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Cross-country (Nordic) Skiing

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Nordic Skiing
Cross country skiing is an inexpensive and easy to learn alternative to downhill skiing that provides an excellent low impact cardiovascular workout that tones all the muscles of the body. It is increasingly popular with baby boomers who are concerned about the risk of injury associated with downhill skiing and with those who never learned to downhill ski but want to experience the pleasures of winter outdoor exercise.

If you are thinking of learning to cross country ski, consider the following:

  • Cross country skiing requires only a few pieces of moderately priced equipment. You will need a special pair of soft ski boots that attach at the toes to lightweight skis. The heel is left free to move up and down. These skis come in different lengths and widths. Longer and thinner skis will go faster than shorter and wider ones but will be harder to maneuver over bumping ground. A pair of poles will help you push yourself through the snow.
  • There are two basic styles of cross country skiing, classic and skating. Classic is easier to learn because it simply requires putting one foot in front of the other in a gliding motion. Skating involves a skating motion and requires special short skis and long poles.
  • Cross country skiing does not involve purchasing an expensive lift ticket. Many golf courses, state parks and bike trails allow cross country skiing at no charge, as long as there is enough snow to prevent damage to the ground surface.

It is best to dress in removable layers when cross country skiing. Although you will be out in the cold, the aerobic exercise will keep you quite warm.

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