Monday, January 3, 2011

The fitness benefits of snowshoeing!


With the start of most new years comes the start of new plans, new goals, a lot of people decide to focus on becoming more active and getting healthier!
I recently received an email from Good Energy Coach Sarah Heipel. One of the sections of Sarah's email included a reminder about the fitness benefits of snowshoeing. I asked Sarah Sarah if she would like to share some information on the blog.


Snowshoeing & Other Winter-Fit Activity Tips

Keeping hydrated - in my opinion, the best is a simple recipe of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and sea salt. Stir/shake and it's the perfect "sports drink" carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes to keep you and the kids going for hours. We need to drink half our body weight in oz of water daily. It's good to assume about a litre for every 1-2hr for an adult.

Our muscles can only store 90min worth of glycogen "muscle fuel" at a time. It's smart to take in about 30g of carbohydrates every 30min during intense trucking through deep snow. The above drink will do it, or even a piece of fruit (1/2 a banana).

Dressing in layers is key. A thin pair of socks over a thicker pair will make even a cheap pair of boots much warmer. There are some really cool boots and shoes specific to outdoor winter fun ( I can talk about these) but there are also el-cheap-o ways to get by and still be comfortable. If there is wind a scarf or neck/face protector will be appreciated. It also helps to warm the air before it gets to your lungs, especially important if you are exercising hard and cannot continue to breath through your nose.

Getting overheated can quickly lead to exhaustion and dehydration..not fun.

Family -make it fun! snowshoe up a hill and then crazy carpet down to the bottom. Plan for a meal/hot chocolate together afterwards.

- make it enjoyable for all: cater to the fitness level of the lease active person

Calories burned from x-ski and snowshoeing will be about 20% higher than the treadmill and 10% more than on an elliptical, when the work effort is of the comparable intensity.

To get the most out of your workout add intervals of either hills or speed with recovery time in between, carry in a lunch or snacks so you can go longer/further, time yourself and see if you can do it faster next time, relaxation to look forward to afterwards like hot tubing!, use poles when snowshoeing for extra burn, skate skiing is more intense than classic cross country, ...I could go on and on.

Great benefits can be seen when doing this 1-2x per week when combined and active lifestyle through the rest of the week and healthy eating habits.

Results will be seen and felt within 2 weeks if the intensity, frequency and nutrition is appropriate.

Your idea of get the most "fitness benefit" through snowshoeing is a great idea. We could hit a trail with our snowshoes on and discuss proper layering (clothing), posture on snowshoes, polling technique, fun to be outside in nature (good for the soul), muscles used, how to choose a pace, keeping hydrated and fuelled, the benefits: fat loss, muscle tone, energy, sleeping better, vit D, mood increase, healthy hormones, easy, circulation, etc.

Please visit Sarah's website for more information and remember to.....

Squeeze your lemons!

1 comment:

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