Snowshoeing is an extreme sport where athletes race over snow with the assistance of snowshoes, a specialty piece of equipment attached to the athlete's boots. Snowshoes distribute the weight of the athlete over a larger surface area so they do not sink into the snow while competing.
Snowshoes are the most ancient device for walking on snow. The footwear was widely used be people of northern regions: Yakuts, Chukchi, Japanese, residents of Kamchatka and Scandinavia. Snowshoeing was especially popular in Canada where roads were not available until the 20th century.
While combining aerobic activity with ease of walking over snow, snowshoeing has becoming one of the fastest growing winter sports. Snowshoeing is an excellent low-impact sport because the snow acts as a cushion and decreases the load on the body. Moreover, it can improve respiratory and cardiovascular systems, while also improving coordination, balance and endurance.