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Gliding Across Snowscapes

Cross-Country Ski to Explore Winter’s Wonders

Founder, president and master coach Bernd Zimmerman reports significant Cross-Country-Skiing-Fitnessgrowth in its popularity in recent years. “Both cross-country skiing and Nordic walking are great full-body workouts that use 90 percent of your muscles and treat both the upper and lower parts of the body like machines.”

Suitable for all ages, including those that have balance or health issues or can’t run anymore, the walking poles act as extensions of the hands. Their rubber or metal tips work on any surface, such as streets, sidewalks, gravel, sand, dirt or grass. Compared to regular walking, Zimmerman says the Nordic style burns up to 40 percent more calories, tones the arms and upper body, reduces stress on knees and joints, and safely boosts the intensity of exercises to yield additional heart and lung benefits.

Ski and general sports equipment retailers that sell and rent equipment also host informative clinics. Check out local retailers for local ski club group outings.

Randy Kambic is an Estero, FL, freelance writer and editor, including for Natural Awakenings.

Winter Trips for the Intrepid

Enthusiasts that have built up stamina might consider taking a multi-day backcountry or mountainous trek along marked trails. Overnight stays are offered in lodges, huts or cabins, with many providing cross-country equipment and showshoes. Here are some examples of the awaiting adventures.

California and Nevada Many clubs in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas offer overnight bus trips to cross-country trails in the Lake Tahoe and Sierra  Nevada areas. (

Colorado The nonprofit 10th Mountain Division Hut Association was one of the first to establish a hut-to-hut system, encompassing 350 miles of trails in the Rocky Mountains. (

Minnesota Boundary Country Trekking offers stays at various lodges along cross-country trails in northern Minnesota. (

Quebec A few hours’ drive from New England borders lies plenty of ungroomed backcountry terrain with stunning views along the 78-mile, 15-hut network in the Chic-Chic Mountains, near the Gaspé Peninsula Gaspésie Park. (

Vermont Try Blueberry Lake Cross Country Center, in East Warren. (

Wisconsin Visit Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, in Reedsburg. (

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