Snowshoe Your Winter Blues Away

It’s called “Blue Monday” – and it lands on a pre-determined date every January. Initially calculated by a psychologist in 2005, it’s dubbed the most depressing day of the year. A combination of holiday debt, winter weather, failing New Year resolutions and a desire for change add up the equation.

Whether Blue Monday is fact or fiction, the reality is that January can be tough on Canadians.

Escaping the city is a great antidote to the winter blues and blahs. By exploring our foothills and mountains by ski or snowshoe you may even start to welcome the never-ending snow and flurries once you’re back in town.

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Snowshoeing has come a long way from its so-called tennis-racquets-on-the-feet technology. Sleek, light and durable snowshoes are widely available, offering a variety of styles and features for men, women, children, runners and deep snow adventurers. With a little guidance, even novice trailblazers can navigate most snowshoe trails with ease.

Chester Lake, located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country is a perfect way to explore winter and chase away the blues.

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From the main day use area, it’s a 6.8km return trip, offering cardio bursts on the uphill climb that gains 287m in elevation, breathtaking views across the valley at the top and fun twists and turns on the downhill jaunt. Pack a lunch and enjoy a lakeside picnic, January style. Who knows? Winter might just become your favourite season of the year.

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Snowshoeing tips:

-Hiking or ski poles can be helpful for additional support on the ups and downs.

-Dress in layers: Depending on your level of exertion and the elevation changes, you’ll be sweating, just right or freezing. Layers provide the adaptability to stay at a comfortable temperature.  As always, be ready for fluctuations in the weather.

-Drink plenty of water before, during and after your trip.

-Wear comfortable, waterproof shoes or boots (hiking boots can work well). Be careful of hot spots and blisters, especially on the long, uphill sections.

Also published at: http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2014/01/13/snowshoe-your-winter-blues-away/ 

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