Fitness is very significant for someone who loves the mountains as well as the snow and wishes to trek to the Himalayas. If you’ve already planned such a trip, here are some fitness tips that will prepare you for it!
1. Aerobic fitness
Travelling to a higher altitude makes the air become thinner and thus we need to cope with the decreasing amount of oxygen in the mountain ranges. Aerobic fitness helps to cope with it which makes it the most important training for the Himalayas.
To start with basic things like walking and stretching help us to gradually build our aerobic fitness.
The best a first-timer can do is to start walking. Consistency is the key, so regular walking is essential. Walking helps strengthen the joints and reduce any chances of injuries on a trek. A regular walking plan could be five days a week for three weeks. You must walk at least three kms in an hour and when that gets easy, try to fit in five kms.
After your regular walk is done, it’s very important to do some amount of stretching. Nothing fancy, just the usual basic exercise and stretching for the arms, legs, back and neck is needed to keep your body flexible enough.
It is essential to stretch after a walk or workout when the body is warmed up because cold stretching is ineffective and it may also cause injuries. Preferably one should stretch for 10-15 minutes regularly to prepare.
Gradually after getting your body in a habit, it’ll be great to move on to jogging and cycling. These will not only help you improve aerobic capabilities but also help shed extra weight.
For cycling, there’s nothing better than outdoor cycling. But it is difficult to do so in today’s traffic. You can use a static cycle indoors at the gym or at home. It is important to monitor the resistance and cover at least 8 kms in 30 minutes and keep it regular for 4-5 days a week.
5. Strength and endurance training
Even after aerobic training, it is important to improve the endurance of your body to survive in the climate and altitude of the Himalayas.
Strength training should be done after your aerobic training for better effects. Here are some workouts you can do:
a) Push-ups and sit-ups can be done even at home and you should do a minimum of three sets, 10-15 times.
b) Pull-ups and chin-ups are difficult in the beginning, but you can take assistance for it and do minimum 5-10 reps in three sets.
c) Free sit-ups with 10-15 repetitions in three sets are important for the strength of your knees. But should be avoided if you do have or have had any knee injuries.
Some amount of weight training is also needed to make your muscles strong. The endurance of your arms and legs is important to sustain you throughout the trip.
Even if you have an initial experience of trek training, for a new one preparation is equally important. It only helps in the matter of awareness of what discomfort being away from home you experience. For fitness, you need to keep working irrespective of the number of treks you’ve been to.
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