You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

West Liberty-Salem school shooting suspect to appear in court

Cross country skiing brings miles of smiles

Sure it’s a workout, but it’s fun, too.


While there are some who sigh and moan at the sight of snowflakes, many others start doing a happy dance when the flurries start flying.

“We have a lady who does a snow dance,” said Bill Clayton, president of the Miami Valley Cross Country Ski Club.

Last year’s green winter was not a happy one for local cross country ski enthusiasts.

“It was a real disappointment,” Kevin Anderson said. “If you’re going to have winter, you might as well have fun in it.”

“It was a very poor year. There was no skiing locally,” Clayton said.

But that was then.

Area cross-country skiers have already had the chance to dust off their skis and hit local trails this winter. They aren’t alone, as more than 2 million people participated in cross country skiing in 2010, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. That was an increase of 19.5 percent.

The Miami Valley club has active members from Dayton and Beavercreek as well as Middletown, Lebanon and Cincinnati.

Why ski?

Cross country skiing checks off a lot of boxes on people’s fitness to-do lists.

It works all the major muscle groups, including the core, but is low impact and easy on the joints. It provides a good cardio workout and burns, on average, 650 calories an hour. It uses natural movement and helps increase balance, which becomes especially important as people age.

But none of those are the best reason to try cross country skiing according to 69-year-old Clayton. He first started cross country skiing 25 years ago when the tri-athlete was looking for a cold-weather activity.

“The biggest benefit is that it’s fun,” the Eaton resident said. “It makes winter a whole lot better.”

Beyond the physical fitness, Anderson, who lives in Clayton, also appreciates the mental health break that skiing provides.

“Getting out into nature is always great,” he said. “It seems like things are quieter and, at the same time, it’s invigorating being out in the cold.”

Where to ski

Cross country skiers can make themselves at home in a variety of locations from golf courses to local parks and, even, snow-covered bikeways.

The Five Rivers MetroParks hiking trails at Carriage Hill, Eastwood, Huffman, Island, Wegerzyn and Possum Creek can be ideal locations for skiing when they are snow covered. State and community parks also have trails that are cross-country skier friendly. And skiers take over where the golfers leave off once snow blankets local fairways.

“Any open large expanse that is flat is ideal,” said Susan Staley, manager of Valleywood Ski and Snowboard Shop in Kettering. “Some people can literally go out their back door and ski down their street if there is fresh snow.”

Staley, who has been skiing for 40 years, also suggests trying local parks or school sports fields for easy skiing terrain.

Getting started

While most people have a sled stashed away somewhere in their garage, first time cross country skiers probably don’t have the necessary equipment.

“We recommend that you rent equipment so you can try it out,” Clayton said. “And, if you do decide to buy, don’t order it online. The fit of the equipment is so important for your enjoyment. Good equipment makes such a big difference.”

Valleywood rents cross country skis for $20 for 24 hours. Some customers travel an hour or more to the Kettering store, as it is one of the few places in Southwest Ohio that rents and sells cross country equipment. The staff can help skiers find the right fit and ski size.

“We’ll also walk them through the ins and outs or skiing,” Staley said. “We call it carpet cross country skiing.”

As with any winter outdoor activity, it’s best to dress in layers and wear moisture-wicking material. Even on the coldest day, you will break a sweat.

“It’s definitely a workout,” Staley said. “After the first half mile or so you’ll start shedding some layers.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

Dionne Warwick: See music legend in concert at Schuster Center
Dionne Warwick: See music legend in concert at Schuster Center

In 2014, Dionne Warwick teamed up with her music producer son, Damon Elliott, for “Feels So Good. The duet album features contemporary artists like Alicia Keys and CeeLo Green and the 76-year-old singer’s contemporaries like Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. Warwick, performing at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Thursday, Jan. 26, is preparing...
Luke Bryan to perform national anthem at Super Bowl
Luke Bryan to perform national anthem at Super Bowl

He’s set to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. This marks the first time Luke has performed at the big game and he’s understandably beside himself with excitement. Luke told People there was never a doubt he would take on this gig. When the NFL made the big request, Luke said, “Hell yes, I’ll...
Celebrities show solidarity with Women's March
Celebrities show solidarity with Women's March

Scores of celebrities attended marches in Washington and other cities Saturday joining millions of people across the country in a show of solidarity with the movement bringing attention to women’s rights the day following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5

As the nation watched Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president, Frank Underwood already was planning ahead. Netflix released a teaser Friday for the fifth season of its presidential drama, "House of Cards." Underwood, the crafty politician played by Kevin Spacey, will return to action on May 30, Netflix announced.   The teaser...
Wright State illuminates Modern Art
Wright State illuminates Modern Art

One of the terrific ongoing arts collaborations in the Miami Valley is known as CELIA. The innovative Wright State University program — the acronym stands for Collaborative Education, Leadership and Innovation in the Arts — benefits both our community and the school’s students by bringing top-notch artists to town to interact with...
More Stories