Sports and general movement are, as is well-known, tremendously important. But you don’t necessarily have to visit the gym or run from one end of the city to the other. You don’t even have to practise one of the many trend sports that have sprouted like mushrooms over the last few years. We’re taking you “back to the roots” - all you really need are your own two feet and nature to discover what’s probably the oldest outdoor sport in the world: hiking. The name itself has negative connotations for many and the word “hiking” brings to mind big bearded men, Reinhold Messner style. In reality, hiking is something for everyone and you can adjust the level of difficulty to push your own boundaries. Try it out, you’ll enjoy it!

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Be it in the mid-range mountains in Germany, the Austrian Alps, the high mountains of Switzerland, the English moors or the Scottish highlands, you can hike anywhere. Here are just three of the many benefits brought to you by hiking: 1. Whole-body training. Hiking improves your blood circulation. The changing terrain, which is sometimes steep and sometimes flat, exerts a constant but not too challenging impact on the body. Apart from your circulation, hiking both uphill and downhill trains your thighs, calves and feet. The uneven surface of the floor also works on your balance and the reflex zones on the soles of your feet. Hiking challenges the stability of your upper body, so you get a total body workout without really noticing you’re doing it ;-)

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2. Clearing your head. During everyday life, you have to deal with several different sources of stress. Life can be loud and hectic, especially in cities. That’s why hiking in nature can be the perfect “time out” for your body and mind. You can enjoy peace, fresh air and finally give your head a break. Studies have even shown that hiking is a great way to overcome stress and prevent burnouts. Simply going out into nature and switching off works wonders.

3. The views are worth the effort. There’s nothing nicer than standing on a mountain in clear weather, taking in the views and the fresh air and enjoying a sandwich break or savouring a cold beer or fresh buttermilk at a mountain hut together with some fine food. All in peaceful silence. If you’ve not been out in the mountains much, you’ll really enjoy it, we promise :-)

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For anyone who wants to give hiking a go, we recommend outdoor shoes with a non-slip sole and a thick tread. Possibly also with a higher cut to stabilise your ankles and prevent any twists. As far as clothes are concerned, we advise wearing breathable and waterproof pants and a loose top. It’s best to always have a jumper or jacket with you, even a windbreaker, as the weather can turn quickly when you’re at high altitudes. Apart from clothing, take enough water along and something light to snack on, a banana, an apple or a cereal bar, so you can top up your energy reserves when you need to. If you’d like to ask us about particularly good hiking routes, appropriate hiking gear or hiking itself, just ask us! Most importantly: have fun out there!

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