With the recent snow storm chaos, I am personally ecstatic to finally cross country ski right out my back door, and then I also thought, how many people who love to exercise, like the snow, or made a new years resolution to loose weight have never cross country skied?
As the definition from Wikipedia cracked me up, so I’ve decided to use it. Cross country skiing is is travel on skis over snow-covered terrain, whereby skiers rely on their own locomotion rather than on ski lifts or other forms of assistance.
So with your own locomotion propelling you forward, it’s a workout that works out your legs, abs and arms, giving you a thorough full body workout. What most people don’t realize when they hit the gym in the winter, is that it takes a good 20-30 minutes before you even get to the point where your are burning fat. Your body burns it’s “ready to use” sugar first which could be from what you just ate, to the Gatorade you may be drinking. Once it has burned through that, then it starts going to its reserves, but, ONLY if you are not exerting yourself too much. Doing a workout where you’re able to hold a conversation and work out for a longer time (over an hour) is where your body will burn fat the most efficiently.
Cross Country skiing does JUST THAT. It is a “medium” workout, not too hard, not too easy, just right for burning that winter fat that seems to add up so easily. So how do you do it? It’s pretty self explanatory, you use the poles to keep your place while you move one foot after another, but where to do it all depends on the resources around you. You could cross country ski around your subdivision if you wanted, you don’t need much snow to move, but the most enjoyable experience is getting out with some trees. Renting is suggested, since it is cheap and you can see if you’d like it. County parks (at least in Michigan) have them for rent. Doing a little research in your community and calling places that sell skis may help as well in finding rentals.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired to try XC skiing if you’ve never thought to, or get out and do it if you have! I have my own equipment now and have found it extremely worth it, if you hunt the outdoor stores online for a while, you’re bound to find a good deal. I was able to get great skis, boots, and poles (all new) for under $200. Patience is a virtue :).