Physical activity
and mental health

Physical activity and sport are good for mental health; they boost the mood and act as natural anti-depressants.

Tolerance of stress, self-esteem, sleep quality, and the ability to concentrate are all positively affected by regular exercise. In addition, exercise and sport are a good way of making and maintaining social contacts, whether at a sports club, during a weekly walk with the family, or in the gym. These social contacts are a further positive boost for mental health.

Regular exercise or sport does not just benefit the wellbeing of people with good mental health, but is also an effective means of combating the symptoms of mental health disorders (such as depression or burnout) as part of therapy.

What does “physical activity”
mean exactly?

The term “physical activity” means any sort of physical movement caused by activating large muscle groups and increasing the body’s overall energy use. This catch-all term covers sports such as swimming, jogging, or playing football, but also professional, leisure, and routine everyday activities, like gardening, washing the car, or even climbing the stairs. A distinction is frequently drawn between moderate and intensive physical activity, where the activity’s intensity relates to the degree of exertion on the part of the individual. The intensity therefore varies not only depending on the type of movement, but also on personal requirements.

Generally, anything that causes you to get out of breath, but does not necessarily make you break a sweat, is moderate intensity. Cycling, brisk walking, gardening, and washing the car are examples of such forms of exercise, but many other leisure, sporting or everyday activities also count.

If you start to breathe more rapidly and you break at least a slight sweat, this counts as a high-intensity activity. Highly aerobic sports, which make demands on large muscle groups, such as jogging, swimming, or brisk walking, but also cardiovascular training with fitness equipment, are all examples of high-intensity exercise.

How much exercise
is good for your health?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued specific recommendations on healthy exercise for every age group. These recommendations are primarily guidance on the extent and intensity of healthy exercise.


More information

WHO Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep for childern under 5 years of age
WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior: at a glance

Every step – however small – is important
and benefits your health! This means that it is never too late
to take the first step!

Start today

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    • Test

      How active are you?

      Maybe you already know. If you are unsure, this test can help you.
      You only have to answer four questions.

    • Question 1

      Do you usually take the stairs rather than the lift or the escalator?

    • Question 2

      Do you walk or cycle to work/school? 

    • Question 3

      Do you regularly play active games or ball games with children or adults?

    • Question 4

      Do you regularly go running, cycling, swimming, to the gym or to train in a sports club?

    • You’re a real couch potato - right?

      You already knew that, of course, before you answered the questions. It’s great that you took this quiz and got to grips with the subject. This means that you have already taken the first step to a more physically active life – congratulations! Keep up the good work! Take a look at our tips and tricks for more movement in your day. Try to use them, be creative and have fun! Every step – however small – is important and good for your health! Get started, and good luck!

      There is room for improvement!

      You’re not a couch potato. Movement and sport are, however, not exactly your favourite activities. But this could change! It’s never too late to start moving more, or playing more sport! Take a look at our tips and tricks for more exercise in your day and try to put them into practice – your health will thank you!

      You could try a bit harder, couldn’t you?

      Physical exercise and sport are not foreign concepts to you. Try to move a bit more, whether in your everyday life or in your free time. Make sure that you achieve the minal recommended ammount of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of high intensity physical activity per week. Do you need new ideas for including more movement in your daily routine? Then take a look at our tips and tricks and try them out – your health will thank you!


      You seem to be on the right path. Keep up the good work and try to integrate a little more movement into your everyday life. We have tips and tricks that could help you – take a look at them! Good luck!

      Wow, congratulations!

      You seem to have sufficient physical activity in your everyday life. Be proud of yourself and keep up the good work! Have fun!

    Tips and Tricks

    Walk part of the way to work or school

    Walk or cycle to your local shops

    Arrange to play football or volleyball with friends, or to go swimming or for a walk with them

    Stand up at work at least once per hour and make a phone call, for example, while standing or walking

    What’s available in Zug Canton

    • Cycling / mountain biking

      Regular physical activity is very easy to integrate into your daily routine. For example, you can make short journeys by bike instead of by car. A bike is an excellent, healthy means of transport for your daily routine and more. You can experience many different things by cycling or mountain biking in your free time, all while exercising.

      General information and cycling tips
      Bicycle markets
      Bicycle routes
      Free bike rental for groups
      Road bike
      Pumptrack Cham
      The Zug Mountain Trail
    • Hiking, jogging, and walking – by yourself or in a group

      Any type of exercise is good for your health. The main thing is to keep moving! One of the greatest advantages of walks or hikes is that you can choose your route and the intensity of the physical exertion. Everything is possible, from a short walk after work to an all-day hike at the weekend. In the same way, you can be out and about on your own, or with your dog, family, or friends in a guided walking or hiking group. Various hiking trails wind through the canton of Zug and many are also suitable for jogging, running, or short walks, depending on the route profile. Discover Zug’s landscapes and do something good for your health at the same time. Doesn’t that sound good?

