Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/27/2013 -- Winter doesn’t have to be a time when outdoor sporting activities are put away until warmer temperatures return. There are a variety of winter sports available for any fitness level, enabling exercisers and athletes to keep fit and healthy during cooler months.
The premise of Cross Country Skiing is similar to downhill skiing in that both require moving through snow and ice while balancing on individual skis attached to the participant’s feet. A set of ski poles is used for both balance and to aid in propelling oneself forward over primarily flat terrain. Though not uncommon for ski trails to have hills or elevation changes, there are generally no steady downhill slopes to use for momentum. The flat terrain requires coordination of the whole body to continue trekking forward.
Cross Country Skiing is an all-encompassing workout that strengthens all muscle groups and works the cardiovascular system. Additionally, since snow and ice can vary in texture and density, participants are required to use balance and stabilizer muscles to maintain proper form as they move forward. It is a low impact activity that can be done by people of various ages and fitness levels. Some specialized equipment is required, though the investment can vary on whether the activity is taken up as recreational or competitive.
Skis are needed, though they are different from those used by downhill skiers. Poles can be used if desired to assist in balance and increasing the pace at which one moves. Several layers of waterproof are also needed to prevent participants from becoming cold or wet. Also, a water bottle to stay hydrated, because although done in a chilly climate, the activity still burns approximately 600-900 calories per hour of movement.
As with any sport, it is necessary to warm the muscles before the activity and stretch afterward. This will help prevent injury, and keep participants trekking through the snow and on their way to better fitness all throughout the winter months.
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