I bet she’d be killer on skis.

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 04/03/12 •  3 min read

Obama came to Vermont last week.

He only buzzed in for the day. Without Michelle. And without skis. Truly, a missed opportunity.

I know the president is a busy man and really doesn’t have time to get out on the slopes. But skiing is perfect for Michelle. Just look at her: you can tell by her arms that she works out. And she’s all about promoting physical fitness and fighting obesity.

As I said, perfect.

Michelle is no stranger to skiing. She and the girls took a ski vacation in Aspen in February. I have no idea how well she skis, but we need to make more of this. The last White House resident I remember skiing is President Gerald Ford. And face it, he just didn’t have the same star appeal as Michelle.

So if you’re reading this, Michelle  — and I’m sure you are  —  listen up: There’s no better way to promote physical fitness than skiing. Think of what an inspiration you’d be to girls and women everywhere (we really need to get more women on the slopes). And what a terrific boost to the ski industry, too. It’s been a tough year, particularly here in Vermont. First we were slammed with Hurricane Irene, then an unseasonably mild winter with below average snowfall cut down on skier visits, which really hurt the state’s economy. We could sure use a boost.

But I digress. What I really wanted to talk about was the health benefits of skiing. Because, Michelle, I know that’s what you’d like to know:

Skiing improves strength and muscle tone. According to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, skiing works the muscle groups known as the “prime movers.” These include the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, calves, hip and feet muscles, To a lesser degree, you also use your abdominal muscles for control and work your arms by using poles. So it’s a great all body workout.

Skiing works your cardiovascular system. By elevating your heart rate, skiing can strengthen your heart, which can help move more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and improve waste removal from the tissues.

Skiing improves flexibility. Skiing forces you to practice balance and precision, which can lead to better flexibility, stability, and balance.

Skiing can help you lose weight. For a person weighing 165 lbs, skiing can burn 450 to 600 calories an hour, while mogul skiing can burn almost 900.  ‘Nuff said.

Skiing elevates your mood. When you ski, you release endorphins and adrenaline into the bloodstream, elevating your mood and providing an overall sense of well being. There’ve been all kinds of studies that show a direct relationship between positive thoughts and good health. Plus what could beat having a great time out on the snow?

So Michelle, show the world your inner Ski Diva. I know the season’s winding down, but next year, get out there and show the women of America that skiing is a great way to stay fit and get healthy. And come ski with me in Vermont. I promise, we’ll have a blast.


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