If You Can Walk You Can Snowshoe
Anyone, regardless of age or fitness level, can strap on a pair of snowshoes and go for a low-stress, low-impact walk or run through snow.
Much less expensive than cross-country ski equipment, snowshoeing is easy to learn and provides access to tranquil undeveloped places where the environment and nature produce a feeling of wholeness and peace of mind.
A quiet meander through open snowy fields will do as much for your head as it does for your body. However, snowshoeing can also be the ultimate winter cardio treat.
Moving through the resistance created by snow causes the body to expend more energy even at slower paces.
You'll develop leg strength and endurance without jarring of impact on a hard surface.
For every step, expect to sink a few inches depending on snow condition. The more sinking (post-holing) the better because resistance from the snow adds intensity to your workout.
Total Workout Time: 1 hour
Warm-up: 5 to 10 minutes of walking
Cardiovascular conditioning: 40 minutes
OPTION #1: Steady-state aerobic conditioning – gradually increase your pace to a moderate-to-intense level for 20 to 40 minutes
OPTION #2: Anaerobic intervals – perform timed two-minute intervals by walking at a moderate pace for two minutes, then bumping up your pace to a fast walk, jog or run for two minutes. Do intervals for 20 to 40 minutes.
Cool-down: 5 to 10 minutes of easy walking. Finish with a full-body stretch, especially the front and back of your legs, calves and shins and low back (Figures A and B).
Source: ACE FitnessMatters 2000; 6, 7-8.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
Click here to order your subscription today.
Sign up for ACE's FREE e-newsletter for fitness enthusiasts.