Snowshoeing Away the Calories . . . Per Hour

Many people snowshoe for recreation…others snowshoe for the competitions…but some snowshoe to lose weight and seek a lifestyle change.

The beauty of snowshoeing is how it can really help a person lose weight and become healthy; the sport is somewhat like a miracle diet. Many snowshoers experience an extreme amount of weight loss in the first weeks of regular snowshoeing. And, once a snowshoer couples their activities with a stringent diet the results are insurmountable.

Here are some facts about snowshoeing as an exercise:

*Snowshoeing burns up to twice the number of calories as walking at the same speed.

*You can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour snowshoeing, more than running or cross-country skiing.

*Snowshoeing is fun and effective for all types of athletes, including runners, walkers and cyclists; the added resistance provided by the shoes and the snow enhances your current fitness level.

You can usually find a great snowshoeing fitness group by searching for one at your local gym, town recreation center or regional snowshoe club. If you can’t find a group to join, start your own. Obviously your group will start with friends, but invite others to participate by utilizing health-based resources.

Here are some tips on snowshoeing for fitness:

*Go Anywhere – All you need is six inches of snow on the ground to go snowshoeing. You can go anywhere there is snow…from golf courses to your favorite hiking trail in the backcountry.

*Create a Routine – Whether it’s a specific route or a snowshoeing date with a friend, developing a routine will help you stay committed.

*Dress in Layers – You can be comfortable at any temperature, shed layers as your body heats up and put them back on as your cool down.

*Add Poles – You’ll increase upper-body strength and endurance for a total body workout.

As you may already know the energy expenditures for snowshoeing are greater than most winter and summer sports. On packed snow and hilly terrain, a snowshoer going 3.5 miles per hour can lose up to 800 calories per hour. If done correctly, a snowshoer can lose up 1,000 calories per hour while shoeing at a pace that remains steady and effective.

by Ryan Alford – Snowshoe Magazine