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Your Guide To Cross Country Skiing - excerpt from wintertrails.org

Cross country skiing is a terrific way to enjoy the great outdoors in winter. The pleasures of cross country skiing can take your mind off the stresses of the daily grind, whether you seek the solitude of solo skiing or are spending some quality time with family and friends. It's also a great aerobic activity, enabling you to burn up hundreds of calories per hour without straining joints such as ankles and knees. You'll get a low-impact workout while enjoying the outdoors, and the scenery sure beats the view at your local health club.

But as with any new sport, cross country skiing can seem daunting to newcomers. Novices can be baffled by the variety of equipment choices and even the unfamiliar words. This guide is designed to put you at ease and give you basic information that will help you get started the right way.

First Time to Hardwood Ski and Bike

If this is your first time to Hardwood Ski and Bike you will have a lot of questions. Please read the attached document for some of the answers to these questions. If you have any other questions please call us at 1 800 387 3775.

Frequently Asked Questions


 
Getting in Shape for Snow Sports


Snow sports are an excellent way to maintain a fitness program during the winter because they help develop aerobic capacity and muscle strength. Year-round, snow sports participants should concentrate on exercises and activities that build endurance, muscles and flexibility, since all of these are recommended to enjoy snow sports to their fullest.

It is important to note, however, that people can enjoy snow sports at a basic level even if they aren't in peak physical condition. A walk on gently rolling terrain in snowshoes or cross country skiing at a leisurely speed on flat ground are a couple of ways a person can include snow sports in a beginning exercise program.

Adopt an Exercise Program:
Walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming and weight training are all exercises that will give a person a good foundation to enjoy snow sports.

Develop a Training Program Designed for Snow Sports:
Those who want to train specifically for snow sports should include plyometrics in their training program. These jumping movements develop muscle power and strength and improve overall agility. Another important fitness aspect to include is exercises that increase leg strength.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 October 2010 11:30
 
Nutrition for Snow Sports
Eating right will prepare you for snow sports.

Fundamentals
Get back to the fundamentals by combining the following:
  • Carbohydrates (55-60%)
  • Protein (10-15%)
  • Fat (remaining %)
Fat Can Be Good
Fat in a diet can increase stamina. "Good fats" include: nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.

What To Eat
To achieve optimum results, outdoor enthusiasts should have a good supply of the following foods:
  • Pastas
  • Whole grains (oatmeal, rice, bread)
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn)
  • Legumes and some fibrous vegetables and fruits (vitamins)
Building for Endurance
For endurance, the best source of energy comes from complex carbohydrates. Taking carbohydrates an hour before exercising can help to sustain energy.

Proteins Are Good
Proteins help the immune system and provide amino acids that strengthen cells and tissues.

Hydration is Key
Winter sports offer great workouts. As a result, participants need a lot of fluids. Staying hydrated is essential. Drink plenty of liquids before, during and after you participate. Water or sports drinks are best.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2008 21:08
 
What to Wear

Wearing clothing designed specifically to keep you warm and dry in one's comfort level when playing outdoors can make a big difference. Versatile, functional winter apparel is worth the investment. Here is basic information about dressing for winter:

Layering
The best way to dress for winter is to wear multiple layers of clothing. This system gives participants the flexibility to add or remove layers depending on the weather and activities. Most commonly, winter sports participants wear three layers: wicking, insulating and weather protection.

Wicking layer:

  • This is the layer worn next to the skin, usually, thermal underwear.
  • Look for thermal underwear made of a synthetic — usually polyester — fiber that has "wicking" power. As participants perspire, the fibers will wick (move) moisture away from the skin and pass it through the fabric so it can evaporate. This keeps skiers warm, dry and comfortable. Silk is also a good, natural fabric that has wicking abilities.
  • Even though it's cold, snow sports will make participants sweat — especially if they are cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. This is why the wicking layer is very important.
Insulating layer:
  • This middle layer includes sweaters, sweatshirts, vests and pullovers. The purpose of this layer is to keep heat in and cold out, which is accomplished by trapping air between the fibers.
  • Popular insulation materials include fleece, a synthetic material which maintains its insulating ability even when wet and spreads the moisture out so it dries quickly, and wool, which naturally wicks away moisture.
 
Get Going
 
Cross country skiing is relatively easy to learn, but first-timers should still take a lesson from a qualified instructor. Lessons can greatly enhance the experience.This is especially true if you don't have any experience ice skating, inline skating or exercising with a cross country skiing simulator.

Call ahead to the local area or destination resort to find out about beginner lessons and any special deals or packages that might be available. Make the ski school your first stop. Take a group or private lesson.
 
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