One Mile of Walking Vs. Snowshoeing
Both walking and snowshoeing for one mile can provide beneficial exercise. If done at an aerobic pace, both activities can build strength, burn calories, improve your mental health and decrease your risk of injury and chronic disease. Walking and snowshoeing use the same muscles, but at different levels of intensity. Before embarking on either type of ambulation for exercise, talk to your health care provider, especially if you have any existing medical conditions.
Nearly everyone can participate in walking as a form of exercise. Whether one mile is your beginning point or your goal, this low-impact exercise is safe and easy. You can walk for a mile outdoors, on a treadmill or on an elliptical machine. The only necessary equipment is a pair of shoes, but it is important to get a pair of comfortable walking shoes that fit well. Choose a pair with flexible soles, good ankle support and cushioning for the soles of your feet.
Snowshoeing for one mile should be undertaken by people who are in at least moderately good health. Using snowshoes involves walking through snow with special equipment strapped to the bottom of your feet. Snowshoes have frames on the outside and webbing or lacing on the inside. This activity can be done outside your home, in a park or in a more remote area, as long as the area is covered in snow. Like walking, snowshoeing is low-impact and strengthens leg muscles. However, because of the need to raise your foot above snow depth with each step, your quadriceps and hip flexors receive a more intense workout.
If a 160-pound person takes 30 minutes to walk one mile, he will burn about 204 calories. The larger a person is and the faster he walks, the more calories he will burn. Snowshoeing for one mile in about 30 minutes burns an average of around 475 calories. For both activities, you will burn more calories if the course is uphill or if you are carrying weight, such as a backpack.
To prepare yourself for snowshoeing, try exercising on an elliptical trainer. The high steps used on this machine are similar to the type of walking done during snowshoeing. You can buy new or used snowshoes, or rent them from a store that carries sports equipment. Wear waterproof boots with nonabsorbent socks. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses when snowshoeing during the day, as the sun’s rays can affect you both directly and by reflecting off the snow.
- Mayo Clinic: Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health
- Mayo Clinic: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- Journal of Exercise Physiology Online: Physiological Responses to Snowshoeing
- The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: Snowshoeing
- Purdue University North Central: Winter Sports/Exercise
Susan Presley has worked in health care journalism since 2007, and has been published in the American Journal of Nursing and other academic periodicals. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Truman State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.