Annakeara Stinson

Is Snowmobiling A Good Workout? I Tried It For The First Time & It Kicked My Ass

By
Ad failed to load

It was way below freezing on the Togwotee Pass in Teton County, Wyoming, and I wore a bulky, full-body snow-suit as I prepared to get on a snowmobile for the very first time. The beauty near the Bridger-Teton Forest and Grand Teton is breathtaking, but the natural wonder was eclipsed, unfortunately, by my rapidly increasing anxiety. But with my body feeling tense from my travels from New York to Wyoming, I wanted some exercise to loosen me up a bit. Although, is snowmobiling actually a good workout? Based on the waiver I was forced to sign about the potential risks of injury associated with this winter sport, I'm going to go with "yes" to answer that question.

As I got closer to actually getting on the snowmobile, I half-jokingly asked my guide, Jason Smith, "So, uh, what is the likelihood of death?"

Let me tell you, not only did I not die, but my initial curiosity as to the fitness benefits of snowmobiling were more than fully answered by the time I hopped off the vehicle at the end of the day. In fact, it proved to be the best and most enjoyable form of exercise I've had in a long, long time.

Ad failed to load

A group of 17 of us on a media trip to Jackson Hole were in the hands of an outdoor and wildlife tour company called Scenic Safaris during our snowmobiling trip. Like I said, it is damn cold in Wyoming, and even colder up in the mountains, so after getting totally geared up in snow-suits, gloves, a balaclava (aka that ski mask thing that completely covers your head), weather-proof boots, and of course, those massive helmets, we made our way to the mountain near Togwotee Mountain Lodge. The instructors ran through the basics of safely using the "rigs," emphasizing the importance of staying aware of our surroundings at all times.

This is not an accurate depiction of how nervous I was.

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

After breaking up into groups with assigned guides to lead us, I told my own instructor, Jason, how nervous I was (honestly, I almost opted out at the last moment to ride on the back of someone else's snowmobile). He very kindly told me to get on the snowmobile right behind him, and to follow his path and what he was doing as best as I could.

Shaking off the nerves as much as I could, I took a look at the "rig," which looks a bit like a motorcycle with skis on it. Honestly though, she's a beaut.

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

While I wasn't not the only snowmobiling virgin in my group, others around me assured me I would be just fine. They compared snowmobiling to sports like jet-skiing, or riding on a motorcycle. But I haven't done either of those (terrifying) things. "I've, uh, ridden a bike," I stuttered to them.

Annakeara Stinson

As I hopped onto the snowmobile and started down the trail behind Jason, I immediately felt unsteady, like my body was going to be flung off into a snowbank at any moment. I could feel the vibration of the ride in my arms, and even my core, too. I couldn't help but notice how responsive the vehicle was to the weight distribution of my body.

Ad failed to load

When we stopped to check in with one another, I asked Jason how to best make turns, because to me, it felt extremely difficult to control the snowmobile around the bends in the trail. With a confident smile, he told me to lean into the side of the turn, and to pick up speed whenever I felt like I might get stuck. "Don't be afraid of speed," he told me. Yeah, easier said than done, Jason.

He explained that the less tense you are, the better, and that you should allow your body to go with the flow of the snowmobile's movement.

Annakeara Stinson
Ad failed to load

I did my best to heed that advice, channeling that similar sense of "effortless" control that I often try to maintain when I'm doing yoga, or when I'm dancing.

Annakeara Stinson

Later on, Jason stopped me and the rest of our group to tell us he was going to cut us loose for a while to play. Like a responsible chaperone, he gave us parameters to stay inside of so he could still see us.

Ad failed to load

It was during this "playtime" that I started really get the hang of the sport, and actually have fun. I was finally beginning to understand how to use my weight distribution to guide my turns and ease the tension in my body.

Annakeara Stinson

I even mustered the courage to stand up on the snowmobile a few times as I was riding, like a real freaking champ. It felt equally as exciting as it did meditative, and even when I stopped to break, my heart rate continued to go wild. I noticed the muscles in my entire body felt challenged, though not necessarily in pain or overly fatigued.

Ad failed to load
Annakeara Stinson

Having said that, I wasn't surprised at all to learn later on about some of the physical benefits of this winter sport. A study from York University, for example, showed that there are definitely health benefits associated with motorized sports, which in fact meet all the "metabolic demands" and "muscular strength requirements" of aerobic exercise.

And when I get a chance to talk to another Scenic Safaris guide, Dave Kanaus, in an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, he points out that snowmobiling is, indeed, a full-body exercise that works your core, shoulders, and legs, in particular. Kanaus adds that there are other benefits of the activity, one of them simply being that people usually have such a good time doing it.

Ad failed to load

"For many, it’s a real stress relief to be outdoors in the winter. And with snowmobiling, when you're off trailing, there's the excitement of exploring something you can't walk to."

Part of what makes snowmobiling a unique experience in the mountains, he explains, is that you're able to get to places you can't even get to while you're skiing. It's nothing short of enlivening, he tells me.

Plus, getting out in the seriously fresh air and sunlight can't hurt the mind or the body, amirite?

Ad failed to load

Do I look happier post-snowmobiling to you? I think so.

Annakeara Stinson

When I reconvened with my group later that afternoon at our very, very cozy hotel, needless to say, I could barely keep my eyes open for our evening activities. My arms were pretty damn sore, too, though I was definitely not the only one in the group who felt that way.

Ad failed to load

So, yes, going snowmobiling proved to be the best workout I've had in a while. But it wasn't just that; this experience was the most fun I've had in a long, long time — like, I feel-like-a-kid-again level of fun. Despite my initial anxiety going into it, I'm already daydreaming of my next opportunity to get back on a snowmobile.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

The Travel Accessory You Need This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Leaving behind your hometown and exploring the great beyond is one of the most important things you'll ever do in your lifetime. It breaks the monotony of your daily routine, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and forces you to appreciate a world c…
By Roya Backlund

6 Commitment-Free Ways To Change Up Your Look After A Breakup, If You Feel Like It

I'm married and not breaking up (I just had to clarify before I get a call from my husband wondering what's going on). However, if for some reason we ever did separate (again, not happening!), I've imagined I'd have this Eat, Pray, Love moment where …
By Stephanie Montes

Here's Everything That's Leaving Netflix In June

Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of opportunity to binge watch more movies and TV shows that we never knew we needed in our lives. May has passed by in a blink of an eye, so I definitely need to catch up on what Netflix is getting rid of afte…
By Kristen Perrone

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett
)}