The benefits of exercise in the fresh air
Picturesque alpine pastures, sublime mountain landscapes, crystal-clear mountain lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and much more - hiking allows us a spectacular insight into nature. At the same time, it keeps us young, fit and healthy. While we hike, alone or in company, marvelling at beautiful paths, our fitness is improved and our balance and strength are trained.
Hiking is without question an endurance sport that can be practised in all seasons. The degree of difficulty can be determined by the route. Hiking is, therefore, suitable for every person. Physical activity in the fresh air is often perceived as very relaxing and sometimes meditative. Having achieved something you set out to do represents a sense of accomplishment. At the same time, body, soul and spirit recover from the stresses of life with the power of nature, far away from the hustle and bustle.
Things are Looking Up
The positive influence on the psyche plays a major role in hiking. This is proven by the interdisciplinary study "Über'n Berg", which was conducted by the Salzburg University Hospital on suicide prevention in 2012 (link can be found here). After a total of 9 weeks of hiking, the test subjects stated that they had gained more self-confidence in the mountains and felt less stress. Hiking thus not only trains our muscles, but also our mind.
Nevertheless, there are some rules you have to follow when hiking, especially if you have little or no experience in the mountains, it is important to think about a few things before you set off.
- The route must be well planned in advance and within your own physical limits. Overestimating oneself can lead to accidents, even among experienced hikers. If you are not sure, you should discuss the route with someone who has experience in the mountains. This is especially true if there are (small) children on the hike. A route that is too strenuous can quickly become a stressful or even dangerous situation. If you are travelling alone, it is best to inform your accommodation, the host of the hut or other hikers about your plans.
- The weather changes very quickly in the mountains. Basic equipment with rain protection is absolutely indispensable. Don't forget a water bottle and a small snack, as the posted huts may be closed.
- Hiking is an activity in and with nature. Stick to the indicated paths in order to protect the local flora and fauna. The paths also protect hikers from falling rocks or other difficult situations. Always follow the paths and the signposting.
- Beware of grazing animals! This is especially true when mother animals want to protect their young. To avoid unpleasant incidents, it is best to avoid them in a wide arc.
- Always take your rubbish with you! You bring it in, you take it out.
- Last, but not least - footwear! You must adapt your shoes to your chosen tour. This is another way to avoid accidents. Take your time when choosing your shoes and also when tying your laces. This will help you avoid painful pressure points and blisters. You should also retie your shoes 15-30 minutes after you start walking because they will have stretched due to the natural body heat produced by your feet. The shoes can then be adjusted to fit your feet even better.
We wish you lots of fun and relaxing moments on the trails!
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