Here's why you should start snowshoeing

Snowshoeing can burn 420 to 700 calories per hour — that's more than walking, running or cycling.

Photo, Shutterstock.

Photo, Shutterstock.

Here’s why we love snowshoeing: It’s suited to all ages and fitness levels. It’s low-impact and low-cost, and provides lower-body conditioning and a serious cardio workout. Plus, it is a great social, romantic or solitary activity, with a back-to-basics appeal.

Gear up

Modern snowshoes are small, made of lightweight materials, easy to adjust and priced between $150 and $300. They are one of the few pieces of winter sports equipment you can easily leave in the trunk of your car and use on the spur of the moment.

Burn, baby, burn

Snowshoeing targets your core as well as your hip flexors, quadriceps, buttocks, hamstrings and calves. Add poles and your back and arms also benefit.

It’s a lot like running in sand, says David McMahon, owner of Ottawa’s Natural Fitness Lab.

What not to wear

In colder weather, thin long underwear, tights and a breathable, close-fitting sports jacket will be enough to keep you warm. “Most people wear too much,” says McMahon. “About 10 minutes in, they end up carrying all their gear.”

Plus: Heat seekers

When the temperature drops, these extras will keep you toasty

Want to burn 500 calories an hour? Try snowshoeing
10 gym-free ways to get fit this winter
Winter walking alternatives

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