Stay Fit: Snowshoeing & Nordic Skiing
Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. But according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25 percent of people over the age of 35 will experience a heart attack or be diagnosed with heart disease.
That’s a good reason to enjoy a little aerobic exercise in the great outdoors.
Because of the added resistance, snowshoeing generally burns more than three times as many calories as walking. Plus, its low-impact nature is good for folks who have had injuries.
You can find snowshoe rentals at most ski and snowboard rental shops. Be sure that your snowshoes are fitted to your height and weight. Many hiking trails, which you might come acquainted with in the Summer, act as great snowshoe trails during the Winter.
One of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise is Nordic skiing because it uses large muscle groups in both the upper and lower body. This increases the peripheral resistance on the heart, which helps strengthen the heart muscle and decreases blood pressure.
In addition, Nordic skiing is an excellent exercise for folks with weak joints or previous injuries because it is very low-impact. Unlike jarring sports like running or even walking, Nordic skiing allows the skier to glide over the snow.
Under the umbrella of Nordic there are two primary techniques – classic and skating. In the classic technique skis are kept in a parallel position, while in the skating technique the feet are angled into a V-shape, toes pointed out.
For the classic technique, skiers use a groomed track or forge off-piste into untracked snow. For skating, a groomed track (or exceptionally firm snow) is mandatory to achieve glide.