A little help along the trail

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In circumstances where you need snowshoes, you wouldn’t want to do without them. Wading through hip-deep snow is incredibly tiring – as anyone who’s had to do it can attest.

But their handiness doesn’t stop there. The contraptions are going a long way toward encouraging folks to get more active, particularly in mid-winter when it’s easy to make excuses by blaming the weather.

Hike Nova Scotia is getting behind that growing interest with its ‘Hibernating Is for Bears’ campaign, with a number of guided snowshoe hikes planned around the province to help people get started and also get them more in tune with the burgeoning trail system. Three of those are in Pictou County: the Juniper Head Trail, Dalhousie Mountain, on Jan. 25, Quarry Brook, Durham, also Jan. 25, and Fitzpatrick Mountain, Millsville to Scotsburn, Feb. 2. See www.hikenovascotia.ca

It’s great to see organizations offering such outings, designed to get the entire family moving. Snowshoeing has the benefit of being good recreation requiring equipment that is moderately priced.

The Hike Nova Scotia campaign echoes a recent trend that got started a couple of years back in Pictou County: the community challenges that invite residents to get involved in a variety of activities, logging hours as a fun competition – while keeping them active in the winter months.

That little bit of encouragement is a good idea, since most of us know how easy it is to slip into ‘hibernation’ mode.

The adult world – and health professionals – have grown extremely critical of a younger generation that spends a lot of time on electronic media. Well guess what? The older people are catching up.

According to a story by The Canadian Press, an Ipsos survey of smartphone owners in the country reveals that they spend an average of 90 per cent of their free time staring at a screen – phone, computer, TV, tablet or e-reader.

That thing about hibernating bears? Their metabolism slows down. Ours doesn’t.

Organizations: Canadian Press, Ipsos

Geographic location: Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Mountain Scotsburn

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