If you want to stay in shape this winter, consider snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is an impressive workout that can burn about 500 calories an hour. This is about twice as many as walking and about the same number as using the elliptical machine and swimming laps. Since snowshoes weigh about two pounds each, walking in the fresh powder or snow, or even on hilly terrain, can get your heart pumping. Crescent Moon foam snowshoes are among the lightest on the market and are the perfect snowshoe for all of your snowy exercise adventures.
How to Increase Calories Burned While Snowshoeing
If you want to take your snowshoe workout up a notch, there are some things you can do. If you add walking sticks or hiking poles, you can involve your upper body and burn about 40% more calories. Unlike the wood tennis racquet style snowshoes that can be seen crossed above fireplaces, the new Eva and Luna foam snowshoes are novice friendly, as well as stylish. The narrow and lighter versions make it easier to keep your stride natural so you are less likely to bang your ankles or trip so you can protect your joints.
What to Wear and Drink While Snowshoeing
Since it’s a workout you do want to dress appropriately when you are snowshoeing. Dress warmly in layers that include moisture wicking material, in order to draw perspiration away from the body. You want to remove layers when you get hot. It’s also important to wear moisture wicking socks and you may want to consider a windbreaker. If you are out for the day, be sure to carry a beverage and snacks. Since you are burning a lot of calories and likely sweating you want to be sure to drink a lot of water. You will want a lightweight backpack to carry the layers as you remove them and all of your snacks and water bottle.
Health Benefits of Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing can help you change your relationship and thoughts on winter. Exercise outside can help alleviate some common depression symptoms. Instead of having to visit the gym, you can get a great workout outdoors with a number of benefits.
Burn Calories: The most obvious benefit of snowshoeing is burning calories. You get an aerobic workout similar to biking or running. It may even be able to burn more calories than running. This is because when you snowshoe, you lift the legs higher than when you are running. Since your body needs to work harder to keep you warm in the cold temperatures you also burn more calories. Depending on the difficulty of the terrain, the depth of the snow, and the speed at which you are walking, you can burn more calories.
The conditions of the snow will affect how many calories you burn. While flat packed snow on a park trail can burn about 250 calories, you can burn over 800 calories on a hilly trail with powdery snow when you use poles to help keep your balance.
Build Muscles: The muscular benefits of snowshoeing are similar to running. The calf muscles, quads, and hamstrings get the main workout. You can go snowshoeing on trails and in urban settings so if there is snow, you can snowshoe. Don’t forget when you add hiking poles, you are also going to work your upper body, with your shoulders and back getting a great workout.
Low Impact: Snowshoeing is a low impact workout and it’s easy on knees and joints. The snow acts as a cushion, absorbing bumps and shocks. Everyone can do it at any age. With Crescent Moon foam snowshoes you will find even less stress as the foam snowshoes are extremely light and don't stress your joints as much as heavier options.
Get in Shape for Snowshoe Season
If you are trying to prepare for snowshoe season, there are some things you can do to get in shape.
Hike: Hiking is similar to snowshoeing and it gets you outdoors. If you are aren’t able to hike, try trail running, bike riding, or a quality cardio session at the gym. You need endurance for snowshoeing.
Build Some Core Strength: Snowshoers and hikers both tend to forget about the core. If you do a lot of backcountry snowshoeing with a heavy pack then you need to have a strong back and abdomen. A strong core makes it easier to snowshoe, especially over challenging and bumpy terrain. Do bridges and planks to help build some core strength.
Focus on the Legs: Your legs get a huge workout when it comes to snowshoeing. Incorporate some squats and lunges when you do strength training workouts to help build your glutes and thighs and make snowshoeing easier.