In several respects mountain-climbing is a peculiarly wholesome form of athletic sport for the large number of persons whose vocations are sedentary. The indoor life which these persons commonly lead and the protection from even the slightest rigors of climate which their mode of housing and places of work afford them are more than likely to render them oversensitive to the extremes of weather. It is for precisely such unexposed persons that an occasional trip to the highlands and an alpine excursion has most refreshing recuperation and stimulus in store. The heart is called on to exert itself to a degree which, in an otherwise healthy subject, will be followed only by the invigoration characteristic of most exercise. The advantage is not confined to a single organ; for the respiratory mechanism, the entire musculature of the body as well as the cardiac and circulatory apparatus, and the general metabolic processes apparently benefit in ways not readily definable in accurate scientific terms. In addition to an indefinable feeling of well-being, considerable skill is acquired in certain of the performances of mountain-climbing or other feats of alpine sport. The combination has shown its wholesome and invigorating influence on many an individual suffering from the “fag” of a life of physical inactivity.
Winter Sports and Health. JAMA. 2014;312(24):2691. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279916