Cross-country skiing, a winter activity excellent for health!

Cross-country skiing, an endurance sport which makes work all your muscles softly

Cross-country skiing remains a winter activity very agreeable, which makes to work all the muscles in softness and permits to benefit from startling landscapes which offer forest and mountain. Whatever one is beginner or confirmed skier, one will find his happiness on skiing cross-country pistes, using the glide techniques which convene the best to his level. Suppleness, blow, balance, endurance… numerous capacities are developed thanks to cross-country skiing !

Cross-country skiing techniques

Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Besides constituting in an agreeable manner to benefit from winter, cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing, presents numerous advantages for organism. Softer than Alpine skiing, it is sometimes associated with a sport of « old people » and however, this sportive activity is not on rest.

It exists two techniques of cross-country skiing :

The alternative step, also called classical technique, which consists to move forward, with the feet in parallel, in the rails drawn in the snow. This technique seems to walk and beginners practice it a lot. We find different variants, as simultaneous push, which is a technique used on flat or descending grounds (the skier only uses then his arms to propel himself) or the alternative step which alternates legs and arms.

• The skate step (or skating) needs a movement which, as its name indicates it, seems to the movement effectuated by skaters. Propulsions are then lateral and need a good balance. Here again, we find various variants in the skate step technique, as the twice step (the skier helps himself with his two arms for the first leg push and effectuates the second without help of his arms) or the once step (the skier helps himself with his arms at each leg push).

Benefits from cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing makes work the whole muscles, that it to say legs, buttocks, trunk, back and arms (which push on the sticks). Besides, it is a soft sport, which has a very little impact on articulations and ligaments and which generates rarely injuries in case of fall.

Nordic skiing improves bloody circulation as well as the working of respiratory apparatus. In fact, it is an endurance sport which develops lung capacities. It helps to burn fats because cross-country skier (men and women) burn from 500 to 800 calories per hour.

Cross-country skiing develops suppleness (ligaments, articulations, and tendons are solicited in softness), coordination of movements and balance, in reason of narrowness of skis (wide 5 or 6 cm only)

For nature and calm lovers, it represents an excellent mean to escape to the crowd of Alpine skiing pistes. It permits to benefit from an agreeable moment in couple or in family and to gaze at forest from nearer.

Cross-country skiing: a few advice…

Cross-country skiing, a winter activity excellent for health!
Cross-country skiing, a winter activity excellent for health!
Of course, it needs a minimum of preparation before moving forward in an expedition of various hours in cross-country skiing. If it is effectively softer than Alpine skiing, however Nordic skiing needs endurance and blow. So better prepares oneself a few weeks in advance, walking, running, swimming or cycling in a regular manner.

A minimum of technique, explanations are equally necessary before cross-country ski are slim and fixation point is located in only one place: the front of the foot. In order to manage his impetus in climbs and his balance in the descents, so it is recommended to know base rules. Of course it is strongly recommended to warm up before and to go gradually, in order to not exhaust too fast.

At last, know risks linked to Nordic skiing remain very minim. A fall causes the more often a big laugh, possibly an haematoma, and sometimes a sprain. Fracture risk remains very rare

Do not forget to drink during your expedition and bring you a light meal to be fully energetic. « Have a good walk ! »

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Written by Corinne Duré, December 27th 2010.
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Themes approached and treated in this publication : climb, cross country skiing, muscles, nordic, snow, sport, technique