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HomeNewsSkiing boosts mental, physical health amid COVID-19 pandemic

Skiing boosts mental, physical health amid COVID-19 pandemic

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On Vancouver Island, outdoor activities abound. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on and gyms closed, it’s important to take full advantage of all our region has to offer.

That said, the Canadian Ski Council is reminding Islanders of a natural mood booster that’s in our own backyard – skiing.

The non-profit says downhill and cross-country skiing, plus snowboarding and snow tubing, all happen outside where there is plenty of ventilation, sunshine and fresh air – all good for our mental and physical health.

“We’re ready to offer Canadians a way to stay mentally and physically healthy when other forms of exercise, like gyms and skating rinks, are needing to close because they’re primarily indoor activities,” explains Kevin Nichol, Ontario Ski Resorts Association president.

“Hills and slopes, being outside, have natural advantages, as do skiing and snowboarding themselves, since they keep people at a distance while participating,” Nichol says.

Near the Comox Valley, skiers and boarders are flocking to Mount Washington. And farther north, Mount Cain is open as well. Last month, both resorts opened for the 2021/2022 season, with COVID-19 protocols in place.

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According to the Ski Council, resorts and hills have had to pivot in the face of current COVID conditions, but skiing can still be done.

It says outdoor fire pits provide warming stations and online ticket sales keep attendance in check, with lots of fun to be had with friends and family.

Those who plan on hitting the slopes should “know before you go,” the council adds: Check the latest weather forecast and become familiar with the resort’s safety protocols, vaccine mandates and masking requirements.

“With skiing offered from coast to coast, why not take advantage of this fantastic outdoor sport to get active and have fun while staying safe and boosting your mood,” says Paul Pinchbeck, Canadian Ski Council president.

“Skiing is fun, and it’s safe. Hills and resorts across the country are waiting to welcome Canadians,” he adds.

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