Hiking is not only a benefit for the body; afterward, many people also feel mentally relaxed. For nature lovers who want to spend their holidays nearby in Corona’s times, various regions invite you to hike.
“A green island in a sea of fine dust.”
“We have to look at the Alps imagine like a green island in a sea of fine dust: the purer air in the high altitude of the alpine regions alone is a powerful factor and cleanses the upper respiratory tract and lungs, “explains Arnulf Hartl, author of” Heilkraft der Alpen “(Bergwelten publishing house).
Add to that the shorter flowering season of the plants – “and as a person suffering from allergies, I look for the cool, low-pollen air in the mountains myself as often as possible,” adds the head of the Institute for Eco-Medicine at the Paracelsus Medical Private University in Salzburg. “Another performance-enhancing aspect of the Alps is the altitude, which promotes the build-up of vitalizing red blood cells after only three days – and from which we can benefit for 120 days because we can better transport oxygen from the lungs to the brain and muscles.”  Very efficient muscle training
Unfortunately, people from highly dense urban agglomerations can hardly enjoy the forest in everyday life, says Hartl. Timeouts in the mountains and the mountain forest are all the more critical: “Uneven forest floor trains the muscles – but of course not as effective as the very efficient eccentric muscle training when going downhill. In addition to its three-dimensionality, the mountain forest has a remarkable effect: the mountain pine or mountain pine is the tree with the highest capacity to bind fine dust. Altitude training in filtered air is hard to top. ”
And with which physical and psychological complaints or illnesses should one drive specifically into the mountains? The expert explains: “Regular physical activity such as mountain biking and mountain biking promotes heart-lung fitness, strengthens the immune system and prevents, for example, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain or certain types of cancer. Mountain hiking – or green exercise, as described in international literature means – has been proven to have even stronger health effects than a movement in the city or indoors. ”
The often untouched nature of the Alps has a mood-enhancing effect,” increases self-confidence and exercise in the wild protects even more effectively against mental illnesses than an exercise in urban or closed spaces. People who are close to nature have higher vitality and life satisfaction and feel more positive emotions “. Waterfalls represented an exceptional natural space in this regard: “Their murmur and their cooling mist from finely dusted water droplets can trigger a relaxed and detached state in us, all ambient noise disappears and meditative mindfulness sets in.”
Hartl’s co-author Christina Geyer, who lives and works as a freelance journalist in the Styrian National Park region of Gesaeuse, adds: “There are hardly any complaints or illnesses that do not affect nature – or more specifically: the mountains. And if it is only a psychological effect, who adjusts himself, for example, how we feel and deal with pain. If you want to do something good for yourself and your health, you should go to the mountains, the mountain pasture, or the forest – the main thing is to get out into nature. You don’t have to get sick. If you protect your health preventively, you don’t have to move out when your hat has been on fire for a long time. “ “Optimal is a combination of mountain hiking and wellness.”
Even those who move their wellness vacation into the mountains should include some exercise: “In general, after ‘low power activities’ like passive wellness, we don’t feel so relaxed like after activities like Mountain hiking, “says Hartl.” Sleep quality also increases after physical activity in the Alps. I consider the combination of mountain hiking and wellness to be optimal – especially in combination with the regional cuisine and the specific culinary offerings that have not previously traveled worldwide. ”
Whether trend sports or classic hiking, according to Experts, find everything helpful. “Every type of exercise in the clean air of our mountains has health benefits: And every one of us will find an individual way to enjoy doing green mountain exercise,” says Hartl. “I find the simplicity of hiking and movement on two legs fascinating. This most natural and original form of movement trains the whole body and can carry us ‘on foot’ to the most beautiful regions of the Alps.”
Set aside sticks to train balance and coordination on two legs in alpine terrain and to regain balance as fall prevention. This is the most efficient way to introduce the muscles in the lower limbs and also to strengthen the critical forces in the knee “. Christina Geyer adds that it does not take too exotic a discipline to achieve the greatest possible health effect. “Sometimes, less is more. A little exaggerated: We don’t have to be on the glacier with a fat bike.”
“A long walk without any frills is just as beneficial for our health,” says the author. “You should listen to your gut feeling here. Nature has given us rich gifts with incredibly diverse spaces. Whether forest or mountain pasture, mountain or lake – I think the Alps have the right environment for every taste.”