If you have pectus excavatum and have the opportunity to go skiing and snowboarding more frequently, please do so. There are many ways they will indirectly improve your chest and well-being. You won’t regret it at all.
Winter is an excellent time to engage in heart-healthy sports such as skiing and snowboarding. These fun sports can help you lose unwanted pounds while preventing and improving other health issues.
People consider these sports relaxation activities, even though they can be physically demanding.
Health benefits of skiing/snowboarding for pectus excavatum
Skiing and snowboarding put a lot of strain on the muscles. Skiing forces you to squat and develop a strong lower body. Snowboarding also engages muscles that aren’t commonly activated by staying balanced.
Keeping your body upright on skis or snowboards requires strong balancing abilities and concentration, which is an enormous benefit.
Your core muscles work hard by staying constantly engaged while maintaining balance. Improving abdominal muscle tone can help you camouflage the sunken chest and flared ribs.
Balancing and engaging the core and essential muscle groups during skiing/snowboarding makes your body more flexible. It also aids in the reduction of muscle strains and sprains.
Snowboarding improves flexibility significantly because this sport requires the body to change directions frequently and quickly.
Exercising outside increases the creation of endorphins, which produce emotions of comfort and enjoyment. You may also benefit from increased vitamin D exposure from the sun, which is especially crucial during the winter when our sunshine is limited.
But apart from that, these winter sports are always practiced with company, friends, or family, which triggers further joy. Casual skiing with loved ones can fill us with much-needed positive energy.
Inflammation reduction due to cold weather
Cold weather can help relieve inflammation and pain. A study discovered that athletes exposed to chilly conditions recovered from workouts faster. That implies that exercising in the winter may cause less inflammation and pain than in summer.
This is good news if you’re weightlifting to improve your physical appearance and sunken chest and struggle to recover your muscles in time.
bones, ligaments, and joint health?
- These winter sports can increase and sustain bone density and joint strength. The weight-bearing pressure on your legs strengthens your bones.
- Reduces swelling and soreness by keeping muscles and ligaments firm.
- It improves balance to help prevent falls, protecting you from further injuries that can affect your chest area.
A great benefit for someone with pectus excavatum
A fantastic benefit for shy people with sunken chests is that we do not need to remove our clothes and be shirtless like in swimming. Nobody will know that we have a deformity. The bulky winter clothing keeps us warm and protects us from other people’s gaze.
We can participate in such sports without being concerned about our appearance.
Skiing/snowboarding after surgery
Many individuals ask how long it takes to get back on the ski slopes after surgery. You can find numerous questions and answers on the forums. Most of them agree that at least 12 weeks should pass before you may enjoy yourself without worrying about something terrible happening.
However, it is recommended for everyone in the post-operative phase to speak with their doctor before deciding to go back to winter sports.
People have shared their experiences, claiming that even after falling while skiing several months after the operation, they did not experience any severe pain. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t cause a bar dislocation causing many complications. You must be extremely careful.
Studies show that the ways skiers and snowboarders get injured are different. Skiers are more likely to sustain serious injuries.
Being aware of the possible risks is very important.
Most snow sports injuries are minor and can be managed with rest, bracing, and anti-inflammatory medication. However, some fractures and ligament injuries may necessitate surgical intervention, with recovery times ranging from 3 to 6 months or longer.
How to avoid injuries?
If you are a beginner with pectus excavatum, the instructor must teach you how to prevent any possible injuries. The risks can be significantly reduced by:
- Adequate warm-up and cool-down routines,
- Properly suited equipment
- Safe skiing methods
These same rules apply to someone who already knows how to ski/snowboard.
Most injuries happen after lunch and when people are tired. Make sure to stay hydrated during the day and take breaks every couple of hours. Do not force yourself.
Rapid and loud breathing insecurity
One of the most prevalent anxieties of people with pectus excavatum is rapid breathing when climbing uphill or when exhausted. They frequently believe that they are the loudest and that they draw the attention of others.
Remember that your health comes first; don’t worry about how others see you. Finally, it is usual and typical to have some form of shortness of breath when it comes to such sports.
As you can see, the benefits of pectus excavatum outnumber the risks. That is why I encourage you to enjoy these sports whenever possible. I am not a huge fan of skiing and snowboarding.
I’ve tried it a few times but experience anxiety when I go high-speed down the ski slope. Maybe I need to give these sports a second chance because I love snow and the nature around the slopes.
If you’re experiencing an obstacle, such as illness or a recovery period, allow yourself to completely recover to return to the ski slopes soon and without worrying.
Take advantage of the winter and reap the benefits of skiing and snowboarding. Thank you for reading!
- Vitamin D. In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vitamin_D&oldid=1136130649
- Top 5 Health Benefits of Skiing and Snowboarding [Internet]. VisitPA. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.visitpa.com/article/top-5-health-benefits-skiing-and-snowboarding
- Surprising Health Benefits of Cold Weather – MPCP [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.mpcp.com/articles/healthy-lifestyle/surprising-health-benefits-cold-weather/
- Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries – Sports Medicine Program – UR Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center – Rochester, NY [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/orthopaedics/sports-medicine/skiing-injuries.cfm
- Wallner B, Rugg C, Paal P, Ströhle M. Collisions with another person while skiing and snowboarding: A 13-year national registry analysis. Injury. 2022 Jul 1;53(7):2485–92.
- chromium50. Anybody ski/snowboard with the Nuss bars in? [Internet]. r/PectusExcavatum. 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: www.reddit.com/r/PectusExcavatum/comments/qzmpk7/anybody_skisnowboard_with_the_nuss_bars_in/