!“That which does not kill us”… (You know the rest) should be Manitoba’s new slogan following this past winter. While we all wonder where global warming has gone, there is one advantage to this climate, “No Mosquitos”!! The frigid temperatures have led many of us to become creative and careful when planning outdoor pursuits.
The keys to enjoying “sub-arctic” activities are as follows:
While many of us realize the benefit of cross-country skiing and its advantage as a whole body workout, others are exploring areas far off the trail with snowshoes for an equal training experience.
Here are some tips for plundering in the powder:
Start slowly with your feet shoulder width apart to prevent tripping. Then gradually pick up your pace as you become more confident using your poles to assist you to get up if you fall (believe me it happens to the best of us). “But won’t poles slow me down?” you say. Au contraire, ski poles not only recruit your upper body but aid in balance and give you extra power. When training, the addition of poles burn 45% more calories and works every major muscle group in your body. Add some short hill climbs and you’re on your way to one of the best cross training workouts around. Studies show that runners who add snowshoeing into their off season routine have a greater improvement in VO2 max than others that only ran. Not to mention the low impact of training on soft snow will give your joints a much needed break and reduce injuries.
No matter how many times I have to search for the answer to the question “why do you live in a place that has such an extreme climate”? I always come up with the same answer, “because we are crazy”. Where else would you be bundled up in three sweaters, a parka, ski pants, a toque, two pairs of mittens, boots past your knees in 3 feet of snow in a -35 (-8000 with the wind-chill) blizzard, your eyelashes are frozen together, your nose is running, you can't feel your toes, and you still stop at 7 Eleven for a Slurpee on the way home!
by John Ford
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