Fresh air and warm weather – it’s easy to see why spring tempts us outdoors, and there are some great hiking destinations to help us enjoy exercising this season.
Given the unpredictable nature of our weather systems, and the fact it’s much more tempting to either head to the gym during the winter chill, it’s easy to see why more people exercise indoors. It’s a new season now though, with (mostly) better weather, so it’s time to enjoy all the benefits of exercising outdoors.
Last year outdoor workouts made the pages of Cosmopolitan, and while you may not believe everything you read in the press, their ‘4 Reasons’ to exercise outdoors make a lot of sense. From stress relief and mood enhancing benefits, to burning more calories and taking in more vitamin D – outdoor workouts are, as Cosmo says, ‘the way forward’. But then, we have been saying the same for years!
The exercise doesn’t have to start and end in your hometown though, if you want to keep fit and have all the benefits of a holiday at the same time, there are some great destinations where you can go for a hiking break. What better way to explore the beautiful scenery, and exercise at the same time. The great thing about walking holidays is that you know you can make the time to walk for several hours a day, and you can eat a hearty meal knowing you have burned the calories already!
Here’s a few walking destinations you might like to try:
New England, USA – New England, most famous in the fall, but also stunning in spring! See the stunning spring colors, get the freshest air and experience the great Amercian outdoors. The scenery comes with a trip through mountains and historical towns. This organised hike takes in the famous witch trial town of Salem, Boston, New Hampshire, and the stunning Jay Peak on the Canadian border.
Norway’s National Park Region – This area (officially known as Fjell Norway) is where you will find Northern Europe’s highest peak, Galdhopiggen, and around 200 peaks that scale 2,000 meters plus. There are also 7 national parks in the area with plenty of flat areas for easy hiking, and if you choose Dovrefjell National Park, you’ll have the added bonus of hiking in the only place in Norway (and one of only a few global locations) where you can see the Musk Ox. This area really is geared up for hiking, with 50 plus well marked trials in Hallingdal, and a Top 20 summit hikes programme in Hemsedal – rated on scenery and difficulty level. There’s also a Norwegian Trekking Association which has details of hiking cabins around the region.
Czech Republic – Czech Walking Holidays – Maybe a lesser known destination for hikers, but it has plenty of different experiences to offer, you may have trouble deciding where to start. Popular choices include the ancient forests and flower packed meadows of the Sumava National Park, perfect for wildlife spotting, or the ‘Bohemian Paradise’, and area in the North of the country known for its castles and rock formations.
Amalfi Coast, Italy – Hiking here may be a little more challenging on your feet, thanks to some steep slopes, but the views and points of interest are well worth it. Make sure you take a camera to capture shots of sparkling seas, fragrant lemon groves, traditional white washed houses, and occasionally you may spot some roman remains. There are lots of walking routes that take hikers along well used footpaths and old mule tracks, so you’ll have plenty of chances to work up an appetite for a post-hike meal.
Hiking holidays offer the chance to experience all the best of the natural landscape and architecture of a country, and with so many different locations and styles of getaway on offer, there is something to suit all tastes, ages, and fitness levels. Of course, you do not have to go on vacation to hike – start a walking for fitness program now to start getting fit. With all the added benefits of exercising outdoors, it’s definitely something different to consider this spring.