- Depending on your weight and the speed/intensity of your snowshoeing workout, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 1000 calories per hour! People burn approximately 45% more calories snowshoeing compared to walking or running at an equivalent speed. A 155 pound individual going at a comfortable walking pace of 3 miles over an hour will burn about 500 calories in that hour – the equivalent of a 4 to 5 mile run or 45 minutes on the elliptical.
- Snowshoeing provides tons of cardiovascular benefits. The faster you move when hitting the trail, the more you’ll feel that heart beating strong and quick!
- Snowshoeing is low impact compared to many other exercises, so it’s easier on the knees and joints. This makes it great for people who love running but can no longer do so because of the strain on their joints.
- Because you are wearing snowshoes on your feet, you’ve added weight and resistance to them – thus increasing the muscle strengthening activities in the legs and increasing the intensity of the workout compared to a walk. Your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles will thank you!
- If you love nature, snowshoeing on a freshly snowed upon trail can be quite tranquil and majestic. This can help you to feel more at peace and relaxed. And just like any type of exercise, snowshoeing reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
Snowshoes vary in size, with the most common sizes being 25, 30, and 36 inches. Each typically has a weight range listed. Be sure you purchase or rent a snowshoe that falls in line with your weight range. If you are higher than the listed weight range, the snowshoe may not support you properly. If you are lower than the listed weight range, the snowshoe may be too large and clumsy on your feet. Larger snowshoes generally support heavier weights. If you’re between sizes/weight ranges, also keep in mind the type of snow you’ll be using these on. If you’re planning to use them outside as soon as there’s a fresh coat of snow, that fresh powder won’t be too supportive and requires a larger snowshoe. On the other hand, if you’ll only be using them on packed trails that always have heavy traffic, a smaller snowshoe may be fine.
Now, my lesson from today: even though we have the right size snowshoes, it is actually still quite difficult to walk on very fresh powder! We’d sink down about 1/3 or 1/2 the way (far better than sinking all the way). Check out the hilarious video of me attempting to “run” in the snow (sorry for the "vertical video"!). And on a side note – I realized watching this that winter snow pants, jackets, and hats do not do any woman's body justice!
Have you ever tried snowshoeing? Did you enjoy it? Share with us in the comments!