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Cross-Country Skiing Rates High in Cardio Gains

Cross-country skiing is an incredible cardiovascular workout! Next to running and cycling, cross country skiing is one of the top cardio workouts. You can benefit from strapping on some skis and getting outdoors this winter.

Not only does it cost less than downhill skiing there are numerous trails cross-country skiing trails around Calgary, which are often free to use, and family-friendly! Getting outdoors this winter is good for your health. When preparing for cross-country skiing here are some tips to help you avoid injuries, and exercises to help you be prepared.

Common injuries.

  • Back Pain

  • Ankle Sprain

  • Runner's Knee or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Pain under or around the kneecap.)

  • Shin Splints or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Pain along the shin bone.)

  • Achilles Tendinitis (Pain, inflammation, and stiffness on and around the upper heel moving into your ankle.)

How to avoid injuries.

  • Strength train before and during the season to keep muscles strong and support joints.

  • Increase your time on skis slowly when the season starts.

  • Warm up before cross-country skiing as cold muscles are prone to more injuries. Warm-up can include dynamic stretching, jogging, or any movement that gets blood flowing!

  • Consult a professional to make sure your skis, boots, and poles fit properly.

  • Proper technique decreases stress on your body and can help prevent injuries, consider cross-country ski classes if this is your first time cross-country skiing.

  • Always check the weather forecast and avalanche warnings before going out on the trail.

Exercises to help prevent injuries.


· Rear Lunges

· Side Lunges

· Balance Scale or Airplane (making a T with your arms, face the ground, balance on one leg lifting the opposite leg behind you. Hold for 30 seconds then switch legs.)

· Step Up's (alternate lead legs)

· Triceps Push Up's

· Side Plank and Reach Through

· Back Extensions

· Lateral Skaters

· Split Stance Lunge with Diagonal Chops


· Lunge stretches

· Quad stretches

· Hamstring stretches

· Calves stretches

· Front of shoulder and chest stretches

For more information, help with the above exercises, or to start a new strength training program, contact one of our Health & Fitness professionals today at

or join us for a Group Strength, Yoga, Pilates or Mobility Class

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