As an avid skier, I’ve always liked to think that skiing and being outdoors in the winter time also contributes to good health.  An article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal the other day caught my eye as proof positive that in fact, skiing can lead to better health and a longer life.

Klaus Obermeyer is famous in the skiing industry for creating Sport Obermeyer, a clothing company dedicated to creating clothing specific to alpine skiing.  When I was first learning to ski during college and went to the local ski shop, I remember seeing the Obermeyer wool sweaters with the snowflake designs.  Obermeyer is also credited with creating the first down jacket.  One thing’s for sure, their clothing was made to last.  I still have an Obermeyer sweater from over 20 years ago that I still wear during the snowy winter months.

Klaus Obermeyer moved from his native Germany to Aspen, Colorado in 1947, where he founded his company Sport Obermeyer and has lived in ski country ever since.  His mission was to ski every day, stating emphatically that the best way to test their product was to be outside and active. Having received a lifetime pass from Aspen Mountain, he still tries to ski as often as possible, even at 96 years old.  With eight different pairs of skis, he is able to find a ski for any kind of conditions.  “If there’s snow on the ground, I’m on the slopes,” says Obermeyer.

In addition to skiing, Obermeyer also practices aikido, a Japanese martial art, and tries to swim most days, up to 1/2 mile per day. He also tries to follow a healthy diet, limiting his diet to a vegetarian one.

So many of us fear getting old, and not being able to be active, and losing our independence.  Reading about Klaus Obermeyer and his active lifestyle, I feel hopeful and inspired.  Part of what I love most about living in the mountains of Nederland is the vast opportunities for recreation year-round.  I know that getting outside makes me feel happier and joyful, and if Obermeyer’s life is proof, it apparently can lead to a healthier and happier life.  Perhaps it’s a good reminder for all of us to follow his example, and follow the words of a bumper sticker his employees created — “Be like Klaus.”  Words to live by.