Hiking is healthy! It has been scientifically proven that hiking has a beneficial effect on the body, mind and soul. The regular and continuous light movement during walking helps to strengthen and improve the cardiovascular system. In addition, the fat burning share of overall metabolism ranges between 40% and 60%. This is about twice as high as running. This means hiking is a great way to lose weight, especially for overweight people. Hiking strengthens bones, joints, sinews and ligaments, while protecting hips and knees; this keeps the risk of injury to a minimum. Moreover, regular activity strengthens the immune system. Repeated hiking exercise can even the increase breathing volume and vital lung capacity.
Nordic walking, where the walker uses two poles, is also an endurance sport. By tailoring the speed and exertion to the individual’s needs, Nordic Walking is a sport which is suitable for every age group, irrespective of whether you are young or old, thick or thin. It doesn't require any specific skills and is therefore also a good activity for people who haven't done much sport. With Nordic walking you won’t lose interest, as it’s very effective without being tiring. Another advantage of Nordic Walking is that you can do it anywhere. In the forest, on hiking trails or even on cycling paths: just grab your poles and go!
Have your feet had enough of walking all the time in thick, hot hiking boots? Take them off and try to take a barefoot hike! Walking barefoot is very important for your health. Why? Barefoot walking helps to maintain and improve the circulation of blood in the veins and thus stimulates the cardiovascular system. In addition, it strengthens the immune system, because the temperature stimuli assist the body in the generation of heat. It moreover strengthens the veins, protects against varicose veins and the muscles, ligaments and joints of the feet are strengthened. And your spine will love it too! The free movement, without the pressure of close-fitting hiking shoes, helps you to walk much more loosely and freely. The muscles of the feet also serve as shock absorbers and thus protect the discs against impact.
Lower Saxony offers the following barefoot trails:
- Bad Bodenteich / Lüneburger Heide
- Egestorf / Lüneburger Heide
- Großheide / East Frisia
- Hasetal / Emsland and Münsterland
- Nienhagen / Celle
- Uslar / Göttingen
A very peaceful and calm alternative is spiritual walking. Often, the end points of such trails are very special places in remote or solitary landscapes. But pilgrimage destinations are also among the places you can hike to. Impressive encounters with nature, pausing to admire the view or simply immersing oneself in the landscape can help hikers to gain deeper insights. In this way, hiking becomes increasingly relaxing the more you do it. Mental, physical and spiritual elements merge into a singular overall sensation and help you forget your worries and problems. This particular form of hiking is an ideal way to counteract the stress of daily life. In combination with conscious walking in an individual rhythm, and in the moments of silence, the hike can be a meditation-like experience. Hikes are often also supplemented by meditation, visualisation and/or special exercises, which will give you a sense of enhanced well-being.
Discover new sources of energy for your body and open yourself to spiritual experience, as you stand to gain new energy!