How to prepare for a Trek in the Himalayas?
A very common question that grips every beginner trekker or even those who have been to some short treks is, how to prepare for a trek? Yet most of them fail to ask this question or get an apt answer.
Trekking has been increasingly confused with a leisure activity, that can be done with little preparation or at least that is what is wrongly believed, in part owing to the popular culture prevalent in the media. Trekking is actually an adventure activity or a rather slow adventure sport, that has certain risks associated, and need adequate preparation to practice.
When it comes to preparation for a trek there can be 4 different aspects to it, physical preparation, mental preparation, preparing your gear & preparing a detailed trek plan. While the last one is taken care of by organizers in group treks, if you are not trekking alpine style (self sufficient trekking that requires you to carry all your equipment, food etc), the other three aspects are all very important.
Physical preparation for a trek involves engaging in exercises that help build endurance and strength for a trek. It would not require you to hit gym regularly and a few basic exercises combined with persistence, can really help you conquer even really challenging treks.
Running – Running is the gold standard of exercises that you can practice to prepare yourself for a trek. It focuses on all the muscles that you engage during a trek. Furthermore, it really helps develop your lung capacity and improves your heart strength, which are both crucial for any high altitude trek, as the thinning air will require your lungs and heart to overwork constantly.
Start running at least 1 month prior to your trek, covering up-to 15 KM in the first week in 4 or 5 running days and building it up-to 20 to 25 KM in the 4th week in just as many running days.
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