Once reserved for excursions in the deep Siberia or Northern Canada, the snowshoe has made its way into the runner’s agenda. (or any other person wanting to stay in great shape). Although often disregarded, snowshoeing has humongous fitness benefits. And well, for us northern people, running on an iced sidewalk is not always an option (if ever). So whether you live in the south and are taking a snowy vacation, or live in the north (like me) and are simply looking for ways (other than treadmill) to stay in great shape, read on because this is for you.
Most of us (well at least where I’m from) have already done it. But if you haven’t, no worry because really all you need to know is how to walk! Seriously. So put some snowshoes on and head to the trails, because that may be your best workout as of yet (regardless of your fitness level). It is one of the best cardiovascular exercise and according to Dr. Declan Connolly of the University of Vermont, it burns up to twice the amount of calories as walking at the same paste. Not a walker? run and you could burn up to a thousand calories per hour!
Not only is it a low impact sport (perfect if recuperating from a knee injury) it also engages all the muscle groups. Especially great for the quads, hip flexors (also improves flexibility), extensors and calves, add a pair of poles and you’ll be working on your neck, arms and back muscles as well! Not to mention the breathtaking scenery of snowed trail in the woods and the wonderful opportunities to connect with people!
Before you head outside, make sure to stretch properly and warm-up. Wear appropriate clothing (synthetic fibers, wool…) and wind and water resistant outer layer if possible! For the snowshoes, many sites and parks offer cheap rentals o if you are going to buy a pair (great investment!) make sure to do your research because there are many different kinds!
— My next snowshoeing excursion is set for next Sunday! Yay!!!