Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, curling

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There’s something about watching the Olympics that can inspire even the most comfortable couch potato to try a new sport. Aside from the Team USA spirit and heartwarming stories, many of these games and activities seem like a lot of fun. Fortunately for those of us who are not professional athletes, not all Olympic sports require years of training and specialized equipment to play. Here are six that you can learn at any age.

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1. Alpine skiing

Skiing is a great sport for all ages.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or know the basics of pizza-fries, you can take solo or group ski lessons to perfect your skills. Private lessons may be more suitable for those who are motivated to learn as quickly as possible or who have specific physical problems. On the other hand, group lessons offer the social aspect of being all together and are a more economical choice. And while it’s not necessary, those who already lead active lives and have decent strength, balance, and coordination may find it easier to learn the sport.

When you’re a beginner it doesn’t make sense to invest in skis and boots – rentals at the piste suffice – but either way you’ll need a few cold weather basics that insulate without weigh you down.

For a jacket that will keep you warm, try the REI Co-Op Powderbound Insulated Jacket. Reviewers say they can move easily in this jacket and it keeps them warm even with minimal layers underneath. For a pair of snow pants that will keep your legs dry and warm against the powder, consider the Columbia Bugaboo Snow Pants. Happy customers say these pants keep them warm all day and they love the adjustable waistband that allows for different layering. To that end, a base layer is key: Smartwool Merino 250 tops and bottoms are a good option for insulation and wicking that reviewers describe as soft, comfortable and warm during ski runs and cold weather hikes.

You may also want extras like hand warmers, glove liners or a balaclava (i.e. a neck warmer that wraps around your head) to keep every square inch of your body comfortable.

2. Snowboarding

Be adventurous and try snowboarding.

Snowboarding is another Nordic sport that may catch your eye as an adult. While many instructors direct beginners to skiing, it is possible to learn to snowboard even without a ski school training. That said, while a basic level of athleticism is helpful when learning any new sport, it’s especially important for snowboarding. When skiing, you stand on two skis and face your view and body forward as you meander down the slopes. With snowboarding, both of your feet are attached to a board, and as you look ahead as you ride, your body faces the slope at a steeper angle, as you shift your weight back and forth between your “toe” and “heel” sides for turn. All this to say that it particularly helps to have good balance, strength and overall coordination when learning to snowboard.

When snowboarding, you’ll need the same warm winter gear as when skiing: a jacket, snow pants, base layers, a balaclava and any extras like hand warmers. However, since you are more likely to fall or two while learning to snowboard, you may also want to consider using additional safety gear such as wrist guards or knee pads.

Flauto wrist guards from Amazon have a 4.5 star rating with over 2,000 reviews. Reviewers say they’re lightweight, comfortable to wear, and saved them from a few potential injuries along the way. For a set of knee pads that offer cushion and comfort, try Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads. These pads have a 4.4-star rating with over 26,000 reviews, highlighting that they’re comfortable to wear for hours on end and protect against the discomfort of kneeling on hard surfaces, such as a icy mountain, all day long.

3. Figure Skating

Find your artistic side with figure skating.

Figure skating is a great sport to learn, and if you’ve ever toured a local rink, you already understand the gist. As with skiing and snowboarding, you can take ice skating lessons, but you can also try learning basic skating skills from YouTube videos and practicing on your own.

If you commit to start, you will need a good pair of skates to upgrade those you can rent. The American Athletic Tricot Lined Ice Skates are a good option available on Amazon. Reviewers say these skates are comfortable and easy to break in, perfect for beginners. You will also need warm, loose clothing to wear around the cold rink. The Nike Pro Warm Tights are a well-reviewed option, with reviewers saying they keep you warm and stay put during long workouts.

4. Cross-country skiing

Get your heart rate up with cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiing is a great cardio workout for all ages because it’s gentle on the joints. It also uses a large percentage of your muscles, which helps you increase strength in all areas of the body and is great for establishing better balance, which can be especially beneficial for older people.

You don’t have to be an Olympian to see these benefits – you’ll see improvements in your health at your own pace. Of course, you can take a lesson to learn more about the sport or go with a friend who knows what he’s doing. If you live in a fairly cold climate, a simple Google search can lead you to cross-country ski trails in your area, where you can venture solo or with a buddy.

Once you know this is for you, you’ll want your own set of skis and boots, which you can find online at retailers like REI or at a local ski shop. You’ll also need warm layers, and you may want a compact backpack to hold other essentials, such as snacks, extra hand warmers, or a water bottle that doesn’t freeze, for access. easy on the trails.

5. Ice Hockey

If you're looking for a team sport, try hockey.

For those who prefer team sports to solo activities, you might want to try hockey. If you’ve never played before, the first step is to master the basics of skating and learn the rules of the sport. But with a little practice, you’ll master things, and with a few friends on your team, you’ll have fun along the way. You can find local adult hockey leagues in your area through an internet search, but if you come up empty-handed, you can just head to your local rink and see what’s on offer.

In addition to the hot gear (do you already feel a theme?), you’ll need a pair of hockey skates. These are different from figure skates in that they are less flexible and more protective, but lighter, and their blades are more curved front and back for easier turns and greater overall agility.

A good option for beginners is the Botas Attack ice hockey skates, in men’s sizes 4 to 12, which reviewers say are comfortable and durable. Hockey skates in women’s sizes can be harder to find, but American Athletic Shoe women’s hockey skates, in women’s sizes 6 through 10, are a well-reviewed pair, and happy customers say they are cozy and comfortable.

You will also want to get your own hockey stick and set of pucks. The STX Ice Hockey Surgeon RX3.1 hockey stick is a good option and reviewers say it is durable and well balanced. Reviewers also love Faswin hockey pucks, which have a 4.7 star rating and over 1,400 reviews for their durability and durability.

6. Curling

Try something new and start curling.

You may not know many people who play curling in real life, but it’s a sport that people love to watch and experience every four years during the Olympics. In it, two teams of four aim to push a rock across a patch of ice into a ring using specialized brooms. Each team plays eight stones and gets points for each stone that is closer to the ring than their opponents’ stones, much like an icy shuffleboard game. It’s a fun team sport that’s relatively easy to learn and great for all ages.

If you’ve never curled before, you might want to take a curling lesson to help you master the basics, but it’s easy enough to learn from friends who already know. Many curling clubs will provide you with brooms, rocks and shoes that you can use or rent. You will therefore only need warm and comfortable layers.

Still, if you want BYOB (ahem, that’s “broom”), you can buy one online easier than you might think. The Goldline Fiberlite Air X Curling Mop is a good option available on Amazon that reviewers say is lightweight and easy to use. You may also want to get your own curling shoes, which have a “slider” on a shoe that allows players to swoop down when throwing the stone. The Goldline G50 Breeze shoes, available in women’s sizes 6-10 and men’s 7-14, are a lightweight and comfortable option that reviewers say holds up well throughout games.

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