Gentle on the joints and demanding: hiking as a gentle endurance sport
For many Germans, hiking is one of the most popular pastimes. Not only does it offer a great way to spend time in nature, it also serves health. Few people call it sport. But hiking is as effective as jogging.
Hiking is healthy
Scientific studies have shown that hiking is healthier than expected. According to an older study, health walking has a positive impact on the whole organism: it reduces body weight, the Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and body fat. And it lowers the cardiovascular risk. However, hiking as an endurance sport is laughed at by many. It was just walking. But hiking is almost as effective as jogging, for example, in terms of energy turnover.
High energy consumption and reduction of body fat
Jessica Klapp, consultant for health and marketing at the German Hiking Association, explains in a message from the dpa news agency that it consumes a lot of energy and reduces body fat. "This is why persistent hiking is ideal for getting rid of extra pounds and getting fit," said the expert. Klapp explains with a sample calculation: With a body weight of 65 to 70 kilograms (kg), you need about 350 kilocalories (kcal) per hour during a hike in flat to hilly terrain. In the mountains there are even around 550 kcal.
Beginners should not overwhelm themselves
Compared to jogging, hiking also has the advantage that it is gentler on the joints. "Through the calm, regular movement, muscles, bones and ligaments are slowly trained and built up." Hiking can also be exhausting: "You can sweat a little, but not snort." In general, you should still be able to talk comfortably - accordingly, you should be on the move quickly or leisurely. But even if the pace can be adjusted quite well - especially if you are traveling with an experienced hiking guide - beginners should not set off on day tours right away. Rather, it makes sense to do a two to three hour hike at least once beforehand.
A hike should correspond to your physical fitness
"If that worked out well and you got used to the effort, a longer hike is also an option," says Klapp. "Well done" does not mean, however, that it mustn't have pinched anywhere during the tour. "But there should be no severe pain," said Klapp. "A hike should always be in accordance with your own condition and physical fitness." As the dpa report states in conclusion, it should therefore be a matter of course to familiarize yourself with the route and its inclines in advance using a hiking map. The German Hiking Association has summarized important information on the subject on its website. (ad)