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High on Adventure, March 2020

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WOODSTOCK, VT. (March 23, 2020) – Due to a concern about the spread of the COVID-19 virus there have been numerous official statements and closings across the nation and in the recreation and entertainment worlds, and that includes skiing. While downhill resorts are closed, along with the programs and services normally offered at Nordic Centers, at least 17 cross-country ski centers nationwide are providing free access to their groomed trails.
“Cross country skiing is a great activity to get some exercise while practicing social distancing,” says Reese Brown, executive director of the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (ccsaa.org).
 “The trails this time of year are not crowded, and many ski areas are offering courtesy grooming for their local residents who want to get out and ski.”
Access the list of areas offering courtesy grooming here: https://xcski.org/2020/03/some-ski-areas-remain-open/

Nordic skiers
Cross country skiers    Photo Courtesy of Fischer Skis. 

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 makes XC skiing one of the best exercises burning up to 1,112 calories per hour, says Brown.
According to the book The Nature Fix by Florence Williams (W. W. Norton & Company, 2018), there is an 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 or firestorm.
 “XC skiing may not be a cure-all but it definitely is something that the doctor might order if he or she were aware of the free physical, mental and spiritual health benefits provided by this outdoor recreation on the snow,” says Roger Lohr, editor-in-chief of www.XCSkiResorts.com
XC skiing outdoors can be a great panacea for tough times and Erin Zell of Galena Lodge in Idaho commented, “I think a lot of people are feeling like being in the outdoors is a safe route to go.”

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