Due to a concern about the spread of the COVOD-19 virus there have been numerous official statements and closings across the nation and in the recreation and entertainment worlds, and that includes skiing. Many ski areas both alpine and Nordic have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic, cross country (XC) ski areas are shutting down programs and services but many are providing FREE access to their groomed trails! Here’s a list of some ski areas that remain open:
“Cross country skiing is a great activity to get some exercise while practicing social distancing,” says Reese Brown from the Cross Country Ski Areas Association. “The trails this time of year are not crowded, and many ski areas are offering courtesy grooming for their local resident who want to get out and ski.”
The sport uses both lower and upper body and these muscle groups work together for a true total body workout, which turns up the metabolism. XC skiing is one of the best aerobic exercises and with all of the body’s muscles working together, no single muscle is overstressed. This allows participants to keep up the pace without stopping and it helps maintain an elevated heart rate to build cardiovascular strength, which will improve blood flow and oxygen levels.
As a low-impact exercise, XC skiing keep you properly balanced and you’re not over-stressing any part of the body. It is a great exercise for those who have difficulty doing other types of workouts that are harder on the joints and muscles.
Among the mental benefits of XC skiing, the clean air and scenic views associated with XC skiing will help reduce stress and help you relax. There is something truly special about being in the mountains surrounded by trees and animals.
According to the book The Nature Fix, there is increasing amount of biological, psychological, and medicinal scientific evidence regarding spending more time outdoors in nature. Over the years, efforts have been made to quantify nature’s impact on mood, well being, ability to think (remember, plan, create) and sociability. The hypothesis involves lowering human stress, boosting mental health, restoring attention, empathy, and cognitive clarity. Nature also affects a social component like the feeling that is shared among people who spend time together outdoors or people who perform exceeding acts of kindness in the aftermath of a severe environmental event such as a tornado, earthquake, firestorm, and such.
COVID-19 presents a great challenge to us all and Roger Lohr of www.XCSkiResorts.com prescribed XC skiing to everyone saying “we should get outdoors and be hopeful that similar to other devastating events in the past, the world will move on and get back to normal as soon as possible.”