Hessen bewegt sich – Walking at the Hessentag

With the Hessentag taking place in the town, I have spent most of the past week either travelling by train or walking, either to my IT appointments or to cover the Hessentag itself.  Only once have I used my car in that time, so that I could get home after the last train had gone if necessary.

Which fitted in rather nicely with the idea of encouraging people in Hessen to walk more.

The Mühlenbachweg in Oberursel

The Mühlenbachweg in Oberursel

And to encourage visitors to Oberursel to walk even more this week, the Hessian Social Ministry came up with an ingenious idea.  They are asking people to walk from either die nature park “Natur auf der Spur” or the exhibition “Landesausstellung” to the Hohemark clinic at the northern end of Oberursel, a journey that takes them along the Mühlenbachweg where the old mills of the town used to be located. Alternatively you can do the walk in the other direction, but which ever way you go, on arrive you receive a digital pedometer to allow you to count how many steps you walk in future.

I was planning to do the walk last Sunday, when it started raining and decided to do it on a different day.  Today, however, I learnt more about the programme at the Landesausstellung and also that it is possible to go from there to the nature park as well.

Having probably walked the required length several times this week anyway, I opted for the shorted route and completed it in just over 30 minutes.

Except that it was not just the walking, “bewegen” means “moving” in general and before I left I had to try out the outdoor exercise equipment at the exhibition.

Stella Emmerich demonstrates the back-muscle trainer at the Hessentag in Oberursel

Stella Emmerich from the Hessian Social Ministry demonstrating the back-muscle trainer

The equipment is designed to be left unattended in public places for people to exercise on whenever they want to, a sort of keep fit playground.  There is a cross-trainer and individual pieces of equipment to train back muscles, calf muscles, shoulders, and even one that gives you a back massage.

If sufficient sponsorship is found, these could be installed in parks and open spaces throughout the state, and perhaps the health insurance companies would be the ideal sponsors as using these is supposed to reduce stress and enhance people’s mobility.  Using them regularly is also meant to reduce the chance of heart attacks and diabetes in later life.

But even without a fitness park being installed, the ministry recommends that everyone should walk 3,000 steps every day, which is about the equivalent of walking for half an hour or 2½km.

Having finished my walk this afternoon I now have a pedometer to count them.

About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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