Snowshoeing for family fun and fitness

Snowshoeing is a great outdoor winter activity the whole family can enjoy. It is very easy to learn with virtually no learning curve at all. It is as easy as walking. Snowshoeing can accommodate a variety of fitness levels from a leisurely hike in the woods to an epic alpine climb. It is very inexpensive and requires very little equipment. All you need are snowshoes that can be purchased at your local outdoors shop and some good outdoor winter clothing. You may even be able to rent snowshoes and give them a try first before purchasing them. Poles are an accessory that can also be helpful and it's always important to have water with you, like any outdoor activity.

You will get a great cardiovascular workout while snowshoeing. You can burn 45 percent more calories than walking or running at the same speed.

Snowshoeing is a great cross-training option for runners, and cyclists. Research has shown that individuals who substitute snowshoeing for their running during the winter months, actually improve their overall running fitness opposed to those who chose to run as their primary source of winter training.

Fitness is not the only benefit to be had from snowshoeing. It also offers participants the peaceful, quiet serenity of a snow-covered landscape, and allows you to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months. Getting outside during the winter can have a very positive effect on overall wellness. So this weekend when you're wondering what to do with the rowdy kids, get outside, enjoy nature, breathe in the fresh air, and find a new appreciation for the winter in the North County.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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