Physical activity is important all year. Colder temps and less sunlight decrease many people’s motivation to workout in the winter. If you find that you have less motivation for exercise in the winter, consider trying an outdoor sport like snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing is a great option for winter exercise because it offers a variety of health benefits. Snowshoeing burns more calories than walking, running, or cross country skiing the same distance, and the cold winter temperatures increase the body’s metabolic rate. People who snowshoe also enjoy the mental health benefits of outdoor exercise.
Snowshoeing is a low impact workout with little to no training required. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! People set their own intensity level by choosing where to walk. You can snowshoe on groomed flat trails found at local parks for a low impact workout, or you can snowshoe through ungroomed deep snow for a more intense workout.
If you’re not ready to purchase a pair of snowshoes, you can rent them for the day at local parks or sports equipment stores. For your first time out, start on a flat groomed trail to get used to walking in snowshoes.
With all outdoor winter sports, clothing is important. Wear waterproof boots, moisture wicking clothes (avoid cotton), and layers. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!
Vinland’s annual 3K snowshoe walk, the Winter Walkabout, is Saturday, February 21. If you have never been snowshoeing before, attending this event is a great way to give it a try! There will be a limited supply of snowshoes available for you to borrow at the Walkabout, including kids’ sizes. Registration is $15 per person, and includes an event t-shirt and hot lunch. Kids ages 12 and under attend for free. All proceeds benefit Vinland Center, a non-profit that serves adults with cognitive impairments.