How to Do Cross Country Skiing

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 7th Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/19b1vnhb/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

Cross country skiing is a great way to enjoy the winter season and get a good workout. Here are some tips on learning how to cross country ski.

Why Cross Country Skiing is So Popular


When the snow comes down, the cross country skiers come out. Cross country skiing is fun, easy to do and a great way to work out. You may see deer rooting through the snow, birds flying overhead and the sun sparkling on the snow. No wonder the trails come alive with skiers the day after snowstorms hit.
As someone who has been cross country skiing for more than 20 years, I believe I have some helpful tips to offer others. My first tip is not to go skiing unless at least 6 to 8 inches of snow have fallen.
Tip two is to avoid skiing if it's too cold or too warm. Don't ski if the thermometer falls below 10 degrees Fahrenheit or above 40 degrees. My favorite temperatures for skiing are between 15 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tip three is that this sport can be done by children, senior citizens and all ages in between. Cross country skiing is much cheaper and easier to learn than downhill skiing. Skis, poles and boots are the only equipment needed to ski. Visit a skiing store so you can get properly fitted for your boots and skis. Or you can rent equipment for the day at parks and other places open to skiing.
Before starting any new form of exercise, be sure to check with your doctor. While cross country skiing is a simple sport to learn, it's a lot more strenuous than it looks.

What to Wear Cross Country Skiing


Cross country skiers should wear a ski jacket, of course. Some skiers wear jeans. However, I recommend that you get a pair of ski pants either from a ski store or from a sporting goods store. These are basically snow pants for adults. Ski pants will keep you warm and dry in case you fall. They also have zippered pockets which are handy for storing car keys, tissues and a granola bar if you get hungry.
Two parts of your body get the coldest when you ski: your feet and your ears. Be sure to wear woolen socks worn over cotton socks or at least two pairs of cotton socks. Another valuable tip: when you go to try on your equipment, bring extra socks with you. Make sure you can comfortably wear your ski boots with two pairs of socks.
Wear a hat, ear muffs or scarf over your ears. Don't ski with a bare head. If you do, your ears will get so cold that you won't be able to stand being outside for very long.
Dress in layers. Wear a t-shirt and a sweatshirt over it. I don't recommend wearing a sweater under your jacket unless it is one of those 10 to 15 degree Fahrenheit days.
Most people make the mistake of dressing too warmly. What they don't realize is they will begin to work up a sweat. You may feel cold when you start out but you'll be surprised how quickly you'll warm up. That's when you can take some layers of clothing off.

Where You Can Cross Country Ski


Many county or state parks allow cross country skiing during the winter. Some places even have "warm up huts" where skiers can go in to get warm.
Many parks also allow you to rent equipment and groom the trails for you. Equipment fees are usually modest. One county park near where I live charges $5 if you bring your own equipment and $10 to rent equipment. If you return in less than two hours, you get $5 of your $10 back.
Some places even have snack bars available where you can grab a bite to eat and sip some hot chocolate or hot coffee after skiing. Here's another benefit to these places: they have bathrooms!
Another good place to ski is a golf course. There's plenty of room to ski down the fairways. Golf courses tend to be pretty, too. The snow clings to the pine trees and sparkles in the sun.
Some skiers like to head out to the country or the woods. However, make sure you are not skiing on someone's property. Look for posted or no trespassing signs. If you see one, don't ski there.

How to Cross Country SKi


Some people take cross country skiing lessons. This can be helpful to beginners but it's not necessary. The basic cross country technique is easy to learn. Lean forward, push your feet forward slightly and glide. Use your poles to push yourself along the trail and to keep your balance.
Some people jog on skis but this isn't necessary. Go as fast or as slow as you want. You will still get a good workout either way.
Many places offer groomed trails. If there is no groomed trail, look for trails already broken by earlier skiers. Stay in the path they have made for you.
Here are some more cross country skiing hints:

Turning can be tricky. Pick up your feet and inch your way into the turn. Take it slow.
You can zoom down hills or just glide down the flat parts of the trail. Some skiers like to fly down hills while others never go near one. This is your choice.
If you decide to go down a hill, carefully walk your way up it. Before going down a hill, stop and look down below. Make sure you have a clear path down the hill without trees, fences or other skiers you could run into. Then, lean forward and slowly push yourself down the hill. Don't lean too far forward, or you can fall. As you go down the hill, bend your knees and lean into the hill. Let the gravity take you down.
As you ski, focus on your technique but don't forget to enjoy the scenery. Listen for the sound of water rushing through a nearby river with ice chunks floating in it. Hear the birds cry as they fly above you. Marvel at the ducks still quacking and splashing their way down the river on a cold day. Look for all kinds of animal tracks in the snow.
So why not give cross country skiing a try? Just watch out for the deer who may run across your path.

Here is an article I did on the joys of winter

Attribution


The video came from You Tube.
I took the pictures myself just before doing some cross country skiing recently.
This article was based on my many years of cross country skiing and my own personal experiences with this sport.

Tags

Cross Country Skiing, Skiing, Winter Activities, Winter Sport, Winter Sports

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Jan 2014 (#)

One of my favorite sports and favorite forms of winter exercise.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Jan 2014 (#)

Mine, too, Jerry. I just hope the snow keeps up so I can keep on skiing.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
7th Jan 2014 (#)

great advice Connie...many thanks ...sharing!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks, Carolina. I love doing this.

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author avatar Dark-Warrior
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Informative post

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author avatar Connie McKinney
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks so much for your comment, Dark-Warrior.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Shared.

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author avatar Mariah
8th Jan 2014 (#)

The pictures look so inviting Connie, enjoyed reading your post, thank you.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks so much for all your support, Phyl and Mariah.

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author avatar Carol
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Great tips Connie, many thanks.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
8th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks so much, Carol.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
9th Jan 2014 (#)

I can't think of a sport I would least enjoy dear Connie , but you have made it look so inviting and interesting that if I were there I would be persuaded to give it a try .
God bless you with many happy skiing days .
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
9th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks, Stella. I hope I can ski a lot this winter.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Indeed a lot of exercise and you need to be in optimum physical condition to practice this sport very popular in teh olympics, nice one my dear Connie!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
10th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks, Fern. It is a great workout and so much fun to do.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Jan 2014 (#)

I learn a lot about activities during winter but, alas, I cannot as I don't have similar weather near me. Thanks Connie, I could get as near as possible to such activities through reading your lively post - siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
12th Jan 2014 (#)

Siva, snow can be so much fun. I am sorry you can't experience it. I'm glad I can give you a way to experience it vicariously through my articles.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
24th Jan 2014 (#)

Great fun...thanks Connie-:0)

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