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 with 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 and really experience nature. 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 people who took part in a 90 km cross-country ski race 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 friendlyUnlike 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.
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 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 is suitable for most people
Cross-country skiing requires no prior knowledge and is suitable for young and old. Beginners usually find the classic style easier to learn. An introductory course will set you up to head out on the trail by yourself.
9. Cross-country skiing boosts the immune system
Cross-country skiing takes place outdoors amid nature and in cold temperatures. This helps to strengthen the immune system. The fresh air is also good for your state of mind.
10. The conditions are (almost) always rightEven if there is heavy snowfall, the sun is nowhere to be seen or there is a blanket of fog, you can still go cross-country skiing in pretty adverse weather conditions. Conquer your inner couch potato, and you’ll end up with a real smile on your face.
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 is rewardingSWICA supports your preventive and health-promoting activities relating to exercise, nutrition and wellbeing. Because cross-country skiing keeps you mentally and physically fit, every year SWICA makes generous contributions towards the cost of your cross-country ski pass or local season ticket.
Find out more
One cross-country skiing kit worth 1'000 francs, to be redeemed at the sports shop of your choice
One Swiss cross-country ski pass worth 160 francs for the 2024/25 season
Enter now and winAll you have to do to take part is answer the question below. Good luck!
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 1'300 francs* per year from the COMPLETA FORTE, 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.
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.Request a personal consultation