Top 5 Reasons to Give Cross Country Skiing a Try

Yahoo Contributor Network

Are you searching for a new winter sport to engage in this year? Does the idea of extreme shovel racing, ice cross or other similar endeavors give you pause? If so, don't worry. There are plenty of other winter activities to choose from that don't require death-defying, downhill maneuvers. Cross country skiing is one of them. Here's a quick rundown on five reasons why you should consider giving it a try:

Exercise Opportunity

First, if you are searching for a serious winter workout, cross country skiing is one viable solution. After all, it is considered a low impact, aerobic activity. Therefore, it has the potential to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is also an excellent way to burn off any calories gained during holiday dinners and cookie swaps.

Easy to Learn

Second, I have found that cross country skiing is easy to learn as well. However, I would suggest that you start by taking lessons from a pro. That way, you are less likely to feel uncomfortable during your first excursion. Some of the things that you'll want to learn are striding, pole timing and how to tackle hills. You can generally sign up for inexpensive, cross country ski lessons through area resorts and recreation centers. Of course prices will vary. In general, you may expect to pay around $20 per lesson.

Low Entry Costs

Third, cross country ski equipment is surprising affordable to rent as well as own. For example, in some areas you can rent a pair of cross country skis, ski boots and poles for as little as $11. In addition, I have found that many cross country ski destinations have little to no entrance fees. In my book, you can't get much more low cost than that.

Enjoy Winter Scenery

Fourth, cross country skiing also provides superlative opportunities to enjoy winter's splendor in interesting areas. For example, Maine's Pineland Farms traditionally offers wonderful cross country skiing trails. It is an actual working farm and features an onsite creamery. Thus, you can pick up some great, fresh foods before heading home for the day.

Dog Friendly Trails

Fifth, many cross country skiing locations are dog friendly. Hence, you can feasibly bring your four-legged family members along for the fun. In most instances, you'll need to keep your dog on a leash, use designated trails and clean up after your pet along the way. You may also want to consider outfitting your dog with a set of snow booties.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.

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