Summer holiday destination – mountain series 1/2

Seasonal Health 14 August 2017


Episode #1 – Mountain Workout Routine 


If you’ve chosen to spend the summer in the mountains, I am almost sure you’re a sportsperson at heart…  And for that matter, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The tourism offices are competing to provide an original variety of &qulow season” activities.


The spa

Many luxury hotels open their spa to non-residents of the hotel.

If you’ve been on the verge of working mum burnout this year (link with the other article), take time to give yourself some TLC: massages, wraps and a jet shower, and in a few days you’ll feel reinvigorated and able to take on activities requiring more “elbow grease”.

The majority of spas also offer water aerobics classes as well as counter current swimming courses, which are excellent for blood circulation.


Mountain hike

The watchword for walks in the mountain is organisation: weather, equipment, supplies including water and snacks, a circuit suitable for the abilities of the weakest person in the family (the little ones or granny).

In the mountains, you should leave behind the principle that you should be Miss Independent.

Furthermore, think about putting sun cream on the most exposed areas of your body: the nose, neck, shoulders and the backs of the knees. (Sunburn on the back of the knees is just awful and it will spoil your entire holiday).

Finally, you must have proper hiking boots, not just simple canvas shoes, and 2 pairs of socks, if possible, to avoid blisters.

Be careful not to overestimate your own abilities: mountain hiking demands a significantly fitter physical condition than a walk in the countryside. The demands on the heart are higher than usual, due to the difference in height and the lack of oxygen related to the altitude.

On the ascent, the thighs and calves do the work, while on the descent the knees are required. If you suffer patellar instability, think about wearing knee pads.

A tip: numerous ski stations keep some of their mechanical lifts running to allow hikers to do a certain part of a course (ascent and/or descent) and make the most of the locations furthest away from the station.

You’ll also find guided hikes, which allow you to discover the flora and fauna.


Nordic walking

A version of mountain hiking on pathways with walking sticks.

The advantage of this activity is that it works out the arms and the combined leg/arm effort gives your heart a workout due to the slight difference in height.



A sportier version of mountain hiking, both the ascent and the descent of this trail are done at running speed.

Competitions are regularly organised, however you can start it in small groups, preferably accompanied by a guide.

The trail cannot be done without preparation; to take part, you need to be in fit physical condition and have appropriate footwear.


Donkey rides

If you have small children, these rides will allow them to discover the mountain wildlife without tiring you out after carrying them (You’re on holiday after all! )


Mountain bike trekking

Here’s an activity that will charm your teenage kids.

Generally speaking, you only ride downhill, the return journey to the top of the hill is via a free shuttle or mechanical lift.

The descent on mountain bike requires a good fitness level from the start. You shouldn’t risk it if you have back problems.

However, circuits around a lake are a perfectly feasible option for the whole family, as they are more accessible and equally as enjoyable.


Big wheel scooters

You can rent a downhill scooter equipped with powerful suspension and brakes, designed to ride over turf or gravel paths.

Every age and ability will be able to use them. 

  • Try paths if you’re on a group or family outings
  • If you fancy a taste of speed, the sporty version entails downhill trails.



Despite its very technical elements, you can go rafting without any previous experience.

As long as you know how to swim, you’ll be able to taste the joys of speed in total safety as each raft is led by a qualified instructor. The organisers also provide you with full technical and safety equipment.


A bit of climbing!

Fancy going climbing and putting your whole body to work?

The following 2 activities are sure to pull you in:

  • The via ferrata

It’s a climbing route with more “technical” stretches for which you’ll need a climbing harness or walkways.

Nevertheless, the circuits are marked and secured, plus several levels of difficulty are available.

If you are minimally sporty, you should manage it easily.

  • High ropes course

This course among trees is slightly similar to the family version of the via ferrata.

In this case, the courses are also established based on level of difficulty, so you pick a course based on your physical fitness level, appetite for risk and, above all, your tolerance for heights.

Every effort is made to guarantee your safety, but the suspension bridges and zip-lines are demanding if you tend to suffer from vertigo.