Hiking strengthens the immune system. It gets the cardiovascular system pumping and clears the mind.
People who are regularly active outdoors, work off stress, bring their immune system out of its constant state of alert and sleep better. What’s more, hiking is ideal for the heart. “Even short hikes increase the pumping capacity. This gets the circulation moving and the body is better oxygenated,” explains Dr. Ursula Marschall, senior health professional with the Barmer GEK national health insurance company.
Another advantage: you don’t need special equipment. Comfortable, weatherproof clothing worn in layers like an onion suffice even if there is a wide range of functional clothing. However, you should never save on shoes. Hiking boots need to fit perfectly. A non-slip sole gives the foot stability. That’s why you should take your time when trying different boots on and test them going downhill. Many shops throughout Germany have small, realistic test tracks with different surfaces in their shops.
Hiking is hip. The noticeable relaxation and rejuvenation from getting exercise in the fresh air and being one with nature can quickly become a regular wellness project originally started as a spontaneous day hike. A number of providers have long specialised in hiking holidays.
Those wishing to go on a hiking route over several days do not need to haul their entire overnight bags and suitcases. Hikers can take advantage of package tours which include forwarding baggage service in addition to accommodation and meals. Theme-based hiking tours such as those offering cultural or culinary highlights are quite popular.