No one doubts that exercise in the fresh air is good for you. You will also intuitively answer the question “Is hiking healthy?” with “Yes!
But why is hiking so healthy?
Leisurely to the destination
If you set out on foot, you do so at your own pace. No matter how fast you go, every step brings you closer to your destination. You breathe in the fresh, clear mountain air. Your gaze falls on the untamed nature. Alpine meadows, leaves that slowly change colour in autumn, rugged peaks and alpine animals: all this has a positive effect on your mood.
In addition to the visual stimuli, nature also offers a lot of peace and quiet. After a short time you notice how everyday stress and worries fall away. Hormones and messenger substances such as serotonin and dopamine play an important role here. The body releases them through exercise and at the same time reduces the stress hormone cortisol. Hiking is therefore healthy for the psyche.
A few tips for hiking beginners
You haven’t been out and about in the mountains very often or have little experience with hiking in general? We have put together some tips for you to help you get started in this wonderful leisure activity:
Don’t stress yourself. You don’t have to climb three-thousand-metre peaks on your first hike. Especially in the Alps, it’s better to take a shorter route
Find out about your planned route. If you need one hour for five kilometres in the lowlands, it can take one and a half or two times as long in the mountains thanks to the gradient. Keep this in mind when planning your tour
Be back before sunset, pay attention to the weather forecast and take appropriate equipment with you
Choose a well signposted route, do not leave it
Break in new hiking boots on shorter tours first
Take some food with you, such as fruit, and plenty of water
Experienced hiking guides take care of the tour planning for you and can tell you a lot about the flora and fauna in the mountains along the way
Why is hiking so healthy?
The physical aspect
When you get really out of breath and your pulse quickens while hiking, you know that you are doing something good for your body. You are training your endurance and thus also your cardiovascular system. If you regularly walk over hill and dale, your risk of many diseases is reduced. Physically active people are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Even the risk of breast and bowel cancer is reduced thanks to regular exercise. Because hiking is never flat and the ground changes frequently, you train your entire musculoskeletal system. Bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles stay strong and supple at the same time. But that’s not the only reason why hiking is so healthy.
In addition, outdoor training has a positive effect on the immune system. Your immune cells reach new heights when you regularly give them moderate outdoor exercise. And then there are your lungs. They would rejoice at the fresh and clear air. Exercise outdoors increases the vital capacity of the lungs and the volume of breath. In addition, the lungs are better supplied with blood. And more blood flow overall means that the brain is also better supplied with oxygen. The result? You can concentrate better and think better. This is also the reason why many people get the best ideas while walking.
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