This weekend I spent a few hours each day snowshoeing through the parks with my wife and my dog. I noticed the two winter activities that appeared to be most popular here in Chicago were snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The skiers outnumbered the snowshoers by a 2:1 ratio.
I did a little research to determine if either activity provided a better workout. From the research I found the calories burned were the same, although I am sure the muscle groups worked varies a bit. Snowshoeing regularly has been proven to improve your health and is a good source of aerobic exercise during the dreary winter months.
I have focused on snowshoeing over cross country skiing as of late because it is easier for me to bring my dog along when I have more freedom of movement than I do with skis. With very low barriers to entry, it is one of the most accessible and cheapest sports to learn. You can get a cheap pair of snowshoes from REI for just about $60. Literally the easiest way to walk or hike in the wintertime, snowshoes give you the feeling of gliding across snow, similar to floating on air. It is also considered the fastest growing winter sport, despite being around for centuries.
Have you tried it yet? Grab a pair and go explore!