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From Himachal Pradesh to Kashmir and Sikkim to Uttarakhand, India is exhaustively diverse in the terrains it has to offer. Whether you prefer a short 3 days trek in the Valley of Flowers or Kedarkantha, Uttarakhand, or a longer 8 days trek in Goecha La, Sikkim, or Stok Kangri, Leh, trekking up a mountain or just hiking across the countryside is a lovely treat, be it solo, group or family treks. However, if you lack the fitness level required, this might turn into an unpleasant experience. Long office hours and a hectic schedule do not always allow a strict fitness plan.
Fortunately, training for treks isn't as difficult as it seems. Training your body in advance means you will have the energy needed to thoroughly enjoy the trip.
First and foremost, it's a good idea to get a medical check-up and consult your doctor. Depending on where your trek would be, he could advise you on necessary precautions and tips to stay healthy.
Trekkers need to prepare the entire body if you want to avoid injury during the actual trek. It is therefore important to recognize your weaknesses and toughen major muscle groups, including stomach muscles and the adjacent muscle groups, the core.
Stuck at the office all day? Chuck the lift, use the stairs!
Most of us aren't used to walking on higher elevations. But, if you have diverse terrain surrounding you, it would do good to walk up and down a hill, for example. This would give you an idea of the actual trek and help you develop muscle strength. At the gym, try to increase the incline on a treadmill by 1-2%. Gradually increase the incline by 2-5% as you near the day of the trek. Train for a walk of 1-2 hours on a flat surface for 7 days and slowly increase it to 3 hours with walks on inclines for 4 or 5 days a week.
You need to be accustomed to a situation where you can walk correctly, even with all the extra weight of a backpack.
If you walk incorrectly during 100 kilometers of rough terrain, there could be multiple problems including muscle. You do not want something so basic to ruin your wonderful journey.
There's something else. Hydration! It is vital to stay hydrated. Not merely during the trek, but also when you are training. Less water means lower stamina, more exhaustion, and possible altitude sickness. Also, you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night before you set off for your trip. Many travellers tend to suffer from insomnia at higher altitudes, which makes your expedition tougher.
As a final point, trekking should be something you enjoy. It should not turn into a laborious task you want to get done with. After all, it's not a competition! So go, explore the wonder around you and take it all in.
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