Originally used as a mode of travel in snowy climates, cross-country skiing provides a total body workout without stressing your joints. And because you can make your workout as easy or as intense as you want, anyone can do it. Though courses are mapped out at many ski resorts, you can always just head out into an open field or golf course for free.
It’s possible to teach yourself how to cross-country ski. But be prepared to spend a lot of time in the snow rather than on top of it as you master the sport. You may want to consider taking an introductory lesson to learn the basics, such as how to stop and how to climb a hill.
While cross-country skiing delivers a total-body workout, it’s especially good for the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus muscles and triceps. It’s also an intense way to burn calories, increase endurance and boost cardiovascular fitness.
Cross-country skiing can help improve your balance, coordination and agility. Serious exercisers can power-ski, while beginners and intermediates can cruise along more slowly yet still get a good workout.