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Five Reasons For Families To Take a Nordic Ski Trip

A family ski trip evokes an image of fun and togetherness on the snow along with travel concerns about time, distance and affordability. A Nordic (also known as cross country) ski trip is a fun, enjoyable recreation for families, especially those with infants, toddlers and school-age children. In addition, a Nordic ski trip can ease family travel concerns about safety and other issues.

The Cross Country Ski Areas Association, an organization of over 200 North American Nordic centers, in an excellent resource for identifying nearby locations for Nordic skiing. Here are five reasons families should consider taking a family Nordic trip during the upcoming winter season:

1. Conveniently Located Close to Home - With the demands on family time for work and play, parents are hesitant to spend time driving to the mountains, waking before dawn and returning after dark. The rising price of gasoline has become 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 an hour's drive of most major metropolitan areas in the northern U.S.

2. Provides Opportunities for Families to Spend 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. Even the family pet is welcome at centers with dedicated dog trails. CCSAA centers provide rental equipment, toddler sleds and lessons for kids.

3. Easy on the Wallet - 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.

4. Great for Exercise and Developing a Healthy Lifestyle - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has moved 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%. A 150 lb cross country skier burns an average of 572 calories per hour. The same weight downhill skier burns 429, ice skater 500, snowmobiler 250 or TV watcher 71. Cross country skiing burns more calories because more muscles are working.

5. Fun for All - Cross Country skiing is an activity that energizes the body, spirit and mind while breathing fresh air, surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is one of the only sports that a 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. 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.

The Cross Country Ski Areas Association provides families with a descriptive listing of Nordic centers and current trail conditions. For more information, visit their website at http://www.xcski.org or give them a call at 1-877-779-2754.

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