Project idea, objectives and impacts

Project idea

Hiking in and around Ilmenau - not a new idea at the University Sports Ilmenau. Already in the summer of 2014, in cooperation with the support network we4you, a hiking course for international and German students was launched to bring the nature, culture and history of Ilmenau as a place of study closer and to promote intercultural communication.

At the moment our lifes are marked by the Corona pandemic. A time in which contacts have to be reduced, friendships and relationships are kept at a distance, a time in which togetherness suffers.

We think - it is time again to hike with friends and like-minded people and to use the power of nature for the mental and physical well-being.



As a project "Wanderfreunde TU Ilmenau", the hiking course will be further developed. As a cooperation project between the University Sports Centre, the we4you network and the Campus Family Office, it is an important part of exercise-related health promotion at the TU Ilmenau.

The aim is to promote exercise in nature and to strengthen psychosocial health. In addition, the offer serves the networking of students, so that the togetherness is promoted and social contacts can be made. Helpful tips on hiking equipment are given and the hikes are supplemented by mobilisation and stretching exercises, which everyone can use to keep their musculoskeletal system healthy. Become your own movement expert and find what does you good!



Studies have shown that hiking has a positive effect on the body. Hiking lowers blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, and can help with long-term body weight management. In addition, exercise has a positive effect on mental and emotional health, lowers perceived stress levels, promotes alertness, and in groups, hiking together strengthens social bonds. In the long term, this activity may also reduce depression and anxiety and improve overall well-being (Mitten et al., 2016; Lackey et al., 2019; Brymer, Crabtree & King, 2020).


Mitten, D., Overholt, J. R., Haynes, F. I., D'Amore, C.C., Ady, J.C. (2016). Hiking: A low-cost, accessible intervention to promote health benefits. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2018: 12 (4), 302-310.

Lackey, N.Q., Tysor, D.A., McNay, G.D., Joyner, L., Baker, K.H., Hodge, C. (2019). Mental health benefits of nature-based recreation: a systematic review,Annals of Leisure Research,24:3,379-393.