Veba and Bridgeport are my two favourite brands. You’ll appreciate their built-in support around the arch, ankle, and shin, and really feel how they work as a unit with your boots.”



“Whether it’s Hokkaido or Nagano, no other place has that guaranteed champagne powder. And you can tack on a city visit afterwards.”


As endorsed by:

Chris Clarke, NTSC Nordic Ski School Director


“For aerobic exercise, you can’t beat the long length of a ski. And while everyone thinks of skiing as a great leg workout, a big part of your propulsion comes from your shoulders and arms — so really, it works every muscle from your toes to your wrists.”

Biggest Benefit:


“Both in classic and in skate skiing, with each of your strides, you’re pushing with one leg, then gliding with the other. It’s important to maintain your glide until you naturally start to slow down — otherwise, you end up exerting a lot more energy than necessary.”



“For footwear, I swear by Salomon S/Lab boots. They’re carbon fibre, so very light and flexible in the right spots. Pair with some Heat Factory warmers, which have adhesive on one side so that they stick to your toes. Otherwise body heat doesn’t always translate to warm feet.”


Silver Star Mountain Resort, B.C

“You can take the chairlift there even with your cross-country skis, and then proceed from the summit through a series of very technical back hills.”