Many of us experience feelings of lethargy in January, which is understandable after the excesses of the festive period and perhaps too many extra calories consumed.

If you are looking for the perfect way to wipe out that winter weight gain and have some serious fun in the process, the Austrian Tourist Board may well have the answer.

If you are one of those skiers or boarders who has not been on the slopes for a few years, their Ski Again promotion in association with Inghams offers you the chance to renew your love affair with the mountains and ski or snowboard your way back to a fitter, healthier and happier you.

Never been easier

With modern ski equipment and excellent optimised teaching methods available, such as the SkiWorkShop training programme that is available as one of the options via the Austrian Tourist Board and Ingham’s collaboration, it really has never been easier to take up the sport again.

The Ski Club of GB estimates that a whopping 75% of those who have stopped skiing, would really love to return to the slopes again, so the incentive of getting fit and healthy through this rewarding activity and some favourable booking deals, make it the best time to renew your passion.

Plenty of health benefits

By its very nature, skiing and snowboarding requires a degree of physical effort, which means that you are already going to derive certain health benefits when you return to the slopes, but it is an activity that offers more than just general health benefits.

Burn those calories

Those extra calories are probably hanging around more than ever in January, but a study by Harvard Medical School revealed that someone weighing 70kg can burn 223 calories in 30 minutes of downhill skiing, so you can soon see how your fun on the slopes is going to help burn off those calories.

Improve your core strength

Keeping yourself upright and balanced as you glide your way down the slopes is actually doing a great job of improving your core strength at the same time as having some serious enjoyment.

The muscles that begin on either side of your spine are known as your core muscles and strengthening these through an activity like skiing or boarding, will really make a difference to flattening the appearance of your stomach.

Great cardio workout

Improving your cardiovascular system is a key target to helping you feel fitter and healthier, and skiing or snowboarding will give you a great cardio workout.

Raising your heart rate will increase your blood circulation, which then helps to bring more nutrients and oxygen to your tissues. When you are able to draw in more oxygen and blood, your body then produces more capillaries, which encourages your muscles to expand and burn up calories at a faster rate.

Who would have thought that having so much fun on the slopes could provide so many health benefits at the same time?

Make this year the one where you return to the sport that you loved so much in the past and do your body a big favour at the same time.

Joseph Johnson is a travel consultant and sporting enthusiast. He enjoys sharing his insights by posting online. Look for his articles mainly on travel, sports and lifestyle blogs.