Snowboarding, like any form of exercise, releases endorphins, the neurochemicals responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Snowboarding has been shown to reduce stress
by increasing levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps balance our brains’ response to stress. Jonathan Chang, MD, of Pacific Orthopedic Associates, says another key perk of snowboarding, and many other sports, is that “the thrill of shredding the powder is good for your mental health
.” Recent studies, Chang says, indicate an elevation in people’s mood and reduced anxiety
level improve when they exercise
outdoors. Snowboarding out also helps keep us from ruminating “by altering blood flow to those areas of the brain involved in triggering us to relive these stressful thoughts again and again,” says study co-author Elissa Epel, an associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF.