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Originally a mode of travel in snowy climates, cross-country skiing provides a total body workout without stressing your joints. You can make your workout as easy or as intense as you want, so anyone can do it. In addition to providing a cardiovascular exercise without putting too much pressure on your joints, cross-country skiing (on trails or on a machine that simulates the motion) strengthens hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus muscles and triceps. Cross-country skiing also helps improve your balance, coordination and agility.