Slow tourism: the European idea of ​​a deliberate, leisurely vacation

Only mountains can be better than mountains: what and to whom is mountain air useful?

Why do mountains attract us so much? Everyone feels a surge of strength and energy, an improvement in well-being! And the reason for everything is mountain air - amazing in its properties.

It has been noticed for a long time that the life expectancy of people living in the mountains is longer than that of plain people. It is the clean, rarefied air of the highlands that, according to the researchers of the phenomenon of longevity, contributes to a high life expectancy. But the highlanders are famous not only for this. Many of them, having lived to a ripe old age, remain in good health and mental clarity. Diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension and even Alzheimer's disease are the exception among the indigenous people of the mountains.

By the way, the healing properties of mountain air have been known since the time of Hippocrates. Already in those days, the ability to heal some ailments was noticed by one stay in the mountains. In 1642, in a written report by a monk from Spain, Jose da Costa, for the first time, information about changes in the body when climbing the mountains was discovered. And Einstein - one of the greatest scientists - spent time in the mountains every year, making treks in the alpine highlands.

Why mountain air is good

Today, researchers have proven that being in the mountains up to 3000 m has a beneficial effect on human health. What is the use of rest in the mountains? After all, seemingly rarefied mountain air can cause hypoxia (oxygen starvation). On the contrary, the oxygen saturation of the blood increases. In contrast to 90-94% in the plains, the indicators in the middle mountains increase to 96-98%.

In the mountains, atmospheric pressure drops, which leads to a lack of oxygen, which increases with every meter of altitude. The lower the pressure, the higher the threat of anoxia (lack of oxygen in the body). But the fact is that a stay in the mountains is accompanied by many physiological adaptive reactions caused by a lack of oxygen.

Blood oxygen. Heart rate increases, breathing becomes deeper. By increasing its depth and frequency, ventilation of the lungs improves, which leads to an increase in oxygen pressure in the alveolar air. The oxygen saturation of the blood reaches 96%. Thus, increased ventilation in the lungs can be called an important adaptive response, due to which the functionality of the respiratory system is improved. In addition, erythrocytes enter the blood from the depot, which leads to an increase in hemoglobin. With a two-week stay in the mountains, the number of erythrocytes increases by 12-15%, hemoglobin indicators - by 15%.

Blood supply to the body. Already on the first day in the mountains there is an increase in the volume of blood circulating through the lungs. This affects the blood supply to all organs. By the way, red blood cells, sensitive to hypoxia, are destroyed - this is a powerful stimulus for hematopoiesis. It also increases the ability of body tissues to withstand unfavorable factors, for example, animal cyanides, which adversely affect the oxidation processes in the body. However, these are not all changes.

Clean air. There is one more peculiarity of the mountain air, noticed by Pasteur during his research in the 19th century. 1 m³ of mountain air contains only 4-5 microorganisms. Whereas in cities the number of bacteria can reach 3-17 thousand. Naturally, staying in the mountains will benefit patients suffering from various pathologies of bacterial origin (for example, sinusitis, tonsillitis, etc.). Moreover, such air is free of dust and allergens, which is important for people with allergic diseases.

Ultraviolet radiation. Favorable factors include the increased intensity of ultraviolet radiation, which increases by 1% with every 100 m of altitude. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, metabolic processes are activated, which affects performance, sleep, physical and intellectual activity. In addition, the mountain air contains ozone and oxygen ions exactly in the ratio that ensures its healing properties. Ionized particles, entering the respiratory tract, destroy pathogens. The aerochemical composition of the air is also peculiar, due to the presence of phytoncides and terpenes in it, it has an antiseptic, antiviral, fungicidal, expectorant, diuretic effect.

Temperature contrast. Temperature contrast throughout the day is an excellent natural training for both blood vessels and thermal adaptation mechanisms. By the way, for the body of patients with coronary heart disease, being in the midlands is also a kind of training for adaptive forces. In case of further complications, the lack of oxygen is easier to tolerate.

