The power of Alpine nature
The South Tyrolean Uli Alber has lived in Lech for over seventeen years and, as a fitness and health coach, knows many places to recharge your batteries around Lech Zürs. Nobody more than she appreciates the breath-taking mountain scenery, which invites you to work out while refuelling your energy levels at the same time. We spoke with Uli, our Antara trainer. Be inspired by this sports scientist and outdoors enthusiast!
“I really appreciate the mountain scenery around Lech Zürs, the four seasons, the pleasant peace and quiet when you want it, and also the numerous opportunities for sport in this unspoilt nature, which help me to feel very comfortable and happy here” – Uli Alber
You studied sports science and are a fitness coach in Lech. What special effect does exercising in the Alpine nature up here on the mountain have?
Exercising in nature has a very positive effect on body and soul, especially at this moderate altitude. This is also how I came to Lech. In 2002, there was a health programme called “Welltain” (wellbeing in the mountain). I worked as a personal coach during these health weeks. The training in the mountains has a very positive effect on heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen uptake and thus on the health. I can also feel the positive effects on my body. Active exercise at this altitude leads to a certain feeling of lightness – a healthy balance between body and mind. You feel more liberated, which in turn has a positive effect on our psyche. Here in Lech, there are many places to recharge your batteries, where you can refuel you energy levels. In such places, I linger a bit, taking a moment to reflect, and do strengthening and relaxation exercises.
You offer Antara every week at the Rote Wand. Not only you, but our guests are also convinced by it. What makes Antara different from other training methods?
I fell upon Antara quite by chance. Some people approached me during the yoga training and asked if I could offer something similar. But as a yoga teacher, you have to be the right type of person to do that because there is more behind yoga than just training. In my opinion, it is a life philosophy. I don’t think I’m the right person for that. I came across Antara by chance and it appealed to me immediately.
Antara is basically modern posture training. Like pilates, it is a full body workout that also focuses on the deepest core muscles with the aim of training them to ensure a healthy posture. Based on the core system, Antara always works on posture and on improving strength and flexibility. It is a targeted, powerful training with a beautiful flow and a lot of mindfulness. You train the body from the inside out. A neutral position of the spine and joints is important for all exercise. Therefore, the training is very gentle on the spine. The particularly small stabilising muscles first are activated and trained. Only then, are the bigger muscles built up and strengthened. I also like to include pilates exercises in my lessons.
Antara has changed my life considerably. Since then, I haven’t had any neck tension or back problems. The upright posture has also significantly increased my self-confidence.
You have been living in Lech for seventeen years, working as a fitness coach. What do you particularly appreciate about the area?
First and foremost, of course, the nature! I really appreciate the mountain scenery around Lech Zürs, the four seasons, the pleasant peace and quiet when you want it, and also the numerous opportunities for sport in this unspoilt nature, which help me to feel very comfortable and happy here. You never need a car, but can simply set off from home, be it on foot, by bike, on skis or with snowshoes. For me it is the perfect place to live. I also appreciate the international visitors to Lech. You are always getting to know interesting new guests. I find it impressive that art is so important in a small town like Lech. I am very interested in art and am on the Skyspace management team. I enjoy combining a visit to Skyspace with a guided snowshoe hike up to the artwork.
What other training units do you offer besides Antara?
Besides Antara, I offer pilates, cross-country skiing, snowshoe hikes and Nordic walking on request. We have a wonderful cross-country skiing track through the beautiful Zug Valley. Cross-country skiing is the perfect outdoor full body training.
In a gentle way that is easy on the joints and spine, you use 90 per cent of the muscles while burning fat at the same time. Snowshoe hikes are also very popular, as it allows you to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature far away from the ski slopes and winter hiking trails.