What is “urban hiking”, the new fitness trend that combines sport, well-being and discovery ?

What is "urban hiking", the new fitness trend that combines sport, well-being and discovery ?

La randonnée urbaine, sac à dos sur les épaules, compte parmi les activités physiques en vogue. Pollyana Ventura/Getty Images

Combining sport and pleasure: this is the aim of the latest fitness trend, “city hiking”. or "urban hiking", which allows you to sweat, strengthen the heart and build muscle without realizing it.

This urban hike, far from the beaten track, offers the added bonus of the possibility of (re)discovering monuments, alleys, and other corners of the city while strengthening physical and mental well-being.< /p>

Who said that you necessarily have to go to the mountains, in a forest, at the edge of a lake, or any other green area to go hiking ? If nature appears like the ideal place for this type of activity, it is far from being the only one able to offer a suitable setting for such an expedition. The proof with the activity currently buzzing on social networks, the "city" or "urban hiking", in other words a more unusual hike, in a urban setting, which guarantees the same benefits as its traditional version. The practice is already unanimous with several tens of millions of views on social networks.

The benefits of walking

Contrary to popular belief, the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) in terms of sport focus not on a number of daily steps but on a duration of weekly physical activity, in ;#39;occurrence 150 to 300 minutes of endurance of medium intensity at least for an adult. If we rely on scientific studies, walking between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day would be associated with a lower risk of mortality in those under 60.

Recent work has even suggested that 3,967 steps daily can reduce the risk of death from all causes. As we will have understood, walking is in all cases beneficial for health, if only because it is a practice accessible to all. #39;we can practice… absolutely everywhere.

Because if nature is at the heart of scientific research, particularly for the benefits it can bring on stress, concentration, or even productivity, not everyone has the chance to live near a forest or mountain. And this should not prevent those mainly concerned from giving up hiking. On the contrary, walking in the city, although it may seem counterproductive for some, if only because of the pollution, also has many benefits, physical and mental.

Enjoy the city and its treasures

This is undoubtedly what allows "urban hiking" to emerge as a new fashionable sporting practice. The principle is simple: it's about taking a hike, like the one you might enjoy in the great outdoors, with a backpack on your shoulders, but in clothing more suitable for the urban environment, and of course in town.

So there is no need to take out your hiking shoes, a simple pair of sneakers can be enough, as can shorts or comfortable pants (and even a dress or skirt). However, it is advisable to do this hike while appreciating the city and its treasures, as well as everything that surrounds you, and to look – as much as possible – for green spaces within the municipality.

For a proper hike, whether urban or not, you still need to walk a long distance, at a slightly faster pace (if possible) than ;#39;a simple walk – although in the city it may look like it. In terms of virtues, they are similar to those of walking or a hike in the forest, both physical and mental.

"On a mental level, urban hiking allows you to de-stress and relax in the midst of the hustle and bustle of urban life, by connecting to nature even in an urban environment. Exploring new neighborhoods and discovering new paths can stimulate curiosity and creativity and make us appreciate the diversity and beauty of our everyday places", explains Stephanie Asper , social media manager of the AllTrails app, at Well+Good.

While more than 1.4 billion people should be more active, according to the WHO, this physical practice could prove beneficial on many levels , in particular to fight against a sedentary lifestyle.

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