      Mach-mit (Get Involved) Walking and hiking clubs
      Zug’s hiking trails
      Helsana Trails
      Zug Running Club
    • Map outdoor sports

      Do you like to move in nature and do sports outdoors? Then our map with all sports facilities such as Vitaparcours, Minimarathon, WaldParcours, Street Workout etc. might be something for you. On the map you can see where you can find what in the canton of Zug.

      Map outdoor sports
    • Fitness trails

      Zug’s six fitness trails are an invitation to exercise in the open air. Training on a fitness trail costs nothing and is a good alternative to training in a gym. You can challenge and measure yourself at each of the 15 stations in the different categories of endurance, strength, flexibility, and skill. The trails in Unterägeri and Walchwil are the most demanding. Those in Rotkreuz and Cham have a slight slope and so are easier to tackle. In both Steinhausen and Baar, the trails are deemed less challenging, but still should not be underestimated.

      Fitness trails
    • The OberwilZug forest fitness trail

      The OberwilZug forest fitness trail can be enjoyed in two ways: as a sporting trail for speed, increased heart rate and training, or as an experience trail for slowing down, art, wonder and reflection. The official opening is planned for 25 April 2020.

      The OberwilZug forest fitness trail
    • Mini marathon

      There are various mini marathon courses in the canton of Zug. All 11 of the canton’s municipalities have a 4.2 km course, on which you can run 1/10 of a marathon. Whether as inspiration for a new running route, or preparation for a fun run, you will enjoy running on the mini marathon courses, which offer a change to your training routine.

      Mini marathon – municipality course map
    • Outdoor fitness facilities

      You can work on your strength and stability with different items of exercise equipment at the outdoor fitness facility in Hirsgarten park, Cham – with a view over Lake Zug to boot! Whether you’re warming down after a jog or preparing for a swim in the lake, or simply doing some power training, the outdoor training trail gives you many different training options. You can find instruction videos with various training ideas and suggestions on the app using QR codes. There is another outdoor fitness facility at the Herti all-weather running track in Zug.

      The outdoor fitness facility at Herti all-weather running track, Zug
    • Zuger Trophy

      The permanent timed track at the Zuger Trophy for runners, walkers, Nordic walkers, racing cyclists and mountain bikers means you can challenge yourself and measure your time all year round. You can start at any time, as often as you like – for free! Whether you use your smartphone or a card, short-medium-long circuit courses or mountain routes, there is a perfect etape for everyone. Try it out and discover Zug Canton by bike or on foot.

      Zuger Trophy
    • Swimming

      Swimming is often described as a sport for everyone. Because the water supports the body, swimming takes the pressure off the joints and ligaments. This also makes swimming the perfect sport for older people, overweight people, and people with joint problems. When you swim, numerous muscles are working at the same time, and your stamina and lung capacity get a boost. By concentrating on breathing and performing the strokes correctly, it is entirely possible to switch off when swimming and forget about your day-to-day concerns for a while.

      Public indoor and outdoor swimming pools
      Wild swimming
    • Sports for the over-60s

      There is no age limit on exercise and sport. The canton of Zug has many opportunities for people over 60 to play sports, meaning they can organise a wide variety of activities in their free time in line with their personal preferences and interests.

      Sports and exercise courses (Pro Senectute Zug) (Play It Safe)
    • Sport for people with disabilities

      PluSport is the expert body for sport and disabilities in Switzerland. It supports people with disabilities to do both grassroots and elite sports. For all target groups, all ages, all types of disability, and always with integration and inclusion as the goal.

    • Sports clubs

      Over 300 sports clubs provide a broad spectrum of leisure activities in Zug. They can all be found in the list of sporting opportunities, which you can simply search by the specific type of sport or by municipality. Take a look, it will be worth it! There’s bound to be something that will suit you!

      Sports provider
    • The Zuger Sportlis

      The Zuger Sportlis focus on the joy of sport and exercise. The programme supports and encourages children in their motor development, with the clear message that exercise is fun. The Zuger Sportlis is aimed at nursery school children and children in the first three years of primary school. It is active in different municipalities in Zug.

      Zuger Sportlis
    • MidnightSports for 13- to-17-year-olds

      Midnight Sports is aimed young people in upper secondary school (year 7 to the age of 17). The IdéeSport Foundation opens sports halls every Saturday evening across Switzerland during the winter semester, so that young people in upper secondary school have a place to meet and can have fun playing games and sports. Youth coaches and young adults are responsible for organising and running the MidnightSports events.

      MidnightSports events in Zug Canton
    • Midnight Games for young people in upper secondary to the age of 17 in Cham

      Midnight Games is a supervised event in gyms for exercise and friendship in the winter semester and is open to all of Cham’s young people (ages 13 to 17).

      Midnight Games Cham
    • OpenSunday for children aged 6 to 12

      Sports halls are opened every Sunday afternoon during the winter semester to give primary school children a place where they can meet other children of their age and run riot, for free. Fun, games and sport are at the heart of the varied programme. The IdéeSport Foundation puts together brightly coloured assault courses, special events and team games. Youth coaches and young adults are responsible for organising and running the OpenSunday events.

