Going hiking every few weeks is too little though according to Professor Klaus Voelker from the Sport Medicine Institute at Germany’s University of Munster. “Walking is only effective when it’s done over a long period of time,” he says. “Most people only go hiking sporadically.”
Voelker says at least two walks a week lasting between 30 and 45 minutes each are needed to show an improvement in physical health.
However, most people are not prepared to invest that much time.
Voelker’s advice is therefore to engage in the more “domesticated” form of hiking: walking.
He describes walking as “forced movement” in small but regular doses. “Every three to four weeks you can also integrate a bout of real hiking in your training program.”
Hiking is a very popular activity, especially in the autumn, as its a great way to calm the spirit and replenish your batteries, but only by going for regular walks throughout the year will you do your health good.
Rambling makes you happy, content and it balances your spirit. Regular hiking is also a great way to stay physically fit as it improves your stamina, cardiovascular system, strengthens the body’s immunity, and boosts metabolism.
A study by Germany’s Hiking Association found that almost half of the county’s population over 16 years of age went trekking but that only the 60 year olds did so several times a month.
Professor Ingo Froboese from the Centre for Health at the German Sport High School in Cologne agrees a vigorous walk through town has the same beneficial effect as trekking.