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Walking the risk of cardiovascular disease
Hiking not only offers a nice opportunity to spend your free time in nature, it is also healthy. It can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Seniors in particular can benefit from this in terms of health.
Lowering pulse and blood pressure The Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists (BNK) points out that hiking is good for the heart and circulation. The power of 50 to 150 watts achieved over several hours when walking in nature train the heart muscle, increase its stroke volume and keep the blood vessels elastic. Heart rate and blood pressure are thus reduced.
Especially for seniors According to the BNK, hiking is particularly useful for the health of older people aged 60 and over. The muscles break down faster with lack of movement with increasing age. That's why seniors are more likely to get out of breath and gain weight faster. Both are stressful for the heart.
Two easy hikes per week A study by the Institute for Performance Diagnostics and Health Promotion (ILUG) at the University of Halle-Wittenberg showed that even those who had hardly been active would benefit in terms of health from two easy hikes per week in old age. The participants, who were supposed to be working and inactive in sports, hiked distances between 3.8 and 5.6 kilometers. This had a positive effect on blood pressure, pulse and body weight.
Strengthening the heart through cardio training Even if you already have cardiac disorders, hiking can be an option for cardio training. When hiking, not only the muscles are trained, but this also has positive effects on the vessels and additionally strengthens the immune system. Especially in the lowlands you can hike almost risk-free. However, caution is advised if the hiking route encompasses steeper mountains and, moreover, is located at higher altitudes in which the air becomes thinner. The patient's training status and previous illness play a major role here. A steep mountain or the thinning air can sometimes lead to an overload of the heart. In any case, a conversation without breathlessness should always be possible during the whole hike, whether in the flat country or in the mountains. (ad)
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