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5 Reasons to Take a Nordic Ski Trip

Five Reasons to Take a Nordic Ski Trip

A family ski trip evokes an image of fun and togetherness on the snow as well as travel concerns about time, distance and affordability. A Nordic ski trip is a fun, enjoyable recreation for families, especially those with infants, toddlers and school-age children. A Nordic ski trip eases family travel concerns. Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA), a membership organization of over 200 North American Nordic centers, lists five reasons to take a family Nordic trip.

1. Close to Home-With the demands on family time for work and play, parents are hesitant to spend the extra time driving to the mountains, waking before the sun and returning well after dark to enjoy a day on the slopes. The rising price of gasoline is also rapidly becoming a factor in destination decisions. Cross-country skiing is available on rolling farmland, local parks and golf courses. A CCSAA member center offering groomed trails, rentals and lessons, is within a one-hour drive of most major metropolitan areas in the northern U.S. and Canada.

2. Time Together-After a week in school or day care, there is no need to separate the family during play. Infants can be carried in back packs, toddlers drawn in sleds and kids as young as three can learn to cross-country ski or snowshoe, gliding and walking on the same trails as their parents. Even the family pet can get into the act at centers that welcome dogs on the trails or have designated canine loops. CCSAA centers provide rental equipment including toddler sleds and even offer lessons for kids.

3. Easy on the Pocketbook-Trail passes, rental equipment and lessons are priced well below other winter recreation fees. Many cross-country vacation resorts include the use of the trails for free while staying at the resort. Several resorts offer multi-day family packages that include lodging, meals and skiing at prices that are easy on your pocketbook. Visit XCski.org for destinations and pricing.

4. Develop a Healthy Lifestyle-According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has moved up close to tobacco as the number one health threat in the United States. An estimated 64.5% of Americans are overweight or obese. The percentage of overweight or obese children stands at 37%. In Canada the numbers are 71% for adult males, 47% for adult females and 37% for children ages 2-11. Overweight children tend to grow up to be overweight adults and are at greater risk for developing illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. A 150 lb. cross-country skier burns an average of 572 calories per hour. The same weight downhill skier would burn 429, ice skater 500, snowmobiler 250 or TV watcher 71. Cross-country skiing burns more calories because more muscles are working. It floods the body with a feeling of well-being, greatly improving one's mood. Snow is soft, lessening impact on the joints. Cross-country skiing uses natural movements. It does not require special skills to get started and has a short learning curve.

5. Fun for All- Cross-Country skiing is an activity that energizes the body, spirit and mind. Breathe in the crisp fresh air and surround yourself with the beauty of nature. It is one of the only sports that the entire family can do at its own pace-leisurely or vigorously, individually as a family unit or socially with other families. Without the use of motorized equipment and the force of gravity, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing offer a safer environment for families.

A listing of Nordic centers including a description of facilities and current trail conditions is available on line at www.xcski.org. A magazine, "The Best of Cross Country Skiing" is available from the Cross Country Ski Areas Association by phoning 1-877-779-2754 or writing to CCSAA at 259 Bolton Rd., Winchester, NH 03470.

(Source: www.xcski.org)

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