      OpenSunday events in Zug
    • Playgrounds in Zug

      Playgrounds provide countless opportunities for exercising in your free time. They give children the chance to experience different types of movement, such as climbing, sliding, hanging from a climbing frame, playing on the swings, rolling and balancing. What is more, they are places where families and children can meet, make contacts, and find new friends. The Playgrounds Guide gives a good overview of all public playgrounds in Zug municipalities.

      Playgrounds in Zug
    • Spinnihalle - Skatehall Canton Zug

      The Spinnihalle - Skatehall provides a safe training environment for all freestyle sportsmen and sportswomen. From a skate park with space for skateboarding, inline skating, kickboarding and BMX biking, to an area for sports like parkour, free running and street workouts, the Spinnihalle - Skatehall Zug ensures a genuine, all-year-round freestyle experience.

      Spinnihalle - Skatehall Canton Zug
    • The Freiruum Sports Hall Zug

      Whether in the Trampoline Park, the Boulder Area, the Parkour Zone, a yoga class or in the Kids’ Corner, sport and exercise can be combined with games and fun in the Zug Freiruum. The Freiruum is open seven days a week and offers a wide range of sporting and exercise opportunities. The indoor facilities are also a good alternative to exercising or playing sports outdoors in bad weather or in winter.

      Freiruum Zug
    • Optional school sports

      School sports organisations offer children and adolescents the opportunity to learn basic skills in their chosen sport. Professional coaches run weekly training sessions in which the participants can play sports, exercise, and have fun.

      Baar Optional School Sports
      Zug Optional School Sports
    • Youth sports camps

      In summer, the canton-wide youth sports camp at Tenero offers over 100 young people the opportunity to try their hand at new and different types of sport with lots of fun and games. In addition, the “fit4future camp” inspires over 130,000 children across the whole of Switzerland with a playful, scientific, supervised programme for primary schools on the topics of exercise, nutrition and brain fitness. This is only some of what is available at sports camps in the canton. For further information, see the Office of Sport website.

      Youth sports camps

    Other opportunities

    • Safe mountain hiking

      Hiking in the mountains is not going for a walk. Hiking is very popular – more than half of all Swiss people get out and about on hiking routes, including in the mountains. Great, because hiking keeps you healthy! Although mountain hiking may seem easy at first glance, safe mountain climbing depends on sureness of foot, the absence of vertigo and a certain level of physical fitness. To stay safe in the mountains and enjoy your time in the open air, it’s worth taking a look at the “Safe mountain hiking” campaign website, run by the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (BFU).

      Safe mountain hiking
    • The “ready – fit for #teamarmy” sports app

      The innovative “ready – fit for #teamarmy” sports app was developed by the Swiss Army and Federal Office of Sport (BASPO), and provides the best science-based support for becoming more physically active. The app was first developed for young people who wish to prepare themselves mentally and physically for enlistment and military training. Various features, such as an individually tailored training programme, regular fitness and exercise tests and a wide selection of endurance and strength routines, also make the app suitable for the general public. As well as all the features of conventional sports apps, you also receive additional information about motivation, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. The app is free and the data are not stored or used again.

      Sport-App "ready - fit for #teamarmee"
    • is the online platform of the Swiss Federal Office of Sport for physical education and training. First and foremost, the practical information provided is intended to help teaching staff, trainers, and leaders in their day-to-day work. The wide range on offer at is, however, also suitable for private individuals. Everything is there, from specific instructions for different yoga positions, Pilates exercises, through input for endurance training, to ideas for ball sports.
    • HOMEX – gymnastics at home

      HOMEX is the abbreviation for HOMe EXercise. This video-based workout programme is particularly targeted at the over-65s and aims to motivate and support them to do regu-lar strength training at home. It will take over your entire training plan, and provide you with professional and friendly support to help you do the exercises correctly. The pro-gramme was developed by the team at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI) of Zurich University in autumn 2017. You can use HOMEX free of charge.

      HOMEX - gymnastics at home
    • References
      Bundesamt für Sport BASPO, Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG, Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz, bfu – Beratungsstelle für Unfallverhütung, Suva, Netzwerk Gesundheit und Bewegung Schweiz. (2013).
      Gesundheitswirksame Bewegung. Magglingen: BASPO
      Caspersen, C. J., Powell, K. E. & Christenson, G. M. (1985).
      Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness: definitions and distinctions for health-related research. Public Health Reports, 100, 126-131.
      Fuchs, R. & Schlicht, W. (Hrsg.). (2012).
      Seelische Gesundheit und sportliche Aktivität (6 Aufl.). Göttingen: Hogrefe
      Geuter, G. & Hollederer, A . (Hrsg.). (2012).
      Bewegungsförderung und Gesundheit (1 Aufl.). Bern: Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG
      World Health Organization. (2010).
      Global recommendations on physical activity for health. (Factsheet). Genf: WHO