Use your snowshoes on the sand to get in shape: there is no off season

To stay in incredible physical shape during the off-season of snowshoeing, you need to have a general training plan that includes endurance training and other forms of exercise. This plan helps your muscles remember how to work when it’s time for snow. One activity that you will want to add to your training plan is snowshoeing. Here we answer your questions about using your rackets on the sand or on the racket for fitness.

Snowshoeing is a great way to maintain your fitness during the off-season. Photo: Randy Philpotts

What is the racket?

First of all, what is the racket? Snowshoeing is an outdoor sport practiced in your spare time, whether for recreation, fitness or cross-training. It’s as easy as it sounds. Grab your snowshoes and head to the nearest beach or dunes. Then choose the intensity at which you walk or run. Snowshoeing can be a solo activity or a way to connect with other people of all ages.

If you want to add extra challenge and extra stability, you can use Nordic walking poles for snowshoeing. Nordic walking can improve fitness, especially for those who cannot complete resistance training or high impact sports. Nordic walking poles can also improve balance and reduce neck pain.

These poles are height adjustable, are designed to propel you faster, and engage all muscle groups. Unlike hiking, you don’t need to hold the poles upright in front of your body, but you can point them backwards, just like in cross-country skiing.

view of the sand dunes under an open blue sky and swirls of clouds

Snowshoeing is simple: grab your snowshoes, head to the beach or dunes, and enjoy the views while you exercise. Photo: Randy Philpotts

side by side photos of a woman using snowshoes on sand dunes

C. King likes to cross the dunes on snowshoes. Photo: Randy Philpotts

Is sandhoeing cardio / aerobic exercise?

Cardio and aerobic exercise increase your heart rate and consume oxygen. In snowshoes, just like in snowshoes, you work your muscles and push your heart and lungs to work hard. In the long run, this activity makes your heart stronger and more efficient.

So, good news: Sandshoeing is good cardio exercise, especially if you are going at a sustained pace of at least 3 mph (5 km / h) and increasing your heart rate. Plus, if you can walk for at least 30 minutes a day, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones, and reduce your risk of developing certain conditions and diseases.

Read more: Enjoy the health benefits of snowshoeing

How fast can you sandhoe?

The speed depends on the intensity, but in my case about 4 mph or about 24 minutes per mile.

My personal results clearly show that you can increase – and maintain – your walking speed well beyond a brisk walking pace. Plus, if you can maintain this brisk pace throughout your workout, that’s great news for your heart and the rest of your body.

group of sandshoers on the beach

You can enjoy this cardiovascular activity alone or with others! Train for a 5 km or go just for fun. Photo: Randy Philpotts

When is the right time to walk 5 km?

Five kilometers equals 3.1 miles and is a great way to use your snowshoes on the sand for better fitness. At a typical walking pace, you can walk 5 km in 45 minutes. If you have a slower pace, you can take 60 minutes or more.

When choosing a 5K event, make sure it hosts sandshoeing long enough for you to finish comfortably, like Snowshoe Magazine’s upcoming Sandshoeing 5K Challenge July 1-7!

Read more: Snowshoe outing for WWF Nature 5K

man on promenade looking at beach

Ready to put on the next 5 km on the beach! Photo: Randy Philpotts

Do I have to modify my rackets?

If you are using aluminum models, you can simply remove your toe crampons. I use Redfeather Hike snowshoes, and this modification made for a much more efficient stride with less resistance to the sand.

The lack of additional weight as well and less sand backsplash is also a plus. You will have the impression of floating on the sand, with great buoyancy, that is, floating above the sand.

Since sand and salt water can cause wear and tear on your snowshoes, even with modifications, just be sure to clean your snowshoes after each outing to preserve them.

Read more: Snowshoes in San Diego, California: Will snowshoes work on sand?

snowshoes on the sand for fitness: man wearing snowshoes on the sand lifting the racket

By removing the toe stud on your aluminum snowshoes, it can save weight and wear. Photo: Randy Philpotts

What should I do to prepare?

Be sure to stretch before, after a brief warm-up, and after to keep your muscles relaxed.

Also make sure to stay hydrated regardless of the temperature and bring a drink like water or Gatorade. You can also bring a small backpack for extras like energy bars and diapers as it’s breezy on the shore.

Finally, pack binoculars and a camera to take in all that nature has to offer.

Read more: What to bring on snowshoes: the best accessories for the day hiker

close-up of three rackets on the sand in a circle

You can use any type of modern snowshoes on the sand. Just be sure to wipe / wash them after you go out. Photo: Randy Philpotts

How much fun can you have with the racket?

The fun is as limitless as the imagination!

It all starts before the sun rises… when I get out of my car. The air is crisp, the sun only climbs over the dunes and the waves on the ocean have a rhythmic syncope of their own. The first 20 minutes are spent hiking and through the dunes to make your heart beat faster. Then it’s on deep sand right next to the dunes and finally through the apartments to the shore. Here we meet the wave runoff but not too close. I see the first surfers fishing, birds flying above me and miles of endless sandy beach.

sunrise on the beach

You can enjoy the beautiful view and the sunrise on the beach. Photo: Randy Philpotts

Would you use your snowshoes on the sand for fitness during the off-season? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Try out your snowshoes on the sand and go snowshoeing

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