Tired of having to workout indoors in this cold, wintery weather? February is a tough month for those that live in the snow states; by now even the most avid snow lovers are wishing for warmer days and itching to get back to their favorite outdoor workouts. For me, snowshoeing is my saving grace. As long as it’s not blizzard conditions, there is nothing like the peace and solitude of the woods on a crisp winter day. Never tried snowshoeing before? The workout you get is phenomenal for your core, legs and gluts. The best part is: you hardly notice it!
For those that may be new to snowshoeing, you are basically strapping on what look to be new-fangled tennis rackets to your feet, as you shuffle along the snow. Many people I’ve spoken to about it seem to think you either a) have to pick up your feet and trudge through the snow, or b) stay on top of the snow totally. Neither of these notions are really accurate; I’d describe it as a shuffle through the snow, ideal for those that want low impact to the knees and joints but a great cardio workout.
What do you need to snowshoe? Not much really.. the only real requirement is the snowshoes themselves. I choose to use a pair of well-insulated hiking boots (I love my Merrells..) that work really well with my bindings. Since I’ve been doing it for a while now, I don’t always need the trekking poles, but if you are thinking of anything other than flat terrain, you will want some poles. Telescoping poles can be found at sporting good shops and even some of the catch-all stores like Big Lots.
As is the case any time you head into the woods, make sure you have a compass if you are in an unfamiliar area and certainly let someone else know where you will be going if you will be snowshoeing alone. Lastly, you won’t want to forget your camera; snowshoes allow you to explore areas that would be difficult to access in the warm weather months and allow you a whole new vantage point.
So don’t just sit inside dreading the snow and cold weather; it will gone soon enough. For now, make the most of it and get some good aerobic exercise while nurturing your soul out in the beauty of the winter woods.