HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO TRY HIKING ON SNOWSHOES? I have heard it’s a great workout and helps make outdoor winter exercise enjoyable and sociable. This article (Snowshoe Running 101: Expert Advice And Beginner Workouts) by Duncan Larkin in Competitor.com discusses SNOWSHOE RUNNING!!! Wow, I have not ever considered combining these two fun activities.
The article quotes Nikki Kimball, a U.S. snowshoe champion, “The athlete must draw on muscles used to stabilize the lower extremity—those surrounding the hip and ankle—to compensate the resistance of the snow and the uneven landing surface it provides”. For this reason, she explains, these structures are strengthened through the performance of this activity.
A word of caution, though. Running involves balancing on one lower extremity at a time (for a fraction of a second) as you push off against the grounded foot to propel yourself forward. If you have difficulty performing single leg balance exercises while stationary, and wobble a bit as you stand or bend with or without weights, the act of SNOWSHOE RUNNING may exaggerate this instability and put additional stress on knees. Perhaps snowshoe walking/hiking initially (you don’t balance on one leg at a time as you walk) may help prevent knee problems. At the same time you might work to improve balance with specific exercises. I'll assemble some of the most common routines prescribed by physical therapists in a later post. I have personal experience with knee pain (a bursitis) resulting from poor balance. It may have been in part brought on by running on sand all summer long, which I thought would strengthen my legs!
The Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford website (author is not identified) has an informative discussion on single leg balance. http://www.fleetfeethartford.com/sports-medicine/single-leg-balance
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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