Usually, when the winter rolls around, people groan, quickly finding shelter under layers and thick blankets.

However, for others, winter means it’s time to wax those skis and hit the slopes. You don’t always have to be a die-hard skier to enjoy the sport, and as I say, I would rather get up and be active than do nothing all winter.

There are so many mental and physical perks that come from skiing, all connecting to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Skiing combines the great outdoors air with physical activity and some sunshine exposure that many people forget about. Skiing also ties in physical, mental, emotional and social aspects, which all contribute to a healthy persona.

The physical aspect of the sport is huge. Skiing is a very tiring sport for beginners, but it offers so much physical exercise.

Many people, especially beginners, don’t really realize how much brain power actually goes into the sport itself.

Skiing is a proprioceptive activity, which refers to the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts, according to an article on the University of New Hampshire (UNH) website titled, “The Benfits of Skiing.” This almost defines skiing because the sport involves balance and coordination.

There are numerous movements (sometimes slight) and positions that you and your body must be conscious of in order to ski well.

The more you ski, the more you strengthen your ability to be aware of the movement of your body parts.

This is important because proprioception weakens with age so the more you are involved in skiing, the better you will get. Skiing also strengthens your joints, such as your knees, which mostly endure the weight.

Strengthening these areas makes an injury later in life less likely, as well as makes your bones stronger. Your movements will also become faster, so not only are you having a fantastic time gliding down the slopes, but you are preventing knee damage and increasing your proprioceptive strength.

If you’re a skier, you know just how social the sport is.

People will say “hi” on the slopes and you’ll ride up with strangers on the lift, often leading to mellow conversations. Waking up at the crack of dawn to drive an hour or more, to spend a day in the freezing cold may not seem appealing to a non-skier. But if you add a whole group of close friends that all share an enjoyment and love for skiing, you’ve got one heck of a good day.

What is unique about skiing is that it brings together people of all different ages and cultures.

All over the world there are mountains and snow, and people skiing. So not only do you have a great group of people having a fantastic time, you’ve got a motivational team that encourages you to get off the couch in the winter and get active.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m so thankful I got off the couch and let my friend drag me to the mountain to learn how to ski.

For me, I am always learning and always gaining knowledge. With each run comes an establishment of a forever skill. It sure does make my winters all the better.

Caroline Perry can be contacted at cperry@kscequinox.com