How to keep fit in Germany
Sports are an important part of life and culture in Germany and over 27 million people are members of sports clubs.
Home to the Alps and the Black Forest, Germany offers many skiing and winter sports opportunities. German winter sports also include sledding and ice-skating. These winter resorts also double as hiking and climbing resorts in the summer. Ice hockey is not only the most popular winter sport but is second only to football in popularity in Germany.
German Ice Hockey Federation: http://www.deb-online.de/
German Skiing Federation: http://www.ski-online.de/
Hiking and mountain climbing
Hiking is a popular sport in Germany and there are many documented hiking trails taking in historical landmarks at the same time. Hiking along the Westerwald-Steig Trail takes in castles and monasteries while hiking through the Rhine Valley covers forests, vineyards, castles and spectacular views. Additionally, woodlands, volcanic crags and crater lakes can be seen when hiking through the Efielsteig trail.
German Hiking Institute: http://www.wanderinstitut.de/
Germans also love to swim and sunbathe in summer, and the authorities ensure that the city’s waters are kept clean. Public pools as well as river and lakeside swimming facilities are located throughout the country. Open-air pools are very popular in German - Berlin for example has 30 open-air pools for a population of 4 million, while there are 12 open-air pools in Germany’s second city of Hamburg serving its population of 1.7 million inhabitants.
German Swimming Federation: http://www.dsv.de/home/
Horseback riding and golf
Horseback riding and golfing attract thousands of people during weekends, despite the expensive equipment required. Germany has produced many horseback world champions in jumping and dressage events and as such has a long horseback riding tradition. While the north of Germany is more industrialized, the south has more traditional mountain areas, which makes it popular for horseback riding. The vast countryside in Germany means that horseback trails cover areas from the Rhine Castle tours to Black Forest Equestrian centres.
German Equestrian Federation: http://wuec2012.de/node/135
German Golf Association: http://www.golf.de/publish/home.html
Campsites are generally clean and well equipped, and most towns and villages in Germany have at least one. The region of Bavaria alone has more than 200 campsites. The sites are classified according to the range of facilities offered, ranging from one to five stars, and tourist offices in every region throughout the country have a camping map showing the locations, contact details and facilities of campsites in the area. Many campsites also have an outdoor swimming pool.
Federal Camping Association of Germany: http://www.bvcd.de/bvcd/en/
Gyms and fitness centres
Germany has approximately 6,200 privately owned fitness centres, most of which are small non-franchised operations. Gyms oriented towards bodybuilding and serious weight lifting are also available in Germany. Another variation that is quite popular is the boxing gym.
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