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Snowshoeing – A Calorie Burning Wonder Sport

Snowshoeing is gaining popularity as a winter sport, and it's easy to understand why. Fun and challenging, snowshoeing offers incredible fitness benefits and can be done by people at many fitness levels. Read on to learn more about this winter sport.
Advantages of Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is simply one of the best winter sports that you can participate in if you want to maximize your fitness benefits. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Calories Burned - Snowshoeing burns an incredibly high amount of calories, making it an excellent choice for weight loss or weight control fitness. A 155-pound woman will burn an average of 298 calories for every 30 minutes of snowshoeing moving just at a simple walking pace. At top speeds, a woman could burn up to 1,000 calories per hour.
- Adjustable Intensity - One of the great things about snowshoeing is that you can modify the intensity of a workout by choosing different types of terrain and adjusting your speed. Flat terrain will make for an easier workout, while hilly terrains will burn more calories. There is also a difference between powder and packed surfaces. The looser the snow, the more intense your workout will be. You can also adjust your speed, gradually building up to running.
- Added Upper Body Workout - When you use poles with your snowshoes, you get the advantage of an upper body workout that burns more calories and builds strength in the back, arms and chest. The workout is similar to that of an elliptical machine but with much more interesting scenery to enjoy.
Getting the Right Snowshoes
There are three types of snowshoes that you can find on the market, and it's important that you purchase the right type for your needs.
- Aerobic or running snowshoes are designed for use on tracks and courses that are kept well groomed. These snowshoes are designed for speed, not for traveling difficult terrains.
- Mountaineering - These large, heavy snowshoes can travel over any type of rugged terrain with ease. Perfect for those who plan to hike in their snowshoes, this option is made more for endurance than speed.
- Recreational snowshoes are a good in-between and perfect if you want the flexibility of being able to go off a trail for short to moderate distances. You won't be able to tackle steep hills in this style, but you can reach moderate speeds with regular practice.
Snowshoes and poles can often be rented from ski shops if you don't want to invest in gear of your own at first. To find the best spots, check out parks, national forests and ski areas near your home. In some areas, there are snowshoeing groups that you can exercise with while meeting new people. Before you give snowshoeing a try, be sure to consult your doctor to make sure this is an activity that is safe for you. Then, strap on some shoes and get to shoeing!

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