Who says that hiking always has to be an uphill struggle? Even if you don’t rush out and conquer the nearest peak, hiking is still great for your mind and body. We want to find out why hiking is so popular at the moment and what the health benefits of it are. We’ll also be looking at great hiking trails that don’t take in any big hills or mountains.
The hiking trend
Hiking has been a popular pastime for years, especially among older generations. Today, however, the sport is also experiencing a boom among younger people. More and more people are escaping to their native countryside and forests – a trend that is undoubtedly being fuelled in part by the pandemic and national travel restrictions. After all hiking is both an ideal sport and getaway for these times. Which is why we’re taking a closer look at the health benefits of hiking in this article and will also be finding out which trails offer a good alternative to more mountainous routes.
Hiking offers a host of health benefits for the whole body
Hiking strengthens muscles and joints, helps tone your figure and really gives your cardiovascular system a workout. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of hiking.
When we hike, we are constantly on the move and this provides a workout for your whole body. It builds up muscles, improves fitness and strengthens tendons, ligaments and joints. And if you use hiking sticks, you’ll also be giving your arms a workout. Regular hiking can help tone your figure and is good for your health – it also burns a similar number of calories as jogging. What’s more, hiking stimulates your metabolism and can lower your blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Going on regular hikes will also give your cardiovascular system a boost. This is because hiking slowly but effectively trains your heart and enables your lungs to absorb more oxygen. Experts recommend a healthy hiking schedule of at least 1-2 times a week at a speed of around 4-6 kilometres an hour.
When it comes to tendons and ligaments, walking on uneven terrain can makes us more aware of our surroundings and less likely to injure our tendons and ligaments. It improves our balance and heightens our responsiveness, which means we take more care when walking. Having the right hiking gear is also important in preventing any additional injuries. On top of all of this, hiking also gives our memory a workout as we have to stay focused to ensure we stay on track and don’t take a wrong turn.
You can find out more about hiking boots and equipment in our blog.
So, it’s pretty clear that hiking is healthy and has a particularly positive impact on:
- The immune system
- Cardiovascular system
- Balance and responsiveness
- Memory and awareness
- Muscles and joints
If you’ve just discovered the joys of hiking or have problems with your knees or joints, then it makes sense to choose hiking trails that are not too hilly. Interval training is, of course, a great workout for your cardiovascular system. But we also want to encourage hiking novices to reap the benefits of this sport without having to take on any strenuous mountain stages. So we’re taking a look at some trails that are great for hiking but don’t have any major uphill stretches. You might even find a few tips for your next day out in Germany!
Trails that are great for hiking but won’t take you up any mountains
Anyone who has read lots on hiking might be mistaken for thinking that it’s all about getting to the top of the next mountain. But hiking on flat trails in beautiful surroundings is also great for the soul. So we’re taking a closer look at a few great routes.
Here are our top 3 flat hiking trails in Germany:
1. Southern Palatinate
We love the “Treidlwerweg” trail that cuts straight through the heart of the river Rhine’s floodplains in the Southern Palatinate region. Covering a distance of 12.3 kilometres, this route is a good, manageable option for all novice hikers. Wending its way past arms of the river Rhine, the Treidlwerweg boasts sunlit forest paths, fields of flowers, gnarled oaks and ancient beech trees.
The ‘Limes’ hiking trail is a firm favourite in this region. It is over 550 kilometres long and, as the name suggests, follows the same line as the ancient border between the Roman Empire and Germania. The flatter part of the Limes trail around the town of Pohlheim in the Wetterau region offers a level yet varied hike. It’s ideal for hikers who are also wat to visit sites of interest and Roman settlements.
The Märkische Landweg trail in Brandenburg is also flat and very beautiful. The hiking trail is 217 kilometres long and divided in to ten sections that take you right across the state of Brandenburg. Particular highlights of this trail include its mystical fields, pine, beech and oak forests plus a landscape of meltwater lakes that was formed during the ice age. The Märkische Landweg trail is regarded as Europe’s most intact landscape of wetlands.
So, we’ve picked some great trails that won’t take you up any mountains. We’ve also found out why hiking is so popular at the moment and investigated the health benefits of hiking.
If you don’t want to rush out and hit the trails right now, then we don’t know what else we can do. Regardless of which route you choose, what pace you go and what kit you take with you, make sure you always have a bottle of pjuractive 2SKIN in your pack. After all, you don’t want blisters or chafing to ruin the great views on your hike. 🙂
#pjuractive #2SKIN #beyoubeactive
“Walking is man’s best medicine”