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Stay on Track – Skiing in Glasgow

Monday 08 January 2018

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Keeping fit during the winter months can seem like a chore and with the wintry weather limiting your choice of activities, motivation can often lag.

But what if your workout was full of spontaneity and adventure? Something you can do whatever the weather, in an environment that remains the same all year round...

Snow Factor is Glasgow’s only indoor ski facility. Home to tonnes of real, crisp snow, here you can experience a variety of fun ways to exercise and keep fit all under one roof. It boasts four ski lifts, an ice climbing wall, a Bavarian restaurant, an ice slide, sledging, a festive grotto and the only permanent Ice Bar in Scotland!

Mountaineer and entrepreneur Jamie Smith, acquired Snow Factor in 2011 and has been providing activities for a fun and fit day out ever since. As long as you’re over three-years-old, you can participate at the Snow Dome on your own, with a partner, with a group of friends or bring the entire family.

Smiling owner Jamie Smith in a blue jumper and jeans, standing in front of a ski slope covered in crisp white snow inside Ski Factor.

Check out some of the ways you can keep fit at the Snow Factor below:

Fit for the slopes

Taking part in snowy activities offers a wide variety of health benefits - many that a lot of people wouldn't think about. Snow Factor features a 168m main slope, a 50m learning slope, four ski lifts and a 12m-high ice climbing wall. As a perfect venue for fitness fanatics, the Snow Factor regularly hosts members of the Scottish Alpine & British Ski & Snowboard teams who practice here for major competitions.

The slopes accommodate fast-paced activities like sledging, skiing and snowboarding, whilst the ice wall caters to those wanting to explore climbing. 

Snow sports offer an array of fitness benefits – cardio, muscle fitness and a great leg workout are the obvious ones. However, snow sports offer so much more!

Strengthen bones, joints & lower body muscle

When skiing and snowboarding, your knees take on a lot of tension and weight from your body. This is mainly due to the turning and moving at a fast pace downhill, and because you maintain a consistent squat position - your inner and outer thighs, quads, glutes and hamstrings get a super workout. Don’t worry, you will be too busy having an awesome time to feel the burn - maybe the next day however!

Improves flexibility, balance & core strength

Skiing and boarding take a great amount of balance, meaning you need to have great core engagement. Also, your agility and balance are tested when you are skiing, so you should improve the more you practise.

Improved proprioception 

Proprioception is the ability to feel the effort when moving different body parts and feel each different position. The coordination and balance used when skiing, ice climbing and boarding is intense and you will have to be aware of all slight movements and positioning to maintain a good flow.

Promotes deep sleep 

After any good workout, you feel exhausted and there’s no need to count sleep when your head hits the pillow! You will find a fun, full-bodied workout will burn so much energy that you will be guaranteed a blissful night’s sleep.

How to be fit at Snow Factor

A skier in a black snowsuit doing a high jump on the indoor ski slopes at Snow Factor.  Caption: Photo Credit Jeff Holmes Photography

Skiing & boarding

Who hasn't pictured themselves as Olympian gold medallist Jean-Claude Killy, amidst the dazzling snow of the Alps?

Snow Factor is perfect for beginners. Get a real feel for what it is like to ski and work on your coordination, while strengthening those legs. If you are experienced, Snow Factor is a great place to practise your skills, improve your technique for future trips and most importantly - have fun!

Do you see yourself riding the snowflake waves? Do you want to try out snowboarding? Whether you are an expert or you want a new experience, you can learn to board from as young as five.

This exhilarating sport can be enjoyed based on your level of comfort, as you can choose between the 50m and 168m slope.

Ice climbing

It is not exactly Mount Everest but it’s the next best thing!

Grab your boots, crampons, ice axe and helmet (all provided by Snow Factor) and prepare to face the 12m wall of solid ice.

Ice climbing is great exercise for your core and muscular strength. Not to mention this is the probably the closest you will come to feeling like a character from Game of Thrones!

For all activities, it is important that you are dressed appropriately and wrapped up warm, as the slopes are chilly.

Fitness is also about having fun and Snow Factor promotes exactly that. Spend time truly enjoying yourself and you won’t even notice the calories melting away in the snow.

Ice Bar & Bar Varia Restaurant

Three people wearing big winter coats drinking bottles of beer at a bar made from ice, surrounded by snow-covered walls  Caption: Photo Credit Jeff Holmes Photography

After a long day of exhilarating sports and a full body workout, you are going to have a big appetite.

Look no further, as Snow Factor has the amazing Bar Varia Restaurant that overlooks the slopes and is open to families with children (up to 10 pm). The Bavarian-styled Bier Halle & Restaurant offers a range of hot food and authentic German beers, and a good menu for the kids too.

For the adults only, you may want a 45-minute experience in the Baltic Ice Bar- situated by the main slope (Scotland’s only permanent ice bar) with seats, glasses and bar top all made from ice.

Sounds cool!

So, how do I get there? 

CrossCountry makes travelling to these exciting places a breeze.

Glasgow is one of our “Next Stop Destinations” and is easy to travel from to get to the Snow Factor.

From Glasgow Central Station:

Taxi: Take a 17-minute taxi straight to the Snow Factor

Buses: Hop on the X7, X36 or Clyde Flyer 906 bus from West Campbell St (26 mins) or the 26 Bus from Union St (48 mins), followed by a 10-minute walk to Snow Factor.

Save a cheer for when we see you there!

Smiling bar server dressed like an authentic Bavarian waitress with long blonde hair holding two large glasses of German beer in a busy bar Caption: Photo Credit Jeff Holmes Photography


Written by Julia

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