Snowshoeing is an excellent way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors at the same time during the winter months. At intense levels, snowshoe training can improve your fitness even more than running. Even snowshoeing slowly, at about 2 miles per hour, caloric expenditure will be about 480 calories per hour. Pick up the pace to 3 miles per hour and you can burn up to 1000 calories in an hour.
In general, snowshoeing is a relatively safe sport with regard to repetitive overuse injuries. It is a low-impact activity so there is much less potential for muscle/tendon damage. Still, there are steps to make snowshoeing even safer.
- Start your workout with a gentle cardiovascular warm-up and take time to stretch
- Focus on the large muscle groups in the legs and hips
- Worn out, ill-fitting or deformed snowshoe boots can be the culprit of various soft-tissue and joint injuries
- Check the shape and fit of your shoes before the season starts.
- Beginners should start slow and build up ability, strength and endurance gradually.