Winter is a great time to work out and provide an opportunity for a change of pace from your typical warm-weather workouts. When it comes to exercise that can truly provide a total-body workout, nothing beats cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing as it is also called. Skiing cross-country you can get your high-caliber cardio workout and build muscle, all while minimizing impact on your joints. So this season take some time off your ordinary routine and hit the Nordic trails for some full-body toning. Don’t worry if you aren’t an experienced skier; cross-country skiing is relatively easy to pick up for a beginner, and many ski areas provide rental equipment as well as lessons — depending on how far you want to dive in. A visit to one of our favorite Nordic ski resorts could fast-track your learning if you want to really embrace the sport.
One of the things we love about Nordic skiing is how accessible it is. You don’t need to be near chairlifts or the mountains to get a great Nordic experience. Across the Northwest, Upper Midwest, and West there are city parks and trails that are converted to cross country ski routes in winter. And the gear needed for Nordic skiing tends to cost a fraction of that for alpine.
Back to the exercise value, Nordic skiing has long been shown to be an excellent workout due to its low-impact, high-cardio combo. We agree! Here are the benefits of cross-country skiing.
1. Full Body Workout
When you are skiing on snow-covered trails you’re using both your upper body and lower body. In the process you are pushing and pulling both your upper body and lower body muscles, so each muscle in their group works together and provides you a total body workout. In addition, as you push your way along the snow-covered trail, you are also build upper and lower body strength. At the end of this experience you will feel as though you have worked every muscle of your body and will certainly feel the burn. And even if all your muscles aren’t utilized, they are actively involved in coordinating and balancing your entire body.
2. Burns Calories
You can burn a lot of calories while skiing. Cross-country skiing in particular involves movement across both uphill and downhill terrains so the process is completed under the physical power of the individual. Many of our body’s muscles are utilized in the process. All this movement ensures that cross-country skiing a great way of burning calories. Research is shown that Nordic skiing can burn up to 1122 calories per hour, which is more than many other sports or exercise routines.
3. Weight loss
Many individuals have weight issues. And many have difficulty getting rid of those unwanted pounds. As we not above, cross-country skiing consumes huge amounts of calories. Combining this great calorie consuming activity with the correct diet and that undesirable weight will disappear.
4. Excellent aerobic workout
Cross-country skiing is a phenomenal aerobic exercise, and because no single muscle group is overemphasized, the movement can be carried on for a considerable length of time. Maintaining an increased heart rate amid exercise can reinforce and enhance your heart’s ability to pump blood productively and successfully. Therefore, cross-country skiing not only reduces weight but is also a great exercise for keeping your heart and lungs healthy.
5. Improves endurance
If you are relying on energy drinks to keep yourself going, you seriously need to consider skiing. It is a commonly known fact that the sports like skiing help to improve our aerobic fitness just like running. So, improving your endurance as a whole will help you feel more energetic and active than an expensive 3oz drink.
6. Improves Mental Health
There are a lot of benefits that cross-country skiing an provide your body. From improving your heartbeat to burning your calories, cross-country skiing is a great option for you to maintain your body’s best physical condition. It is also important to have a sound mind in the sound body. Cross-country skiing also helps improves your mental health as it is an outdoor sport, and outdoor sports provide a positive effect on the mental health for most people.
7. Low Impact Activity
While cross-country skiing requires great cardiovascular well-being and a great amount of endurance, it’s also a comparably low-impact workout in comparison to activities that offer similar benefits. As you are utilizing the greater part of your muscle to keep you balanced gliding along, you’re not over-focusing on any one part of your body. This is an extraordinary exercise for individuals who experience issues doing different sorts of exercises that are hard on any particular joints and muscles.
8. Stress Reducer
Cross-country skiing takes you away from the troubles of your day to day life and transports you to a place of true beauty. The crisp air and picturesque mountain views are well known to lessen stress and enable you to unwind, and if you are in more of a forested setting the solitude can be refreshing. There is something really relaxing about being in the woods, surrounded by trees and wildlife allowing you to harmoniously connect with nature. One thing we always note about Nordic skiing – it tends to be incredibly quiet and peaceful. We love that.
9. Social Harmony
For quite a long time, we have realized that being social harmony creates a superior feeling of self-esteem and emotional well-being. Cross-country skiing unites individuals from all kinds of different backgrounds. Regardless of what your economic status is, when it comes to those you might encounter on the mountain on a day of cross-country skiing, everybody is equal. This activity allows individuals to meet other people who they may have never have run into amid their regular day to day existences. You get to make a lot of new friends.
10. Improved Sports Performance
For professional athletes who are looking to advance more in their respective sports, cross-country skiing is a great way to test your fitness and endurance levels. Nordic skiing tells you about the shape your body is in and what improvement needs to done to make it even stronger.
Cross-country skiing is a great way to reduce weight. It works every muscle of the body and helps to reduce stress. It can be a great workout whether you are a fitness freak or not and can help you improve your performances in sport and in the gym.
Paul Miller is the Founder of Family Skier. He is an advanced skier and has extensive experience with family travel and ski schools. An accomplished skier, he has skied in 15 states and provinces and 6 countries. In addition to FamilySkier, his writing can be found on many ski-related websites, and as curriculum for many ski clubs in North America.