If you are thinking about taking up cross country skiing you would be smart to do some training beforehand.
Cross country skiing is a very physically demanding sport, almost more so than running, so you need to have a very good cardiovascular base along with strong muscles.
To help develop your cardiovascular base for cross country skiing you should focus on including a few longer, moderate intensity cardio sessions into your weekly workouts. Try and go for 45-60 minutes and once you have reached that amount of time start to slowly increase the intensity. This will help to increase your how well your body responds to higher intensity exercise for longer periods of time (how it deals with lactic acid). Since this sport is quite intense in nature and you normally go for a longer duration, this type of training is very sport specific and therefore beneficial.
For your strength training routine, you will need to have very strong quad and hamstring muscles as these will be used to push off the ground. Focus on performing exercises such as squats, lunges and deadlifts with a weight that is heavy enough so you are only able to complete 6-10 reps.
You will also want to have enough upper body strength as well, particularly in your shoulder muscle since these muscles will help to pull you forward when you use your poles. To target them include military presses, front and side raises along with upright rows in your upper body workouts.
With proper training, starting about 2 months before the winter season gets underway, you can be sure you will be ready to hit the paths and stay injury free.