Cross-country skiing is a snow sport where the skier travels on long trails that are not downhill. There are many different styles of cross-country skiing. There is the classic method of skiing where the skier uses regular gliding techniques. There is also ski skating, which is like ice skating and involves some racing moves. Another cross-country style is called Telemark, which is a combination of cross-country and downhill skiing.
Cross-country is not done on a downhill trail unlike alpine or downhill skiing. This type of snow sport is quite difficult because most of the time, gravity does not help the skier move along the trail. Children may not find this sport as enjoyable as downhill skiing because it can easily tire them.
Fitness and Health
However, cross-country skiing is praised by fitness and medical professionals for its health benefits. This sport is considered one of the best cardiovascular activities for people. The sport makes the heart’s muscles stronger, boosts good cholesterol and helps control blood pressure. The long and arduous trails build endurance and strengthen the spine. In many ways, it is like a marathon done on snow.
Cross-Country Skiing Equipment
The equipment used in cross-country is different from downhill skiing. In downhill skiing, skiers usually wear skis that are attached to both their heels and toes, which allow them to make sharp turns while sliding downhill. On the other hand, cross-country skiers usually use skis that are only bound to their toes, leaving their heels free. This way, cross-country skiers have more flexibility when they ascend, descend and glide across different terrains.
Racing and Events
Various competitive events are held around the world for cross-country skiing. There are races of various kinds and lengths, ski marathons and ski tours. One ski tour, the Canadian Ski Marathon, has a distance of 160 kilometers. Some skiers camp out overnight to complete the entire distance. In addition, cross-country skiing has been a part of the Winter Olympics for a long time.
Cross-country skiing may not be as exciting as downhill skiing, but it surely has more health benefits. People can also enjoy the scenery and the fresh air as they slide along mountain trails.
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