Why snowshoeing is a better workout than you think

Snowshoeing is seriously good for you. See how it measures up to other winter sports in terms of health benefits, accessibility, and sheer fun.

Two women on snowshoes contemplating nature

1. You don’t need to “learn”

Never snowshoed before? Don’t worry—no one will be able to tell. It’s just like walking, but with very clunky shoes (that keep you from sinking into the snow). The same cannot be said for skating or snowboarding!

2. You’re unlikely to injure yourself

The best thing about snowshoeing is that you can set your own pace. You won’t get to glide down any hills, but you’ll be in control the whole time. That’s one of the reasons why snowshoeing is among the safest winter activities there is (besides baking gingerbread and reading by the fireplace, that is).

3. The equipment is minimal

Aside from snowshoes, all you need is a good pair of boots, sticks, and a few technical layers. Which, if you’re an outdoorsy person, you might already have. Learn more about choosing the right gear here.

4. It’ll work your cardio as much as running

That’s right! Walking with snowshoes means you have to lift your feet higher than when running, and with more weight attached to them. As a result, you’ll achieve the same cardiovascular effort at a much slower pace. And with less strain on your joints, too!

A couple taking advantage of the beautiful day to go snowshoe hiking

5. Your proprioception will improve

Having good proprioception means being aware of your body parts and how much effort is required to move them. You can’t fully predict terrain features when walking in the snow, so your micro muscles compensate to keep your balance. Even if you feel clumsy in your snowshoes, know that they are making you less clumsy in general.

Transport bag for snowshoes

6. You can really admire your surroundings

Snowshoeing is an awesome way to discover off-the-beaten-path winter wonderlands. Being a fairly quiet mode of transportation, it might help you see more wildlife on your outings. Plus, if you see something particularly beautiful, it’s easy to just stop for a moment and fully appreciate it.

7. You don’t need a car to carry your equipment

Yay for public transportation friendly sports! Skating and snowshoeing are both awesome in that regard because all your gear can fit in a tote bag. You can snowshoe at most large city parks—look up what’s available in your area, you might be surprised.