HomeCategory Health

We aren’t doctors, and we try not to play one on the internet. But if we find health information that we feel affects cross-country skiers as a group, we do our best to pass it along.
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Over the last six months, an increasing number of athletes have posted photos and videos from their training sessions that include a small circular pod attached to the back of their arms, near the triceps. As it turns out, the pod is a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), specifically the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor which partnered with a new company, Supersapiens, to design an interface that allows athletes to monitor and optimize their blood...

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This is Part 4 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility, and Part 3 on single limb stability. ——————————————– Upper body power is a major contributor and perhaps even a determinant of cross country skiing performance. Poling accounts for up to 60%...

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This is Part 3 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction, Part 1 which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture, and Part 2 which describes spine stability and mobility. The ability to balance and be stable on one leg is where the rubber meets the road (or ski hits the snow). True, we generate propulsion with strength and endurance,...

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This is Part 2 of a series delving into how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique. If you haven’t already, start with the introduction and Part 1, which introduces the concept of a neutral spine posture. There are many ways to conceptualize biomechanics, but they all need a starting place. If we think about ski technique, where do we want to start? On the glide leg? With the poles? At the hips? For this...

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Building a Better Skier is a multi-part series born from the inquisitive mind of a physical therapist and late-blooming Nordic skier. (You can find the intro to the series here.) The objective is to explore how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. To cover this topic thoroughly would likely require a hefty book, so apologies in advance if these articles lack depth or...

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Building a Better Skier is a multi-part series born from the inquisitive mind of a physical therapist and late-blooming Nordic skier. The objective is to explore how biomechanics and movement patterns affect skiing technique, and more importantly how you can apply these concepts to improve your skiing. To cover this topic thoroughly would likely require a hefty book, so apologies in advance if these articles lack depth or specificity. Please feel free to email the...

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Whether cycling, rollerskiing, or apparently spring skate skiing, road rash is almost inevitable. Maybe more annoying than painful, but definitely damaging to the ego, road rash is not necessarily difficult to treat. Contrary to popular belief, it acts much more like a burn than an abrasion. Also, contrary to popular belief, treatment should not attempt to dry it out. Step 1. Cleaning Make sure your hands are clean or gloved. Clean the area with water. If...

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Last year at this time, I was primarily gym-ridden. After roughly five months on snow, my fitness was high but my tolerance for the impact and specific demands of running were low. Throwing better judgement to the wind, I gave in to the allure of warm days, rapidly drying trails, and beloved road loops around town, and paid the price.   Despite running between zero and ten miles total between December and the end of February,...

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  Lung health in Nordic Sports study! Do you ever wonder if a bad cough or raspy voice after a ski race or biathlon race affects your lung health? Do you ever wonder how cold is too cold to train or race or other health factors like itchy skin or food allergies affect your lung health? Then your participation in this study will help researchers understand the full extent, type and causes of respiratory health...

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This article is part of a series regarding female athlete specific physiology and nutrition. To get started, you can find a primer on the menstrual cycle here and listen to this podcast on Nordic Nation discussing female athlete specific nutrition with registered dietician and professional runner Maddie Alm. The survey analyzed here is an extension of the conversation with Guro Strøm Solli on her research on female athlete specific physiology and effects that the menstrual cycle has on training...

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This article is part of a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. To get started, you can find a primer on this topic here, and listen to this podcast on Nordic Nation discussing female athlete specific nutrition with registered dietician and professional runner Maddie Alm. Readers who have followed cross-country skiing for several decades may be familiar with the name Guro Strøm Solli. Now 37-years-old, Solli was a member of...

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This article provides an introduction to a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. Results from a survey regarding how elite US cross-country skiers and biathletes use insight into their cycles in their own training will also be analyzed and shared.  An arguably essential component of developing as an athlete is learning how to listen to the signals one’s body sends. Am I skiing easy enough on my recovery days to...

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The video presents several dynamic stretches as you begin to develop your own routine using slower, coordinated movements to move the joint through the desired motion. Striving for flexibility is ingrained from a young age. The sit-and-reach test was a key component of the presidential fitness test which was administered to elementary-aged school children until recently. Middle and high school athletes often go through a routine of static stretches before starting practice. Acro-yoga masters now fill...

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What a year. In the spirit of optimism, we want to highlight a few non-profits worthy of your consideration when thinking of buying gifts this holiday season. We know the wonder cross-country skiing provides. Gliding through the woods, no noise, totally connected. Silent sports fuel us. Why not support organizations lifting kids up and sharing the wealth that is skiing.    Spirit North: Canada based and supporting Indigenous youth. Founded by Beckie Scott, a former...

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  Another mask to add to your wardrobe? These masks will not provide protection from Covid-19, however, they may be key to preventing breathing problems into the future for cross-country skiers. Whilst it may not be news to any of the readers here, but cross-country skiing as a winter sport exposes us to some quite extreme conditions both in training and competition. The FIS cut-off of -4°F (-20°C) was primarily established to prevent cold-based injuries...

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I’ve struggled with body satisfaction my entire life. I don’t just want to be skinnier, I want to be leaner, more defined, more like an… “athlete”. But last fall, I was hit by a car and I find myself wondering, is the body I have, not the body the insecure part of me craves, responsible for my return to sport?   Since I was little, the word “athlete” activated images of beautiful toned-muscled people in my...

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You may have noticed that health concerns are on everyone’s mind these days. You may also have noticed that your favorite park/ski trail/hiking trail/bike path is unusually crowded, as a nation of stay-at-home individuals ventures out for fresh air and the undeniable health benefits that physical exercise provides. FasterSkier here compiles some recent popular scholarship on the topics of exercise best practices in the time of coronavirus. FasterSkier explicitly does not give its imprimatur to any...

This book is for female athletes ages 12 to 92. Or for parents of female athletes. Or coaches of female athletes. Or anyone who wishes to otherwise support female athletes.  In 2016, Stacy Sims, Ph.D sparked a shift in training philosophy with her simple message to female athletes: “You are not a small man. Stop eating and training like one.”  Although the fact that there are physiological differences between men and women are abundantly clear,...

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Looking for a fall meal that is both comforting and deeply nourishing? Steamboat Springs, CO based Registered Dietician Nutritionist Cara Marrs shares a mouth-watering anti-inflammatory recipe that we can attest fits the bill. Marrs supports clients through her practice in person and online, and has worked with local Winter Olympians as well as recreational, junior, and collegiate xc skiers on their daily and performance nutrition needs. Outside of nutrition counseling, Marrs is an avid trail...

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Do you know what a Growth Mindset is? How would you rate your growth mindset? Do you use it in all the areas in which you’re trying to grow? The more I coach, the more I think that a lot of our problems as athletes and humans begins with how much we believe we can change, and whether or not we believe we have power over those changes. The belief that you can change is...