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Picks and Pans Review: Cross-Country Skiing—the Ultimate Fitness Sport

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There are only a few cross-country tapes on the market, and this one, like an earlier release, Cross-Country Skiing with Jeff Nowak (Syber Vision, $49.95; 800-777-5885) also relies on “neuromuscular training.” On this 90-minute tape for novices, Czech-born Olympian Jana Hlavaty comments on the main points, such as skating and telemarking (a turning method), and then lets the visuals tell the rest. A lot of the shots are redundant, but that’s the point: to reinforce the images in your subconscious. Hlavaty’s soothing voice works well with the format. She even throws in some humor—at one point she and two other instructors all ride around on one pair of skis and the footage is speeded up—which doesn’t detract from the overall presentation a bit. (SportsImaging, $39.95; 413-648-9464)