Estimated calories per hour per pound of body weight burned during exercise at a comfortable pace:


Dancing, ballroom: 1.6

Weight training: 1.9

Volleyball: 2.2

Golf, walking: 2.3

Walking, 3.5 mph: 2.4

Skating, ice: 2.6

Skiing, downhill: 2.6

Bicycling, 10 mph: 2.7

Tennis, singles: 2.9

Water-skiing: 3.0

Rowing machine: 3.1

Swimming, slow crawl: 3.5

Hiking, hills: 3.6

Skiing, cross-country: 3.7

Soccer: 3.7

Jumping rope: 3.8

Racket ball: 4.1

Jogging, 6 mph: 4.2

Squash: 4.3

Snowshoe walking: 4.5


For comparison, here are estimated calories per hour per pound of body weight burned during daily activities at a comfortable pace:


Housecleaning: 1.6

Chopping wood: 2.3

Scrubbing floors: 2.9

Snow shoveling, light: 2.9

Farming, heavy: 3.2

Gardening, hoe, dig: 3.2

Sawing, by hand: 3.3



"How Many Calories are Burned Doing Various Exercises," Brett Denton,

Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Jack H. Wilmore and David L. Costill, 2004

Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Nancy Clark, 1997 

The Benefits of Snowshoeing


The bottom line on snowshoeing is that it's one of the best forms of exercise you can find for burning calories. It's a relatively safe form of exercise that combines aerobics for cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and muscle endurance.


When it comes to burning calories, snowshoe walking is in league with jogging, racket ball, and squash. Snowshoeing is a little more effective than the other three. Also, snowshoeing burns approximately twice the number of calories as walking at the same speed.


The sport of snowshoe racing is growing along with the overall expansion of snowshoeing. Find information about racing events on the United States Snowshoe Association website at


Although snowshoers easily can exercise themselves to improved health, their contact with the outdoors leads to mental and emotional benefits as well. Plying through the snow on a cold, crisp day and enjoying the surroundings is relaxing, and the experience often is reflective.


That's especially true if you're the first to cross freshly fallen snow.

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