Schneeschuwandern – the winter hiking alternative

Winter in Austria is cold. I think I’ve reiterated that time after time, and will probably continue to do so… because… well… it just is! I hate the cold – my body’s not made for it. But I do like exercise, I do like sun and I do like fresh air. And just because it’s snowy outside, doesn’t mean that physical activity has to stop.

Since hubby and I are not exactly dedicated to all that’s required to go skiing on a regular basis, we found a great alternative – Snow Shoe Walking.

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Hiking – it’s a very Austrian thing to do

I love wandering around in the mountains. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do it when the weather is suboptimal – if it’s excessively freezing, windy or raining – but otherwise, it really is the ultimate way to get some fresh air, exercise, and of course some traditional Austrian food!

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A well deserved rest at the top

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Nordic Walking – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it

Nordic walking Austria

You’ve probably seen people doing it, you’ve probably scoffed at them. It’s called Nordic Walking but I prefer the more literal translation of Stick Walking. That is, walking with sticks.

I myself have scoffed at people doing it. Now, why on earth would you go walking with sticks when you can just walk, or run? Surely it’s just an old person’s sport for people that need help walking?

That was until I tried it.

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The mutual benefits of dog walking

Coming into winter upon my arrival in Austria I was a bit worried about becoming a hermit who wouldn’t leave the house! And so knowing how much I loved dogs, and missed my own in Australia, my lovely boyfriend organised for me to walk dogs at the local shelter. This not only made me (and the dogs) happy, but also motivated me to get out of the house for some fresh air on those really cold, winter days. So here’s my current top three dogs!

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And one day there were puppies at the dog shelter! So cute!

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Swimming is definitely not big in Austria

Swimming is not big in Austria. Sure, there are people that do it, but not that many. Well, what did I expect from a land-locked country anyway? In Australia it seems like there is a pool every 5km –  that is definitely not the case in Austria.

Luckily the gear you need to actually swim in the pool is the same all year round.
Luckily the gear you need to actually swim in the pool is the same all year round.

My first swim alone was a bit of an adventure.

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The joys of running… in winter and summer

I like running. It’s easy, it’s quick and it doesn’t cost anything. And it’s something you can always do – you just have to rug up, right? Wrong.

Feel like running today? Not me.
Feel like running today? Not me.

Turns out we didn’t have a particularly cold winter this year in Austria (that’s what they tell me), but it was plenty cold enough for me! Though I managed to keep a pretty consistent outdoor running schedule I did spend quite a few days inside on the X-trainer!

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