Cross country, or Nordic, skiing is a sport that people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. It can be purely recreational or highly competitive. Either way, it can provide a healthy cardiovascular workout, burn a load of calories, get you out in the snow to enjoy nature, and bring the whole family together for a day of fun and fitness.
Fitness-wise, Nordic skiing combines a lower and upper body workout while using every major muscle group in the body. There are both “pushing” and “pulling” actions as you propel yourself forward and other muscles engaging for balance and coordination on the skis. And because it uses so many muscle groups, cross country skiing expends a great deal of energy and can burn more calories than any other form of exercise (600 calories/hour during brisk recreational skiing and up to 1100 calories/hour during vigorous mountaineering).
Nordic skiing is an excellent aerobic workout that can be sustained for many hours. This long duration strengthens the heart and increases blood flow, strengthens the diaphragm and increases lung capacity, can help to reduce cholesterol, and protect against heart attacks. All of this while getting outside to enjoy the winter sun and boost your Vitamin D! And in case that’s not enough, it’s also one of the safest and lowest impact sports, with very little shock to the hips, knees, and feet as well as little rapid twisting and torqueing.
On top of the tremendous physical benefits, Nordic skiing takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to enjoy gliding silently through the snowy woods or across an open field, enjoying the sun on your face and a big breath of fresh air.
Mark your calendars for some snowy fun. In addition to his regular classes, Jon will be teaching ski clinics at the Crested Butte Thanksgiving Nordic Ski Camp November 23-27, 2016 in Crested Butte, Colorado and at the Chama Chile Classic January 14-16, 2017 in Chama, New Mexico. Sophrosyne will also be participating in 2 other amazing events this and every winter – the Alley Loop Nordic Marathon on February 4, 2017 (also in Crested Butte, CO) and the American Birkebeiner on February 25, 2017 in Hayward, WI. Each of these events has clinics and races for kids and adults so everyone in the family can join in. Hope to see you on the trails!