Here are some strong arguments in favour of exercising outdoors:
- Outdoor sports boost the immune system.
- Fresh air is good for you and makes you more alert.
- Just five minutes in the great outdoors has a relaxing effect.
- The various types of surface present a challenge to the muscles and therefore also strengthen the core muscles.
- The varied environment stimulates the senses and improves coordination.
- Sunshine makes everyone happy. When you are outdoors, serotonin – the happiness neurotransmitter – is absorbed whenever you feel the sun on your skin.
Among the ten most popular sports for Swiss people are hiking and mountain walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, gym workouts, golf, weight training, yoga and Pilates. All these forms of exercise can be practised perfectly outdoors.
Personal training for effective progress
Working out in the park with your personal trainer. At first glance this may seem a little over the top, but actually it makes good sense. A personal trainer will get you to your goal as quickly as possible – and injury-free. Lack of motivation is no longer a problem because nothing is so motivational as seeing yourself make progress. No tutorial will ever be as effective as one-on-one coaching. You enjoy the best kind of support and can adapt the plan to your evolving needs. Your trainer will be happy to show you how to do the exercises correctly. Injuries become a thing of the past.
In collaboration with SPTF-SPTV Swiss Personal Trainer Federation, SWICA will help you find a personal trainer who can motivate you to achieve your fitness, performance and health goals.
We support this activity with up to CHF 900 in preventive healthcare benefits (here you can find out how you benefit and how to sign up).
At home in the land of fun runs
Switzerland is the land of fun runs and SWICA is delighted to offer its support. All you need is a pair of comfortable running shoes, shorts and a T-shirt. The positive mental effects of running are limitless. In a very short time, the brain relaxes as you jog through the great outdoors, and you boost your physical fitness. However, if you want to enjoy running in the long term, it's important that you have the correct technique. Incidentally, it's never too late to start running. The oldest man to complete a marathon, Fauja Singh from Great Britain, is 100 years old. What's your goal?
If you want to train for the next half marathon, finally break the 10-kilometre barrier or simply improve your running fitness, SWICA offers generous support of up to CHF 900 (more informations) towards silver or gold six- or twelve-month subscriptions to running.COACH (here you can find out how you benefit and how to sign up). running.COACH is a comprehensive training platform with interactive running coaching and training plans.
Swimming – Like a fish in water
Submerge yourself for a moment. Swimming works wonders for stamina, helps combat stress and is extremely joint-friendly. Swimming also keeps you young and exercises muscles that are often neglected. Swimming lengths in an outdoor pool has a very calming effect. Swimming is like any other sport. You benefit more if you have the right technique.
SWICA makes a generous contribution towards the cost of swimming courses and 6- or 12-month memberships at indoor swimming pools (click here for details on how to participate).
Sweating as a group – Boot camp
If you prefer to exercise in a group, most fitness centres have interesting offers for outdoor workouts. Working out in a group has many advantages from a psychological viewpoint of view. The group encourages you to stay with the programme and not give up. You're more motivated and there's a bigger fun factor. Outdoor workouts are more varied because you use the equipment that's available at the time, including park benches, steps or horizontal bars.
SWICA supports this type of activity with a generous contribution towards the cost of gym membership (here you can find information on how to take part). Here you can find your fitness studio.
Golf is good for you
If you're looking for the most beautiful green areas in Switzerland, you don't have to go to the National Park. All you have to do is find a golf course. The idea that golf is only for old people and the rich no longer holds true. Many people also underestimate the benefits that golf brings. Golf is a coordination challenge, because getting your golf swing right is one of the hardest things in sport. In addition, hitting the ball uses more than 100 muscles, and most golfers walk about seven kilometres during a round of 18 holes. This puts the sport in a different light.
SWICA supports you in your personal preventive healthcare efforts. Golf helps to keep you mentally and physically fit, which is why SWICA contributes as much as 95% per year towards the cost of your Migros GolfCard (click here for details on how to take part).
