Tired of the line ups and costs that come along with downhill skiing?
In this blog post, physiotherapist Nate Mundy explores reasons to consider giving the skinny-ski sister sport of cross-country a try.
1. Workout your entire body. Unlike many running sports, cross country skiing works the upper and lower body as well as the core with synchronized pushing and pulling movements. It works everything from your glutes, quads, and calves to your pecs, lats, triceps and more!
2. Burn tons of calories. At the top level, Olympic athletes can easily burn over 1000 calories/hour! Even without being at this level, most recreational athletes can expect to burn anywhere in the range of 400-600 calories/hour.
3. Improve your cardiovascular fitness. With the sustained high-level heart rate that comes with cross country skiing, your heart gets stronger and more efficient at supplying your body with freshly oxygenated blood. This translates into more stamina and endurance, even in other areas of your life!
4. Decrease impact on your knees and hips. Due to the gliding action used in cross country skiing there is minimal impact to the feet, knees, and hips compared to running sports such as soccer, rugby or football.
5. Socialize with friends and family or enjoy some solitude. Because cross country skiing can be done in either large or small groups, it’s the perfect way to get in some exercise and catch up with those closest to you. On the other hand, maybe some silence in nature is what you crave? There are endless quiet trails out there to enjoy on your own as well.
6. Get outside. Cross country skiing is a great way to experience our local mountains and take in the magnificent views of the city. At just over 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Cypress Mountain has the only nordic ski area on the North Shore. With night skiing until 10pm during the regular season, it’s a great way to get in some after work exercise.
7. Try an Olympic experience. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can head to Whistler Olympic Park in Callaghan Valley to try their biathlon experience. Here, you’ll test your marksmanship skills at the biathlon range and ski the same course used in the 2010 Olympics.
For more information about the above cross country locations and further resources to get you started, see the links below:
Whistler Olympic Park/Callaghan Valley:
Nordic Racers Ski Club: a Vancouver-based club offering learn-to-ski clinics and many other opportunities to explore the sport of cross-country skiing: