Mental and physical challenges keep you healthy in retirement. Learning to ski over 60 provides both.
Why would you learn a challenging sport such as skiing over the age of 60? Peer pressure is one reason.
When the term “peer pressure,” is used, it’s usually negative.
You think of a teenager being coerced by friends and getting in trouble! You certainly wouldn’t expect a 72-year-old to be susceptible to peer pressure, would you? It can, in fact, happen. It changed one man’s life in a very good way. He learned to ski at Deer Valley Resort.
(This post contains affiliate links – see my disclosure here. )
Case in point: Bob Garretson, now age 74, moved to Park City two years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though he moved to a resort town, he hadn’t planned on learning to ski; he came to Park City to enjoy the summers. He and his wife split their time between Park City and Naples, Florida so they usually spent their winters at the beach.
Why did he learn to ski at an age in which most people quit the sport? He told me, “Because my friend wanted me to.”
Two years ago, at the age of 72, Bob took up skiing to be a ski buddy. Thanks to some prodding and Bob’s willingness to try new things, and with the help of a Max-4 lesson at Deer Valley Resort, he is officially an intermediate skier. He’s ready to take on any blue run at Deer Valley Resort.
Why would anyone want to learn a new sport after age 70? Here are a few reasons:
“You only have one go-round in this life,” says Bob. “You have to make the most of it.”
Trying a new sport has mental, physical, social and even financial benefits! If you are sharp, engaged with family and friends, and physically active, you are less likely to get sick. Research has shown that social interaction reaps many benefits – preventing disease and reducing depression.
Here are five benefits of learning to ski at any age but especially over the age of 60:
1. Improve the quality of intergenerational family relationships.
Ski with your grandchildren. It makes a difference if you are in the thick of it with them.
They don’t notice how well (or badly) you ski, they want you to watch them.
2. Improve your health by getting in strong physical shape.
Stay as strong and healthy as you can at any age. Skiers get a huge dose of fresh air on a ski day.
Your upper body and abs push on your poles across the flats between runs and your lower body gets a workout on the downhill slopes.
Pick up a Fitbit health tracker, I personally like the Blaze (affiliate links,) to see how hard your heart pumps and calories you burn on a day of skiing.
Bonus: You get to rest on the chairlift between runs.
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3. Exercise your brain for improved memory and brain health.
There is a learning curve for new skiers. Skiing is counterintuitive: you lean down the hill to gain control instead of leaning back (our natural tendency.) Odd but true.
Besides, the great thing about skiing is skiers of all ages and abilities are always learning: there is new terrain to explore, new skills to hone and ever-changing conditions. Every day is different.
4. Hang out with your friends and meet new ones.
Even if the major reason you are skiing is due to peer pressure, so be it! Just figure you have the best friends anyone can ask for.
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5. Learn and master a new sport.
Why climb a mountain? Because it’s there. Maybe you can learn to ski for bragging rights – to say you did it. Take a lesson from an instructor who knows the skills you wish to learn. But also one who knows how to teach you in a way that you can “get it” and implement the changes right away.
Oddly, learning a new sport can help reverse aging! Check out the book Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley.
No matter what your reason for learning to ski, don’t let your chronological age stop you, just ask Bob.
He’ll tell you, “Age is just a number; if there is something you want to learn, do it!”
This article first appeared on the Deer Valley Resort Blog under the title, How One Man Learned To Ski At Age 72