Learn to cross-country ski, and you'll get life lessons along with your workout

Glide into bliss

Nordic skiers should wear lightweight synthetic layers that allow for freedom of motion. Wear undergarments that wick moisture away from your body, an insulating layer, and a wind-resistant layer. Don't forget a hat, gloves, and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the snow.

Boots and bindings. These items should be bought together, since they must be compatible. Opt for a plastic boot cuff for extra support. Salomon Escape F-9 boots, $135; Salomon Profil Auto bindings, $40.

Skis. Choose midlength skis for easier turning and stopping; get ones with a waxless bottom so you won't have to wax them every time the temperature changes. Rossignol Evo Tour AR skis, $159.

Poles. Any lightweight, stiff, properly fitted nordic pole set will do. Swix ET031 Tour Pole, $30.

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