What kind of calorie-burning do you do?

I've mentioned that we exercise regularly. I had a total knee replacement nine years ago and was told I should not: run, play volleyball, do any downhill skiing or play basketball. I could walk, ride an street bike or a recumbent bike, dance or snowshoe. And, of course, walk up and down stairs to a reasonable extent. We had been to a "Try Snowshoeing" event in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and loved the sport. So we got snowshoes from friends who ran a new and used sports-equipment shop and tried a variety of snow conditions with them.

I found breaking a path, especially uphill, in deep snow, was not my favorite way to exercise. But I loved going on trails that had already been trod upon. We rode a lift up to the top of a ski area where friends live and tried a cross-country trail. That was a thrill, especially when we realized, that we got great upper-body exercise by using the ski poles we had also purchased.

Now we've gone on one-day or multi-day trips to one of Colorado's established snowshoe trails . This year we've taken a cabin at the YMCA camp near Estes Park and snowshoed in RMNP on two occasions. This weekend will be the third. We took a friend there for an one-day excursion ten days ago; she's about fifteen years younger than we are and had cross-country skied a fair amount, but this was only her second time on snowshoes.

We found our way to Sprague Lake, and set off on a three-mile, mostly level path with light snow drifting down and a wonderful view of the mountains. As usual, I started with heavy gloves and a number of layers of clothing and had to switch to lighter gloves and unzip my jacket as we got a ways up the first leg of the trail. Lynnette and our friend Mary were perfectly content with the relatively flat trail, but fairly tired by the time we finished. We immediately headed for a favorite restaurant and ate hardily; we had certainly earned our calories.

I'll probably try some steeper slopes with my summer trail guide in the  next few months; snowshoeing is a great exercise and offers a variety of challenges and I think I'm ready for the next one.

2 Responses to “What kind of calorie-burning do you do?”

  1. You're an inspiration, Peter. I'm hitting the walking trails again after a long, long break during which I consumed way more calories than I burned. We play, we pay!

  2. Peter Springberg says:

    Thanks, for the compliment, Pat. My wife and I are both at weights we haven't seen for years. I think Lynnette is at least as active as I am. She goes to a Strong Women, Strong Bones class twice a week and is in a Pilates group twice a week, snowshoes with me and also rides a bike, stretches and does some time on a treadmill several times a week. I'm in the gym almost every day and, over the course of nine years, have very gradually increased my time, calories burned and distance on a recumbent bike (20.50 miles and 681 calories in 65 minutes today), do mat stretches and, "checking my ego at the door," lift weights on on two or three arm and three leg machines. We've set up our exercise programs with advice along the way from docs and physical therapists, as we're almost seventy and that made sense.

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