Hiking – On Switzerland's peaks
Hiking is one of the most enjoyable ways of getting around and is one of Switzerland's most popular forms of exercise. Switzerland's mountains offer unique landscapes, deserted paths, refreshing mountain lakes, cold streams and breathtaking views.
Hiking is good for both body and soul. Regular exercise in the mountains strengthens and stabilises the bones, joints, tendons and ligaments, boosts the immune system and reduces the release of stress hormones.
Usually an hour's travel will take you into the mountains. No matter where you are, there's always something to discover.
If you want to find a really beautiful route, wanderungen.ch has a large collection of carefully researched routes ready for you to download.
Getting fit with the digital coach
Often there's hardly any time for relaxation, healthy nutrition and regular exercise. The BENEVITA app will motivate you to adopt a healthy lifestyle through exciting challenges. SWICA customers and non-customers alike can take on a regularly updated range of challenges relating to exercise, relaxation and nutrition. If you take part, you benefit twice over. The challenges encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle, and the awards you win can make you eligible for a premium discount.
Tennis pro Henri Laaksonen is currently offering a range of tips on improving balance and coordination. Tennis is the ideal sport for people who want to challenge themselves physically, mentally, tactically and technically. As temperatures rise in the spring, it's great to meet up with friends and knock a few balls around the court.
SWICA will contribute up to 900 francs per year towards an active tennis club membership (click here for details on how to take part).
Healthy on two wheels – Cycling
Even a short trip in your neighbourhood can help raise your heart rate and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Cycling is ideal for minimising strain on the joints due to the circular movements that it requires, making it a perfect fitness activity, also for older people.
Whether you use your bike for commuting, doing the shopping or visiting friends, regular cycling does wonders for your immune system and the environment. In urban areas, you can often reach your destination much more quickly on a bike than by using motorised transport. The result is that you save on petrol while also keeping your cool.
Relaxation & awareness in the park
Everyday life can be extremely stressful, which means that finding a counterbalance is really important. SWICA supports a wide range of health-promoting activities relating to relaxation and wellbeing so that you can find an oasis in your everyday life. Did you know that SWICA makes generous contributions towards yoga, qi gong and tai chi classes?
Comfortable clothes and a quiet place with birdsong and a mat – that's all you need for outdoor yoga. During the summer, many studios take advantage of the weather and relocate their lessons to nearby parks. Those who prefer to enjoy the enormous variety of online providers can simply take their laptop and mat outside and practise there. The positive effects of yoga are practically limitless. It strengthens and stretches the muscles, reduces stress, boosts self-confidence and improves sleep, while the breathing exercises strengthen the nervous system. Many endurance athletes also find that yoga is the ideal complement to their actual training.
The first people to meet up in the park in the morning are qi gong practitioners. Gentle movements combined with meditation are the key features of this Chinese discipline. Qi gong trains the body, mind and spirit equally. "Qi" means life energy and "gong" means constant practice. Practitioners try to harmonise their qi and get it flowing again through the special movements and concentration.
SWICA supports this search for balance by making generous contributions of up to CHF 900 per year from the supplementary insurance plans (here you can find out how you benefit and how to sign up).
SWICA – Because health is everything
Being active pays off. SWICA – unlike many other health insurance companies – supports your personal commitment through a wide range of activities and offers relating to health promotion and preventive healthcare. Whether it's yoga, tai chi, fitness classes, swimming lessons, breathing exercises, personal training, nutritional advice, mindfulness training, tennis or one of the other available options, you enjoy attractive contributions of up to 1'300 francs* per year from the COMPLETA FORTE, COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans (*see detailed information).
Incidentally, supplementary insurance always provides valuable additional benefits above and beyond those available under basic insurance. It can be taken out with SWICA at any time, regardless of which insurer currently provides your basic insurance.
Would you like more information or a personal consultation? SWICA Client Services would be happy to assist. Call us on 0800 80 90 80 or send us a message using the contact form below.Request a personal consultation