3 great reasons to cross-country ski

November 3, 2015

The problem with certain winter sports is the cost: whether it's the price of equipment or access to facilities, you can wind up spending a small fortune. The exception? Cross-country skiing. It's a wonderful activity that can range from light recreation to a strenuous workout. If you've never tried it before, here are three reasons you should cross-country ski.

3 great reasons to cross-country ski

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/ferrantraite]

1. It's affordable

The initial cost of cross-country skiing is relatively small.

  • You can get started with an investment of as little as $100 for good used equipment, or up to $300 or more for new gear. Once purchased, it's possible to take advantage of groomed trails and open back-country exploring alike.
  • Relying on groomed trails is often free in provincial and municipal parks. Check your municipality's website to see if there are free trails near your home.

Given the fairly reasonable cost, cross-country skiing offers you the chance for hours of outdoor fun for not much money.

2. It's fun and easy to do

One of the great things about cross-country skiing is the intuitive nature of the sport. If you can walk, you can cross-country ski!

  • Simply lace up your boots, step into your skis and then propel yourself along with a natural gait while using the poles for added stability and speed.

Beginners can take it more slowly while still having fun and covering essentially the same terrain as experts.

  • After gaining some experience, relative newcomers can improve their pace and efficiency of motion while covering more ground.

The other benefits of cross-country skiing?

  • Cross-country skiing affords an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors!
  • Many local public trails and parks offer free lessons that can help you become a better cross-country skier. In turn, you'll enjoy the time you spend on the trails even more.

3. It's good for your health

Cross-country skiing offers an excellent combination of cardiovascular and aerobic workouts that will vary based on the pace you decide and the type of terrain you choose to cover.

  • A low-impact workout is possible by taking a relatively slow pace on mostly level terrain.
  • If you want a more robust workout, simply ski at a faster pace on more varied terrain – such as over a hilly countryside or over ungroomed trails.

Those who like to ski in groups and with family members of widely varying ages and abilities can take it easy and have an enjoyable shared experience. In contrast, while those who prefer more strenuous workouts can ski alone or with a partner of equal ability and physical condition.

  • It's important to set a pace as you cross-country ski that you find comfortable and enjoyable. If you're a novice skier or haven't been physically active for a while, don't feel pressured to go faster than you are able to handle.

N.B.: You should always consult a qualified healthcare provider before starting any exercise program, changing your diet or taking supplements of any kind. The general information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, instruction or treatment.

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