According to a report we found in USA Today, this may be the perfect year to finally learn a new snow sport! Thanks to the downturn in the economy, ski resorts in 23 states are stepping up their efforts to get more people off the couch and onto the slopes. Throughout January, many resorts are offering huge discounts on lessons and equipment rentals – as part of an industry-wide “Learn A Snow Sport Month” promotion. For example, resorts in 21 different states hosted the 14th annual “Winter Trials Day” – where novices got to ski for free.
While skiing and snowboarding are the two most popular snow sports, many resorts report a huge spike in a more obscure sport, known as “snowshoeing.” That’s where people strap on two light-weight shoes – which look like oversized tennis rackets. They’re designed to spread body weight over a large area, so people can literally walk across the top of snow without sinking in. Experts say snowshoeing is growing more popular because the equipment is cheap to buy, and the sport is easy to learn. As one trainer puts it: “If you can walk, you can snowshoe.” Another benefit to snowshoeing is that it’s slow enough for people to try in groups – unlike skiing or snowboarding, which require lots of personal space to move around. That’s helped make the sport a hit with families, who can bring their kids and grandparents for an extended hike through the woods – without fear of being rushed, or injured.
All of this is obviously good news for your health, since studies consistently show that moderate exercise – even just walking – enhances your body’s immune system, and cuts your risk of getting sick in HALF. A mere half hour of snowshoeing burns off 300 calories. So no more excuses! You can learn more about sports like snowshoeing at the website SnowSports.org.