A surge of strength. Chronic fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances - these indispensable companions of civilization retreat in front of the mountain air. Patients undergoing addiction treatment (alcohol, drugs) in the mountains can improve treatment results. When the healing air is inhaled, the level of endorphin, the so-called pleasure hormone, rises in the body. Which explains the surge of strength experienced by a person in the mountains, sensory functions are also exacerbated, which contributes to a long and vivid perception of the surrounding nature.

Only mountains can be better than mountains: what and to whom is mountain air useful?

Vacation will never be the same: instead of scouring the top 10 attractions, more and more travelers are leaning towards slow tourism. The idea of ​​slow entertainment was born and became popular in Italy, and the main routes were pilgrimage routes in Europe. How to spend your holidays leisurely, says geographer and tourism specialist Alexandra Poyarkova.

The main condition for slow tourism is to have a rest without haste: move on foot, on a bicycle, on horses or donkeys; live in a tent, a houseboat or on a farm; get acquainted with the local culture, customs, buy food and souvenirs “0 km” (grown and produced locally, not Crimean avocados with quinoa or Chinese magnets from around the world). A tourist is no longer a tourist, but a traveler.

Nothing, of course, is new under the moon of vacation: not that hiking, leisurely hiking with a backpack in the back was invented yesterday. But since trips around the world have become available not only to representatives of the very top of the social pyramid, the race “around the world in 80 days” has ceased to be interesting, and the traveler begins to choose not the most expensive, but what brings both pleasure and benefit.

The same thing happened with plastic bags: in childhood I had to go shopping with my grandmother's string bag, then plastic bags appeared in supermarkets, and my grandmother's handbags disappeared as unnecessary. But twenty years passed - and cellophane bags became an attribute of philistinism, and then irresponsibility, ecologists sounded the alarm. It turned out that the granny knew a lot about eco-shopping, and canvas bags can be quite a fashionable accessory.

One of the goals of slow travel is an environmentally friendly vacation, but it shouldn't be confused with ecotourism. The main goal of the slow trip is knowledge, calmness, rejection of the usual frantic rhythms.

From food to travel: how to procrastinate

The first slow movement originated in one of the most leisurely countries in Europe - the cradle of the "dolce vita" of Italy.

In 1986, Carlo Petrini founded in the small town of Bra the cultural association Arci Gola (Arci is an abbreviation for a cultural association, Gola is "gulp" or "gluttony"), which opposes the fast food system. The goal of this movement was to preserve local food and wine traditions, revive unique, endangered products, stop intensive and monocultural agriculture, preserve biodiversity and create caterers with a slow food philosophy. Instead of throwing a plastic cheeseburger into themselves on the run, visitors enjoy healthy food and dishes prepared according to local traditional recipes.

So it is not surprising that the leisurely manner of travel received the most widespread resonance in the Apennine Peninsula. 2019 is declared the year of slow tourism in Italy: the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism has launched a portal with a map of the main routes of slow travelers.

The map also shows bike paths between cities, the most interesting towns, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historic cemeteries and many other interesting sights.

Another Italian site is genteinviaggio. t - published 10 commandments of the slow tourist, which quickly became immutable rules on all portals on the topic:

What makes nature happy

In 2018, the Altai Territory won the National Geographic Traveler Awards in the category "Russian Wellness Rest".

It's convenient to fly to Altai now, and everything is fine with the transfer at the local sanatoriums.

As the locals themselves say, they have seven natural factors at their disposal for maintaining excellent health: thermal mineral springs, drinking mineral waters, curative mud, clean air saturated with air ions, maral products, medicinal herbs and natural landscape.

The sanatoriums are multidisciplinary, with a wide variety of health programs.

For example, people come to the sanatorium "Barnaulsky" not only for physiotherapy, it is interesting for people with a sick heart and a sick spine. The sanatorium is also known for its speleotherapy.

The Sosnovy Bor sanatorium accepts patients with chronic diseases of the respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, circulatory organs, and there is also a department of restorative medicine for the rehabilitation of patients who have suffered acute cerebrovascular accident.

Patients with urological disorders and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract go to the sanatorium "Sunrise over Biya". The therapeutic possibilities of the sanatorium include over 50 different methods.

Eight times the best

The heart of the Siberian health resort is Belokurikha. The resort was recognized eight times as the best health resort of federal significance.

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