Which came first: being physically fit, or being a good snowboarder? For most of us, the answer is “neither.” That is, we’re not particularly fit, and we don’t know how to ride–though it looks enticing.
If you’re out of shape, you can try an exercise program before you start riding, as a way to build up your aerobic endurance or muscle strength. But that’s the run in that? It just may be better to give snowboarding a try and learn enough to get hooked. Then you’ll have the motivation to exercise.
Snowboarding does work the body some, especially if you take long, continuous runs down a tall mountain. But let’s be honest: for most of us, snowboarding will not rival running or bike riding in aerobic demands, and while it will work some muscles, it won’t replace strength training. Even so, snowboarding can be good for you, in and of itself, and as a gateway to more physical activity.
Safety is another concern of the new snowboarder. Proper instruction can help you avert some trouble, as can some protective equipment. But the most important piece of safety equipment is inside your helmet–your brain. Learn and practice safe snowboarding techniques.