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In 2007, aged 30, I began to follow my passion for Nordic skiing and start the journey of adding it to my sports coaching skill set.

With the encouragement and enthusiasm from both Nigel Williams (my previous employer at Scotland's National Outdoor Training Centre Glenmore Lodge) and Tania Noakes (now an IFMGA guide and BASI Nordic Trainer) I qualified as a Nordic Ski Instructor through BASIthe British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

Some 7 years, several courses, assessments and sliding on white stuff later I am now delighted to have reached BASI's highest Nordic Ski Teaching level. Having then completed further modules & courses including a second snowsport discipline I am now a member of the International Ski Instructors Association. Yeeha!

As part of the ISIA students must complete a research paper on a element of snowsport teaching. Using my background as a personal trainer and interest in health and fitness I chose to research age in relation to snowsport. My study appropriately entitled 'Is 72 the New 30?' explores the ages of those participating in snowsport, the physiological signs of ageing and how we can stay fit & healthy on the slopes later on in life.

My research did of course did conclude that ageing is not something that we can hide from, but we can reduce some of the physical effects of ageing with a balance of a healthy eating and taking regular exercise, which therefore has positive results not just in respect of our snowsports but throughout life.

If not teaching I certainly plan to still be skiing at 72 and hope you do to!


You can download my research project here. Thoughts & feedback most certainly welcome.

NEW FLASH!!! We are delighted to have our Alpine Trail Running Camp featured in the Telegraph's lifestyle magazine Stella Magazine today. Ranked as top in ten fitness destinations around the world find out how running & holiday can be used in the same sentence when journalist Ben Arogundade joined us for a week of sunny trail running, healthy food & fun times with like-minded people. If you missed the hard copy you can still download part of the article here: "Destination: A New You!"

During long winter days when the temperatures are below zero often energy snacks freeze in your pockets, resulting in a jaw breaking battle to eat them! Here are some simple ideas and tips to help you fueled up and on the move:

1. DIY trail mix - add more nuts than fruit and cut up dark chocolate into small pieces so it melts in your mouth quicker.
2. Sports waffles/wafers are less likely to freeze such as honey stingers wafer bar made by PowerBar
3. Shock Bloks from Cliff Bar do not freeze
4. Whole grain crackers spread with peanut nut butter (e.g. oat cakes)
5. Wraps filled with peanut butter and banana or cheese and meat: cut the wrap in half and fold up - they're small and compact.
6. Use a sports bottle and add cooled boiled water to delay freezing. Additionally adding a sports powder/drink will lower the freezing point of the water.
7. Invest in a small Thermos: add hot chocolate / soups as a warm snack.
8. Often a home made chewy granola bar filled with nuts, seeds and oats is less likely to freeze than a sugary sports gel or bar.

Practical Ideas
1) Place snacks in an inside pocket next to your body but within easy access.
2) Get used to unwrapping snacks with your gloves for speed, efficiency to prevent hands getting cold.
3) Cut up snacks small before heading out.
4) If using a sports bottle an insulated sleeve (can be home made with a square of carry mat) to wrap the bottle.
5) With a bladder system an insulator sleeve and hose insulator will help. Cut the length of the tube to the shortest length (to minimise freezing) and always blow back down the tube after taking a drink.
6) Nalgene bottles with a wider opening can be filled with boiled water can be covered with an insulator sleeve and stored upside down to prevent the ice from forming at the opening of the bottle.
7) Nalgene bottles also make great hot water bottles for over nights in cold huts or tents.
8) Place the water bottle/bladder pack close to your body.
9) If using a small back pack then this can be worn underneath your winter jacket.

Written by Rebecca Dent - High Performance Dietitian - January 2015

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