In 2012 I shared a set of eight exercises focused on strengthening abdominal muscles. While those exercises serve to provide core strength needed for long days in the saddle, they do little to promote aerobic capacity. Maintaining some semblance of aerobic fitness during the winter months in North Dakota can be challenging, particularly if you detest spending time on a stationary bike (as I do). Fortunately, most winters here provide nearly continuous snow cover from December through mid-March, thereby allowing for outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Though snow conditions so far this winter have been mediocre, I’ve been skiing periodically at my favorite trail located at Bismarck’s Riverwood golf course. With groomed snow, mostly level terrain, and wide, sweeping turns, one can get into a good rhythm on the skis, thereby facilitating an excellent workout.
Depending on snow conditions and the number of skiers on the trail, one lap takes 20-25 minutes. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Deer and fox are common on the course, and the prevalence of large trees provides a comfortable feeling of being enveloped by nature.
(Double-tracks this year facilitate additional skiers)