…and why solo ski holidays for the over 50s tick all the boxes.
Are you toying with the idea of taking up downhill skiing but feel you are “too old” to try a new sport? Or do you want to get back on the slopes after a long break but worry that you are not as fit as you used to be? When you are over the age of 50, you simply become more cautious and feel less invincible than you did in your 20s – but that’s not a bad thing!
Let’s start with the benefits before we move on to why age is on your side when you start skiing in your 50s or 60s:
1. Skiing has many health benefits
Skiing works your major muscle groups strengthening your core and lower body muscles. It also improves your flexibility through the constant motion and stretching, and that is something anyone over 50 will appreciate. Because skiing is a cardiovascular exercise, your general fitness will also improve, and you might even lose some weight in the process. As if that wasn’t enough, the endorphins released during skiing will elevate your mood and contribute to a sense of happiness.
Of course, if you have caught the ski bug, then any impending ski holiday will be a great motivator to stay in shape and get fit for the ski season, so it’s a win-win situation for your health.
2. Skiing is easier to learn than ever
If you ever skied in your teens or twenties you will probably remember the long slim skis that stood some 20 cm taller than your own height. It meant that if you hadn’t quite mastered the technique, you quickly found the tips of those impossibly long skis crossed, which meant you would land flat on your face or tumble downhill. And yes, the ski boots hurt, and your toes were freezing cold – that was just a given back in the eighties when I learnt to ski. Well, those days are long gone, thanks to massive improvements in ski technology. Skis are shorter, wider, and lighter, whilst boots no longer hurt. They fit better and keep your toes toasty and warm. You can even have custom made ski boots for that extra comfort.
The shorter carving skis, which all but the most die-hearted skiers use, are great for prepared pistes. Their hourglass shape mean it’s easy to turn and they are pretty forgiving – ideal for intermediate skiers. For the expert skiers, there are skis for powder, free riding, all-mountain skiing and more. So, don’t let anyone tell you skiing over 50 cannot be done. Many of our skiers are in their 60s and 70s and give us a run for their money on the slopes.
If you are a first-time skier, it will take you no longer than a few days to ski down green and blue runs. Any skiers 50+ who had a long break from skiing because they had kids or due to an injury will find that it take even less time to master blues and reds, especially on pistes that are groomed to perfection every evening.
3. You are more risk averse over 50
Some people become risk adverse when they have children, others when they get to middle age. When you have old injuries, which might start bothering you in your 40s or 50s, you will think twice about risking further damage to your body. Consider this as an advantage as youthful carelessness on the piste or elsewhere leads to accidents whilst sensible skiing rarely causes injury. The same can be said about younger and middle-aged car drivers, after all. So, age is on your side when you start skiing over 50.
So, don’t let the fact that you are a little anxious about skiing hold you back: It’s a healthy feeling! When you are that little bit older and wiser, you are also more confident and in control when it comes to deciding whether you want to go down a blue or a red piste. No peer pressure will force you down a black slope or mogul piste – you make the choice.
4. You can choose when and where to ski
Skiing is no longer a sport for the young. Lift prices carry a hefty price tag today and this means, there are less and less youths on the slopes. Aside from that, you don’t’ need to mingle with young children and teens when you are a skier in his or her 50s, as you can enjoy the luxury of skiing off-peak and pick a quiet resort, too, if you wish.
Best of all, you are probably in a better financial position than you were when the kids were still home, and a ski trip would have costs you thousands in peak season. Make the most of it and choose a 4-star hotel near the slopes where you can enjoy a sauna, a swim or a sports massage after a day on the slopes. If you fancy a bit of après skiing, make sure you are not too far from the town or main cable car station where all the action is. Don’t expect too much though, as you will find that you are not going to venture far after a day on the slopes.
5. You can ski with other solo travellers over 50s
If you are looking for company on the piste than a solo ski holiday for the over 50s is the perfect solution. Holidays for singles and solo travellers in their 50s, 60s and 70s provide you with friendly company on and off the piste. Single Parents on Holiday offer several solo ski trips a year suitable for anyone from beginner to seasoned skier: Your tour leader will organise every aspect of your trip including lessons and will provide ski guiding for any intermediate and advanced skiers. Everyone is in the same boat: Whether you are a single parent empty nester, single and 50+ or just lacking a ski buddy, you will find sociable adults your own age who just want to enjoy a leisurely week of skiing with company at mealtimes and in the evenings.
Unless you have a serious health issue that is preventing you from downhill skiing, taking up or continuing skiing in your 50s, 60s and even 70s is the best thing you can do to keep young and fit. It’s great for your physical and mental health and a very sociable hobby, which can lead to many lifelong friendships. So, what are you waiting for?