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For a free introduction to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

Cross Country Skiing Health & Fitness Facts

Did You Know…

  • Participation in cross country skiing increased 21.6% from 2003-2004
  • 42% of Nordic skiers are women
  • 30.5% of cross country skiers are ages 25-44
  • 16% of cross country skiers is a child aged 7-17
  • 2.4 million cross country skiers take to the snow each year

Fitness Benefits and/or Muscles Used

  • Cross country skiing burns more calories per hour than any other sport
  • It offers a low-risk, low-impact aerobic form of exercise.
  • Is an ideal cross-training sport for running or biking.
  • Is advocated by medical professionals as the best cardiovascular fitness activity.
  • Is an excellent low-stress outdoor exercise
  • Uses natural movements, resulting in a very short learning curve

Calories Burned

Cross Country Skiing Calorie Chart

**calculations are estimates based on consultation with American College of Sports Medicine

Social/Adventure Benefits

Opportunity to spend time with friends and make social contact with other skiers on trails and at ski area lodges.
The entire family can participate together. It is a family-friendly, multi-generational activity, ideal for young children and grandparents.
It is a practical way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter.

Even More Good News*

  • Cross-country skiing is one of the most affordable snow sport activities. A day trip costs, on average, $12 for a trail pass (for those who already have equipment) or $35 for trail pass, rental equipment and a lesson.
  • There are approximately 350 cross country ski areas in the United States and an equal number in Canada.
  • Cross-country skiing is a lifetime sport that is easy to learn.
  • The latest advances in boot and binding systems, and shorter skis give today’s cross-country skiers more control, comfort and support.
  • Learning with an instructor on a groomed trail is the easiest way to begin enjoying the sport. Once you know how to cross-country ski, you don’t have to go beyond your backyard to enjoy this wonderful winter sport.


Cross Country Ski Areas Association
National Sporting Goods Association 2004 Sports Participation Study