How to get ready for winter Cross Country Skiing (Fitness)

An excerpt from: http://www.ehow.com/how_2065107_get-shape-cross-country-skiing.html#ixzz2WsIudiou

  1. Put together a sensible fitness plan before the winter season begins. You should alternate days of weight training with days of cardiovascular and endurance training.
  2. Work on your endurance levels by taking up running or joining a spinning class. Cross country skiing makes high demands on your cardiovascular system, particularly if you are skiing at a faster pace. Cardio exercise will help to increase your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen more efficiently.
  3. Use a heart monitor to make sure that you are staying within your aerobic heart rate zone, the optimal rate for increasing your endurance.
  4. Pick up some weights and work on weight training your large muscle groups in your arms and chest. Because poles play a large part in the activity of cross country skiing, it is important to build muscle mass for strength and keep your biceps, triceps and other arm and chest muscles in shape.
  5. Buy a pair of Nordic walking poles to incorporate active arm movements into your walking routine. It’s important to remember that cross country skiing usually takes place at higher elevations, so planning a day hike or two in the mountains during the off-season isn’t a bad idea and Nordic walking poles will help you get your coordination in shape for the coming cross country season.
  6. Be sure to fully stretch out your muscles before and after each training session. An easy trick is to loop a yoga strap around the instep of one foot while lying on your back. Stretch the opposite leg out straight along the floor while using the yoga strap to pull your other leg towards you, giving your hamstrings a gentle stretch.
  7. Stretch out your arm muscles following intense weight training or exercise by bending your elbow over your head and placing your opposite hand on top. Apply gentle pressure to stretch out your triceps. Repeat the stretch on the other side.

 

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