• Engelberg
  • Bitte Langsam

    Engelberg Spring Tiina Kivelä

    Although I made the same notion last spring already – and this is kinda exactly why I have moved here – my home has pretty amazing surroundings. Even when the (ski)lifts and commercial activities are closed and it generally feels a bit like gentle apocalypse.

    Today I ran by the Aa -river to clear the head a bit, to get the daily exercise in, and just to enjoy the hazy sunny weather before forecasted snow storms. Pair of shoes*, clothes, sunnies, braid and semi technical trail.

    Can’t get much more simple yet good.

    (Yes it was trailrunning even though started with this a bit bigger road than trail.)

    Bitte Langsam Schweiz

    Trailrunner Tiina Kivelä

    Trailrunning Girl From The North Country

    Trail Swiss Alps Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland


    * Women’s Nike Pegasus 36 Trail shoes, newly purchased with the confidence from earlier good experience of the “normal” Pegasus shoes and the super light Women’ Air Zoom Elite 9. Seems to be ok ones for my feet and the semi-technical trails and gravel roads. Also light and supported enough for the longer runs too. Maybe will do a detailed trail running shoe advice article later on, if not and interested, remind me of the idea please. 

     

     

     

  • CYCLING
  • Outdoor Activities In The Time Of Covid-19

    Biking Switzerland Tiina Kivelä

    Backyard escapades are the trend these days. At least for the ones who are still allowed to go out. And it really becomes a luxury when your backyard is the Swiss Alps, with it’s mountains, hiking trails, xc-ski tracks (not in Engelberg though) and just the nature and landscapes itself.

    In here, one can really take advantage of the health benefits what being physically active (or just lazying around) in the nature offe. Outdoor activities in the time of covid-19 shouldn’t be too risky and taking all the safety measures and distance recommendations seriously is more than advisable, but they are ok and they have many benefits, like always.

    (And well, if you are like me this Tuesday, one can also very easily totally freeze her fingers and upper body when riding the bike down from the treeline. Note to self: It’s still March, the ski and skitouring high season. Not biking, despite what the temperatures from the previous weeks and closed ski resorts suggest.)

    And (not bragging but) since in the past (while carelessly sitting close to each other in restaurants and sharing the bowls of moules frites‘ with friends and strangers like no one currently) I have studied the outdoor recreation and nature based tourism and tapped in some hours in the Finnish Forest Research Institute – who conduct research on these things too –  I thought to share now some of the research findings on the health benefits of natural environment exposure.

    (On side of advising you more practically to not forget the warmer gloves and jackets and headbands if you already get up and down the hills and mountains with your bike. I think next time I take my ski gloves.)

    These are not the easiest of times for most of us, but I hope this too can help at least some to cope a bit better with the uphills and challenges. And please note the last sentence of the quote below. I know in many places the parks are closed too and urban hangouts aren’t advised even on outdoor spaces. So what’s better to know that even research shows that our favourite things, urban forests, recreation and coastal areas work better for our health and wellbeing than the now closed urban settings.

    I know, for many even these are hard to get to especially now, but I do hope we all are back to our favourite things sooner than later.

    Until that, let’s try to make the most of it despite everything, dream and plan on. What’s best, it also doesn’t cost anything.

    Please do note though, if you are going out these days – walking, biking, running, easy hikes and (xc) ski tours –please keep in mind the recommendations of your local health authority. Which in Switzerland means that one should keep as close home as possible, keep at least 2 meter distance to every other person, avoid public transport, not meet/gather with more than 5 people etc. (The Swiss authority instructions in many languages can be found in here.) Also, if you in example are in Swiss Canton Uri and over 65, you shouldn’t go out at all. (And if you are under 65 and healthy, go help your neighbour and the over 65 year old near you.)

    It’s also always advisable – and especially now–  to do your best to avoid injuries and other emergencies. Covid-19 is a huge challenge for the whole healthcare and emergency response system and you shouldn’t be the one going to the hospital with broken leg right now. So keep it safe, keep it your responsible careful granny/grandpa -style, and keep it delivering the good, not bad.

    See you on the other side!

    Spending time and being physically active in nature promotes well-being and health. Nature helps us recover from the effects of stress and forget our everyday worries. It also lifts our moods. The effects are manifested in lower blood pressure and a stabilised heart rate.

    Spending time in our favourite spots in nature, in particular, restores us. Experiences of restoration in reported favourite spots such as recreation areas, urban forests and coastal areas are stronger than those reported in favourite spots such as parks or built-up urban environments.

    Quote: The Natural Resources Institute Finland– The effects of nature on well-being


    Where: My backyard (Engelberg, Switzerland)

  • BLOG
  • When Nothing Is Sure Everything Is Possible

    I am not the first to say what a time to be alive. Also in here, where the mountain tops turn pink for a short moment at sunset (not always but enough often still) and the forests and alpine pastures are sprinkled with brave little spring flowers.

    The ski season (resort one) ended abruptly last week, about a month before the normal end. The little sports/outdoors retailer and ski rental/service I have worked for this winter has been closed from public since this Monday. Following the orders by the authorities, to fight the covid-19 more effectively.

    Like many, I don’t have new (day) job from April on and everything is suddenly so scary and worrying.

    Nevertheless, I hold on to the outdoors and main parts of the lifestyle I have. The lifestyle which kinda is the caring social distancing advised. I am not in quarantine and in Switzerland we don’t (yet) have to keep indoors. We can still explore outdoors – which I am very very happy – and other places still open as long as we remember to keep the distance to other people, not meet in big groups.

    And we can do that especially as long as we remember to do our best to not end up as one of the patients of the already struggling healthcare system. (Outdoor people, especially note that, please.)

    For a Finnish woman with very hermit habits everyday, it’s easy to follow the rules and live nicely with the restrictions. Of course I am worried how I pay rent next month and how it all goes with this and many other things. But still I am doing pretty fine. And the good in bad, I if someone am used to live through and survive tiny catastrophes and constant uncertainty (maybe at some point can also offer you some book tips and other advice on the subject).

    I yet don’t know what exactly I will do next, how I pay the rent and how long I can keep going this freely in my backyard and around Switzerland. Especially I don’t yet know how I could help the best way possible in this situation – I don’t have healthcare skills nor yet even know well enough the local language – but in Instagram I have already started by sharing as much as possible  the good vibes and views I have everyday (especially for the ones who can’t currently go out) and I try to also be more active in my blogs and business offerings.

    Write new stories, share new tips, publish more photos and maybe even my drawings and other creations.

    That’s what I can do pretty well and I hope it can also somehow be of help – or just tiny bit of joy – for someone.

    While also, I just wanted to say this: Take care. This too shall pass.

    When nothing is sure everything is possible.

     

     

    Engelberg Titlis Swiss Alps Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland