Embrace Our Climate With Cross-Country Skiing

By: Bill Kirsch, Lowell Elementary School – Waukesha, WI

What are some ideas for health and fitness during the winter months in Wisconsin? At Lowell Elementary in Waukesha we have experienced an awesome journey into the great activity of cross-country skiing. Besides my personal interest in the sport of Nordic skiing, there are so many health benefits associated with this activity:

1. Full body workout
2. Burn many calories
3. Cardio exercise/Improve endurance
4. Relieve stress
5. Functional/Cross training
6. Connect with nature


Lowell was extremely fortunate to have established a strong relationship with the Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) and the ‘Nordic Rocks!’ for Schools Program. The CXC developed and released the ‘Nordic Rocks!’ program for elementary and middle school aged students as a way to promote and increase the awareness and interest of Nordic Skiing among youth. The program is designed to create a three-way partnership between schools, their communities, and CXC.


All students in grades 1st-5th were able to experience Nordic skiing. Staff outings were also offered and well attended. The skis provided by CXC are incredibly simple to use as the bindings easily clip onto the student’s boots. There are no poles so the students really learn the proper diagonal stride. Day 1 on the skis involves viewing a short video, learning to put on the skis, and practicing in the gym (Yes, right on the gym floor!). On day 2 and all subsequent days we come in the gym, clip on the skis, and zoom down the hallway and out the doors for tons of skiing fun. I strongly recommend that you try to expose your students to this wonderful outdoor winter activity.


Day 1:

  • Warm-up: jump rope five minutes
  • Introduce Care of Cross Country Skis (Ski Association $3K investment -$100/pair)
  • Show Video
  • Explain/show how to keep skis straight

Stand on bindings and slide around gym. Practice keeping feet DOWN/Sliding. Demonstrate how to put on shoe/boot.

1. Make it big – open everything up
2. Like a buckle on your pants

Loosen everything to take skis off.


Day 2:

Review video again.
Buckle up!



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