We often hear phrases such as “The fresh mountain air has done me a world of good”, “The mountains are good for you”, “I’m going to the mountains to recharge my batteries”, but what are the real benefits of the mountains for our health?
Numerous scientific studies have been carried out to determine the real impact of fresh air and altitude on our health. The Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region also wished to initiate one of these studies, in collaboration with Atout France, and entrusted the SPRIM agency with its implementation. This work now teaches us a little more about the benefits of the mountain environment for each of us.


The essential oils and phytoncides naturally released by trees and plants in the forest act on our stress by lowering our cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

Our anti-stress activity: Yoga 

Close up of yoga outdoor at sunset.
Marche nordique


The creation of red blood cells and the work of our cardiovascular system linked to altitude and the reduction of oxygen in the air, thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure…). For athletes, this production of red blood cells is also an interesting factor in improving performance.

Our activity to improve cardiovascular function: Nordic walking offered by the Bureau des Guides de Samoëns.


The natural environment, the altitude and the cold in which we evolve in the mountains, allow us to regulate our appetite thanks to the increase in the satiety hormone (Lepine) and the decrease in the hunger hormone (Ghrelin). These two factors, combined with regular physical activity, are effective in the fight against obesity.

Our activity to fight obesity: The Afghan walk

marcheafghane©Gilles Piel
yoga rando


Mountain organisms release micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc., which we absorb during our stay. This absorption is beneficial for our immune system as it improves it. In turn, the negative ions released by the mountain cascades increase the activity of proteins that eliminate undesirable cells such as cancer cells.

Our activity to strengthen the immune system: Yoga hiking