Embracing Germany's active lifestyle

Family riding bikes
Family riding bikes

Embracing Germany's active lifestyle

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Living in one of the healthiest nations in Europe makes it easy to adopt healthier habits and increase activity levels. Now that flowers are blooming, the sun is making more than the occasional appearance and you can pack the parkas away, dust off your sense of adventure and start getting active. Here are some ways to get moving in the community.

Use your feet

Not a fan of running or competitive sports? That’s okay! Germany is home to the fantastic sport of volksmarching. Developed and embraced during the 1960s, volksmarching is a non-competitive organized walk. Often traipsing through the local village or nearby forests, members of the community break out their walking shoes and hit the trail. The most common volksmarches are either 10 or 20 kilometers. However, with the lively crowd and great company, the distance goes quickly. Not to mention, delicious food and beverages await at the end.

Looking something a little more rewarding and tastier? Why not check out one of the culinary hikes? These family-friendly strolls wind through rolling green hills, charming towns and blossoming vineyards. Local vintners and/or brewers pair up with restauranteurs to provide a unique gastronomic experience. Pit stops are dotted throughout the hike, complete with food and drinks, entertainment and tables for relaxing. Just make sure to have a designated driver or plan to get home safely if you plan on drinking.

Have a forest adventure or two

With drier days upon us, discover nearby forest adventure parks. Swing among the trees or whizz through the canopy along a zipline. Nestled in the Black Forest is Hirschgründ, an outdoor wonderland. With seven lines looping through the tall trees, visitors clamber along ledges, and zip over rushing creeks and lush landscapes. It’s okay if you’re a beginner, the experts provide plenty of safety instructions before you get hooked up and harnessed in. You can also head a little further south to Bavaria and slide down one of the longest Alpine coasters in Germany at Alpsee Bergwelt. Stretching almost 5 kilometers, visitors can get their workout by hiking to the top of the hill. A fantastic play area for kids and ropes course are adjacent to the start of the coaster.

Hop on a bike

For a different perspective of the beautiful scenery around you, why not hop on a bike? Many villages in Germany have bike paths leading through the city centers and out to the countryside. Leisurely pedal your way around a crystal-clear lake, or dodge fallen branches and boulders through mountainous terrain for a more challenging and thrilling ride. Or simply begin in your village, ride through one or two other villages and stop for a bite to eat before jumping on a train back to your starting point (very convenient if you’ve eaten a little too much).

One of my favorite parts about living in Germany is the opportunity to stay active and explore this amazing host country at the same time.

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