(c) Jack Ballard
Feel like you ate too much over the holidays? Looking to shed a few pounds and strengthen your legs? Snowshoeing is an excellent winter activity that burns copious calories and is loads of fun. Estimates vary, but fitness gurus claim snowshoeing burns over 500 calories per hour for a 150 pound person. Point your snowshoes toward deep snow or hilly terrain and the calorie count increases even more. Advocates of snowshoeing for fitness point out that the sport consumes over 40% more calories than walking or running at a similar pace on the same terrain.
For me, part of the appeal of snowshoeing is the lack of specialized equipment. Snowshoes strap onto any sturdy winter boot. You can add a pair of poles if you like to exercise your arms and add stability on steep terrain. Compared to other winter sports, snowshoeing requires a modest investment. A high-quality pair of snowshoes, like the MSR Women’s Lightning Ascent model appearing in this picture, can be purchased for less than $200 and will remain serviceable for many years.