Q: What’s a better workout: skiing or snowboarding?
-DARREN T., BOSTON, MA
For starters, they’re both damn good exercise—but there are differences. Scott Faucett, M.D., an assistant professor at George Washington University and a team doctor for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, says snowboarding is better for your core. “You’re locked into your board,” he says, “so you have to rely on the core muscles more for balance.”
Skiing, meanwhile, is better for your quads, hamstrings, and especially the muscles of your ankles and calves, because moguls and obstacles can appear suddenly, and the ability to react quickly is crucial. “Regardless of which you’re doing, though, it’s important to have enough muscular strength,” says Faucett. Fitness is one of your best defenses against injury. “In the end, both are a good reason to hit the squat rack!”