Nature & Mountains

The health benefits of the mountains in summer

We often hear about the many benefits of spending time in the mountains, whether for health or to reduce stress. But what exactly are they?

The mountains have many advantages – for the body, for the mind, for relationships and for the environment. Read on to find out more about how you can benefit from visiting them in the summer.

The physical benefits of visiting the mountains in summer

The fresh mountain air

It is no secret that the air in the mountains is fresh and much cleaner than the air in towns. You’ll feel the difference as soon as you take your first breath, and this phenomenon increases the higher you get.

Our body compensates for a reduction in oxygen by increasing our haematocrit level (our red blood cells). This is why breathing mountain air regularly can improve the lungs and respiratory system, and can also help us recover from illness.

The benefits of exercising in the mountains

There are many ways to enjoy physical exercise in the mountains: hiking, climbing, and mountain biking … They are all great ways to exercise and work your muscles, while enjoying the fresh air and discovering new landscapes.

Here are some examples of sports you can try in the mountains this summer:

  • Hiking, which allows you to discover wonderful Alpine landscapes while exercising at your own pace.
  • Mountain biking, which allows you to cover longer distances in a shorter time and is ideal for thrill-seekers.
  • Climbing, for people who like to get to the top and admire breathtaking landscapes.
  • Trail running, a form of mountain running, where the difference in altitude is significant and the landscapes are breathtaking.
  • Swimming in white water – immersing yourself in the pure mountain lakes or rivers has many physical benefits.
  • Summer skiing: glaciers in several resorts mean you can ski in the mornings in summer!
A family skiing down a glacier in the Alps
Try summer skiing on glaciers with your friends and family © Tignes

The benefits of the mountains for heart health

Physical activity in the mountains can have great benefits for cardiovascular health.

The altitude increases your heart rate and blood circulation slightly, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

In addition, regular exercise in the mountains improves endurance and strengthens the immune system.

The psychological benefits of the mountains in summer

Two people kayak on a turquoise lake on a sunny day in the mountains
Enjoy turquoise water and breathtaking mountain peaks on a refreshing summer break © Tignes

Relax and recharge in the mountains

If you’re seeking peace and relaxation, the mountains are a great choice. Come and immerse yourself in the sounds of nature, such as birdsong and the rustling of trees, to relax and recharge your batteries.

You’ll also find that the mountains are often less crowded than the city or the beach in the summer, allowing you to escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Reduce stress and anxiety

Finally, spending time in the mountains in summer can reduce stress and anxiety. Nature has a calming effect on the brain, reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In addition, physical activities in the mountains release endorphins, the “happy hormones”, helping you feel more relaxed.

Enjoying the mountains in summer provides many mental benefits, such as relaxation, boosting creativity and reducing stress and anxiety. To get the most of this well-being effect, you could try some of the following activities:

  • Painting or drawing outdoors, inspired by mountain landscapes.
  • Photography, capturing the landscapes and moments of mountain life.
  • Meditation or yoga, and focusing on the present moment and the nature that surrounds you.
  • Reading outdoors, losing yourself in your book, nature and the landscape.
A woman in a yoga pose on a rocky outcrop, with snowy mountains in the background
Try yoga in the mountains, for the ultimate in relaxation. © France Montagnes

These activities allow you to focus on yourself, to take a step back from everyday life and to free your mind. They are therefore particularly beneficial for reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.

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The benefits of the mountains for your relationships

Strengthening bonds with friends and family

Summer in the mountains can be really good for your relationships with your friends and family. You’ll create unforgettable memories when you enjoy quality time together.

Physical activities and relaxing moments in the mountains can be particularly conducive to creating or strengthening strong and lasting bonds.

Group activities in the mountains

A family enjoy a bike ride on a trail through a mountain meadow, surrounded by flowers and blue sky
Get back to basics when you spend summer in the mountains © Les Gets

When you spend summer in the mountains with friends or family, you can share a whole range of fun and rewarding pursuits, such as mountain sports or even cultural explorations.

Group activities can also be a great way to meet new people and strengthen relationships. Here are some things you might like to try:

  • Team sports such as volleyball, football, Frisbee or badminton offer fun and competition between friends and family.
  • Outdoor board games, such as chess, cards or giant board games, provide a relaxing and friendly atmosphere in the shade of the trees.
  • Picnics, where everyone brings a contribution, so you can all enjoy great food and a great time together.
  • Evenings around the fire telling stories and singing songs under the stars will live long in your memories.

These activities are ideal for families, as they allow us to build shared memories, forge stronger links and discover the mountains from another angle, at a slower pace. They are particularly beneficial for social well-being and for a memorable mountain holiday.

The environmental benefits of summer in the mountains

Discovering nature

The mountains in summer are an ideal place to discover nature and observe its fauna and flora. These spectacular Alpine landscapes are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

When you explore nature in the mountains, you get a better understanding of the environment and its importance to the planet.

And what better way to do this than in the sunshine?

Three people enjoy a walk through a mountain valley, passing a lake
You’ll discover incredible scenery on a walk through the mountains © La Clusaz

Be aware of your environment

Spending summer in the Alps will give you an understanding of the importance of looking after the environment. Mountains are often fragile ecosystems, which can be threatened by human activity. Being aware of environmental challenges helps us to preserve these precious ecosystems and the nature that you’ll find there.

Eco-responsible initiatives in the mountains

There is a lot happening in the Alps to help preserve nature. Many mountain resorts and organisations are implementing sustainable practices to reduce their impact on the environment and ensure eco-friendly tourism. These include:

Two people enjoy a walk around a high mountain lake on a sunny day, with the mountains reflected in the water
A refreshing walk around a high mountain lake © Valloires

These eco-responsible initiatives benefit both the environment and the beauty of the mountains in summer. They ensure sustainable and respectful tourism, while offering a unique and authentic holiday experience.

Head to the mountains this summer and enjoy all the benefits of nature: the fresh air, the activities, the peace and quiet and the natural environment. All of these are great reasons to book your stay! In fact, six out of 10 people in France prefer summer holidays in the mountain, as it’s so much quieter than the beaches.

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