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Eight reasons why you too should take up cross-country skiing this season

Hot new sport or a pastime for bores? Whether classic or skating, cross-country skiing is becoming more and more popular in Switzerland. Increasing numbers of young people are discovering the sport, particularly in recent years. Here are eight reasons to go cross-country skiing this season.

Discover the benefits of cross-country skiing

1. Cross-country skiing is the ideal full-body workout

If you are looking for a challenging endurance workout that uses all of your muscles, cross-country skiing is just the thing. When you ski you use around 600 muscles in your arms, buttocks and legs, as well as in your upper body. You also build your endurance, balance and coordination. Cross-country skiing also burns fat, stimulates the metabolism and strengthens the immune system.

2. Cross-country skiing has a calming and meditative effect

Compared to downhill skiing, cross-country skiing is a much more stress-free winter sport, with no noise, no hooligans and no crowds at the ski lift. Cross-country skiing allows you to get in tune with nature, and experience it directly. After just five minutes of being in nature, you will notice calmness permeating through your mind and body. If you like a certain spot, you can simply pause for a while and take in the view.

3. Cross-country skiing is perfect for losing weight

Gliding silently through the landscape looks easier than it is. Cross-country skiing is a thorough workout. In one hour you burn around 1 000 calories, which is the equivalent of about one and a half large bars of chocolate.

4. Cross-country skiing reduces the risk of depression and dementia
Researchers at the Swedish universities of Lund and Uppsala studied around 200 000 participants in cross-country ski races of over 90 km between 1989 and 2000. One of the findings of this long-term study was that endurance sports such as cross-country skiing can reduce the risk of depression and dementia by around 50%.
5. Cross-country skiing is environmentally friendly

Unlike downhill skiing, cross-country skiing relies entirely on natural snow. Since there is virtually no need for snow-making equipment, preparing the trails requires very little water and energy. The trails are prepared on fields, meadows and forest roads as soon as there is enough natural snow. There are also countless cross-country skiing regions close by that you can reach quickly and with little impact on the environment.

6. Cross-country skiing strengthens the heart

Not only is cross-country skiing a perfect full-body workout, but it is also very good for building endurance and strengthening the cardiovascular system. The physical exertion boosts your circulation, with the heart working hard to get enough oxygen to the muscles. Regular workouts on cross-country skis can help to lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

7. Cross-country skiing is inexpensive

A cross-country skiing set for beginners is more affordable than a downhill set. All beginners need are cross-country skis, poles, boots, bindings and clothes with removable layers. Cross-country skiing passes are also more affordable, and you can purchase a single pass for all of the trails in Switzerland.

8. Cross-country skiing requires no prior knowledge
Anyone can learn cross-country skiing. Beginners usually find the classical style easier to learn. A basic course is enough to prepare you for a few laps on the trail by yourself.

Five breathtaking cross-country skiing trails in Switzerland

Switzerland has countless cross-country skiing regions with gorgeous views. If you can't decide where to go, here are five of the most beautiful trails.


It doesn't come as much of a surprise that the home of Olympic champion Dario Cologna also has stunning trails. Val Müstair is a rather small cross-country skiing area, but one that has something for everyone, from the well-known Loipa Dario Cologna in Ftan with varied terrain to the more challenging, panoramic La Sulagliva trail. Everyone will enjoy cross-country skiing in the unspoiled winter landscape of this remote valley in Graubünden.

Savour the spectacular views of Lake Neuchâtel over 45 kilometres of groomed trails for classic skiing and skating. On a clear day you can see mountain vistas ranging from Mont Blanc all the way to Säntis. The varied cross-country skiing region of Les Prés-d'Orvin-Chasseral lies between 1 000 and 1 500 metres above sea level, which means it is bound to have snow.

At more than 3,000 metres above sea level, Crans-Montana offers a cross-country skiing experience that is in a class of its own. On the Plaine Morte glacier there are two different cross-country ski trails of varying lengths, both of which offer spectacular views of the most beautiful peaks in the Alps.

Not many people know that you can cross-country ski in Ticino. But Switzerland's sunniest region in no way falls short, offering 30 km of trails through the beautiful alder forests in Campra, where skiers can enjoy fine views of the surrounding mountains.

Goms has over 100 km of perfectly groomed cross-country trails. Those who love variety and trails with small jumps and moguls are sure to find what they're looking for here. Very ambitious cross-country skiers can test their mettle by signing up for the International Gommerlauf with its 42 km of trails connecting all of the villages in Obergoms. A real challenge!

Cross-country skiing: more than 5,000 km of trails in Switzerland
Not convinced yet?

Discover your nearest cross-country skiing trails here.

SWICA – Because health is everything

Being active pays off. SWICA – unlike many other health insurance companies – supports your personal commitment through a wide range of activities and offers relating to health promotion and preventive healthcare. Whether it's skiing, yoga, tai chi, fitness classes, swimming lessons, breathing exercises, personal training, nutritional advice, mindfulness training, tennis or one of the other available options, you enjoy attractive contributions of up to 800 francs per year from the COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans (see detailed information).

Incidentally, supplementary insurance always provides valuable additional benefits above and beyond those available under basic insurance. It can be taken out with SWICA at any time, regardless of which insurer currently provides your basic insurance.


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Would you like more information or a personal consultation? SWICA Client Services would be happy to assist. Call us on 0800 80 90 80 or send us a message using the contact form below.

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