Health Benefits of Snowshoeing
Winter time in the Pacific Northwest can be a hard time for a lot of people because of the dark cold rainy days. Skiing and snowboarding can be great ways to enjoy the winter but these sports require a lot of practice, time and money. Snowshoeing, on the other hand, is an easy alternative and has a lot of great health benefits.
First, just getting outside and exploring in the snow can be a great way to boost your mood and increase your energy. Although snowshoeing is more enjoyable on a crisp sunny day, you can still go on a rainy or snowy day with the right warm clothes. Because there are no lift tickets to buy, you can go for as long or as little time as you’d like!
Next, snowshoeing is great aerobic exercise and an excellent way to burn calories. You can snowshoe in any type of snow conditions however; trekking in fresh snow or in hilly terrain can help raise your heart rate even more. Also, because snowshoes (and boots) are typically heavier than running shoes, it takes more effort to lift your legs each step compared to running or walking. Using poles is also a great way to incorporate your upper body as well.
Lastly, snowshoeing is easy on your joints and does not involve jumping or running. This is a great option for people with sore knees or anyone that cannot tolerate high impact exercise.
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The Washington Trails Association website is a great resource to find snowshoeing trails nearby
The Northwest Avalanche Center helps determine safe places to go in order to avoid avalanche risk https://www.nwac.us/
REI Avalanche Awareness
REI snowshoe (and other gear) rental: