If you have ever been to Switzerland (or met a Swiss) you know how serious they take hiking and walking. It took me a while to realize that not everyone enjoys these two pastimes as much as I do (and I am only 1/2 Swiss!). Go on a hike in Switzerland and you will see people of all ages briskly hiking up mountains like they were part goat. The cutest thing you will see (besides actual baby goats) are little children with actual hiking boots on, ready to climb trails that will leave a tourist in exhaustion. On the flip side, you will find yourself finally at the top of the trail (which ends at a restaurant) proud that you survived that torturous hike, just to walk into a group of seventy year olds who seem to skip by you as if it were nothing. Those hiking sticks must carry superpowers.
With all the complaining and shame that hiking in Switzerland can bring (because now you realize how out of shape you are), it quickly becomes clear how beneficial hiking can be for your health. The Swiss hike from the time they can walk until the end of their lives. After all, the highest peaks of the Alps are all in Switzerland. Obviously the more you do it, the better you get at it, but what are some of the benefits to making hiking a regular part of your lifestyle?
Benefits of Hiking
1. Improve cardiovascular fitness, especially if your trail includes hills (or mountains!)
2. Strengthen core muscles
3. Improve balance
4. Natural stress relief by being outdoors in nature
5. Improve energy levels
6. Increase endurance
7. Improve bone density
8. Relieve back pain
9. Tone muscles
10. Lose weight
Of course, anything that gets you outdoors and into nature is bound to be good for you! It also doesn't hurt that Switzerland offers beautiful trails that would be hard to get tired of (regardless of season or weather). If you grab a group of friends to join you, even better! Not only is hiking good for your body, but you will find it hard not to feel happier from this form of past time.