What Makes Snowshoeing the Best Winter Activity
Snowshoes have been around for thousands of years. People used them to get around in the snow and invented them about 4000 B.C. in Central Asia. It wasn't until the late 1800s that snowshoeing became a sport in the northeastern part of the U.S. and Canada. Over a dozen times, snowshoes were re-invented until they became super lightweight and easy to maneuver around in.
The Origin Of Snowshoeing
In the 1840s, The Montreal Snowshoe Club opened, and races started at this club and moved across the northern part of North America. Dashes and hurdles were the first races held at the clubs. Dashes went for up to two miles, and hurdles had up to four-foot high barriers to leap over.
Interestingly, the word "jogged" came from the snowshoe races in the early 1870s. From the late 1800s to 1945, athletes who ran on track took snowshoes and trained during the winter months because all the training was outdoors.
The Tecumseh Cup became the first snowshoe race trophy, and the sport skyrocketed from there. It is a tight race between recreational use for hiking and racing. Today, snowshoe races are more popular, and people love to go hiking in the snow-covered terrain wearing comfortable, innovative snowshoes.
How the Look of the Snowshoe Changed
Snowshoes were first made out of wood and looked like colossal tennis rackets for many years. Thousands of years ago, innovations took place to the small aluminum snowshoes we have today. So, how do snowshoes work?
Snowshoes cover the users' shoes to expand the space, so the foot does not sink several feet in the snow. Today, they resemble snow skies over the shoe. They are much lighter and not as broad or as long. It makes it much easier to move and maneuver while walking and racing.
The Benefits of Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is not only a sport but a recreation with excellent health benefits that more people are taking note of as the sport grows in popularity. These are the top ten benefits:
- People are losing weight.
- Muscles get a workout and become stronger.
- Cardiovascular health improves as snowshoeing is an aerobic activity.
- Cabin fever is a thing of the past as depression is wiped out during the cold winter.
- Confidence, mood, and mental health improve with movement and human interaction.
- Sleep habits improve because the body is tired after races and workouts.
- Because of the exercises, muscle soreness is minimal.
- Snowshoeing is a great cardio workout to make the calories fall off.
- The sport is highly accessible as it is known throughout North America and in snow-covered areas.
- Snowshoeing has become not only a way of life but a habit when exercise becomes the sole purpose. For every hour, 600 calories are burned. Forty-five percent more calories are burned through snowshoeing than any other workout known to the human race.
Snowshoeing Compared to Other Sports
There is no comparison to other sports when it comes to snowshoeing. All the person has to do is be prepared for the cold weather and the ice and snow conditions, as well as having a quality pair of snowshoes. Once they are ready and dressed for the weather, they will find snowshoeing has everything needed to get fun, good health, spectacular sights, and confidence during the winter months when everyone else is locked inside their home.
Snow skiing may have the same benefits, but it does not have the same scenery. A person goes too fast when skiing. Running in a snowshoe race allows the person to take in and soak up the view of the snow-covered mountains, trees, crystal blue sky, and other sights around them that they would not usually see, especially from the indoors.
There is no other sport that offers more exercise than snowshoeing, either. It takes effort and strength from muscles you never knew you had before to make it through the snow and ice. It is also the closest thing to walking on water one could ever experience. It could also compare to walking on clouds since they are the same color.
Snowshoe races are always fun. It is even more fun when racing against friends, family, or those we know because we are naturally competitive. Those who feel they are athletic should compete in a snowshoe race at least once because it will give them a new experience they have never felt before. Nothing compares to the exercise or the scenery. Winning or losing a race can become fun and worth the effort, no matter what.
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