You all know how much I LOVE the winter season in the mountains. Although I still go running during winter, I also love to cross-train in oder to stay fit.
On my last trip to Davos, Switzerland, I totally fell in love with snowshoeing and would now like to share the fitness benefits with you.
The fitness benefits of Snowshoeing
For health and fitness benefits, snowshoeing is great for you. It provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance. The best part is, you get to do it all in the beautiful outdoors!
Snowshoeing provides the aerobic workout that you get from running, hiking or biking except with snowshoeing you can actually burn more calories per hour than running. This is because you lift your legs much higher when you’re snowshoeing than when you’re running. And since your body must work harder to keep you warm in the winter it also burns more calories.
According to two independent studies conducted by Ball State University and the University of Vermont, snowshoers can burn between 420-1000 calories per hour. Snowshoers can vary the intensity of their workout, burning fewer calories by taking an easy walk on flat packed terrain, or getting a more intense workout (more than 1,000 calories burned per hour) with an activity like snowshoeing in powder on hilly terrain at a pace of three miles per hour.
The muscular benefits of snowshoeing are very similar to those of running with the quads, hamstrings and calf muscles getting the main workout. The general rule of thumb is: if there’s snow, you can snowshoe. There’s nothing quite like exploring your local neighbourhood or park after a big snowstorm. Go during the day or strap on a headlamp and go exploring after dark in the deep silent white.
Beyond that, snowshoeing provides a low impact workout that’s easy on the knees. This is because snow acts like a cushion, absorbing shocks and bumps. One of the greatest advantages of snowshoeing is that anyone can do it at any age. Grandparents and grandkids, families, walking clubs can become snowshoe walking clubs in the winter. It’s amazingly versatile and accessible.
All in all, snowshoeing is a great winter fitness activity to keep marathon runners, endurance racers, hikers, cyclists or anyone else to stay fit during the winter months!
photo credits: V’s World