The Fitness Benefits of Snowshoeing

Endurance, Strength and More
Snowshoeing may very well be one of winter's greatest pleasures. Lighter, more durable materials, streamlined shapes and easy-to-use bindings combine for more efficient snowshoes that appeal to athletes of all levels. Snowshoeing, whether walking, hiking or running, is an excellent low-impact winter exercise.

The physical benefits of snowshoeing can build up endurance levels and strengthen quadriceps for runners. Climbing in snowshoes works the hip flexors and extensors, crucial muscles for cyclists.

The use of poles gets the upper body moving, lending stability to your stride in variable terrain, steep ascents or descents, and heavier snow. It also helps condition your arm, shoulder and back muscles. Snowshoeing is a great rehabilitative therapy for people suffering from knee or ankle injuries, since there is little or no impact due to the snow's cushioning effect.

John Atkins, director of conditioning at Steadman/Hawkins Clinic and Sports Medicine Foundation (Vail, CO) charted the snowshoe workout rating report above, (on a scale of 1-10, 10 being excellent) which appeared in the Orange County Register (February 5, 1997).

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