As many people do in the winter months, I found myself scraping up some coin for a lift ticket so I could cannonball down a mountain at impressive speeds. I grew up on the snow, and I was always rushing off down the slopes, feeling the wind on my cheeks and digging in my edge as I carved out each turn. This was fun until ski passes were no longer affordable and I had to spend my money on other things (growing up can be a drag). I needed to find an alternative that still put me on the snow, but at half the cost. Enter cross-country skiing. I know, what a drag—that’s what I thought too, until I discovered how much fun it is, and all the benefits this sport has to offer. I found some aspects of cross-country skiing very appealing, and hope you do too.
1. It’s easy to learn, and easy to advance your skill set. As long as you can walk and have some sense of what it means to glide, this sport can be enjoyed almost immediately by many different ages. Even when I was a small child, my mom was able to plop me onto a pair of cross-country skis. Yes, my method of braking was to run into the closest snowbank, but she could still enjoy her time out on the snow with a little 6-year-old.
2. It’s a great way to stay fit. Cross-country skiing puts me in the crisp winter air with the added benefit of a total-body workout. This sport will work every major muscle in your lower and upper body and is very low impact. Cha-ching! That is a win for me. In an hour of cross-country skiing, a 180-pound person can burn 654 calories (measured at a moderate level, via NutriStrategy.com). To put that in perspective, this is almost equalvalent to me running 5 12-minute miles! (That’s not gonna happen, but cross-country skiing? Yes, that I can do.)
3. The price. Can you say 20 bucks for a fun adventure on the snow? Try to find a lift ticket for even close to that price…and a lift ticket doesn’t even include the downhill equipment cost. You may have a better chance walking on water.
Yes, I still prefer the rush of cruising down a mountain. But any day on the snow is a good day. This sport is a great way to get outside without breaking the bank, and offers a wonderful winter experience with friends and family.