Fitness for the Himalayan Trek

Fitness for the Himalayan Trek

Fitness for the Himalayan Trek

Why we need proper physical fitness for the Himalayan Trek

If you’ve never climbed in high altitudes (above 8,000 feet), you will soon be introduced to a part of the world like no other. A great challenge comes along with the dramatic scenery and culture that our Himalayan trek to Everest Base Camp, Stok Kangri, Roopkund, Hampta pass, Rupin Pass, Kuari Pass, Nanda devi east base camp and other high altitude Himalayan trek. Proper physical conditioning is absolutely essential to reaching your goals of the summit or highest pass while enjoying every step.

Dedication is the key element in conditioning for your climb. Though we all have busy lives, you must find time to be committed to a daily personal training, and busy cities life. The goal is to create a workout program that gets you in top shape at the date of your respective climb and trek.

The following is just a basic Facts.
You should definitely consult your physician before beginning this or any fitness training. You can also consult with a certified, professional trainer. In shaping for the Himalayan trek, focus on theses four areas:

1. Boosting Your Aerobic Fitness
2. Strength Training
Focus on building strength in your back, shoulders, arms, and abdominal muscles. Your leg muscles will get stronger through the aerobic training, but you can also include exercises that specifically work your legs if you feel up to it.

The following exercises can be done at home:
Two sets of sit-ups (abdominal crunches)–as many as you can do.
Three sets of pull-ups or chin-ups– up to fifteen repetitions per set.
Three sets of as many push-ups you can do–up to forty repetitions per set.

3. Staying Hydrated
Your body will require an increased fluid intake when during your climb at altitude. Running low on fluids diminishes your endurance, contributes to fatigue, and makes you more susceptible to getting altitude illness. Focus on staying well hydrated during your training. Your body will need it with your workouts, but it also needs to get used to hydrating. You will need to drink large amounts of liquids during your climb (three to four quarts per day minimum) and your body should now start getting used to taking in those copious amounts.

4. Focus on Optimizing Sleep
Strive to get at least eight hours of sleep a night during your training. People often have trouble sleeping at higher altitudes, and diminished sleep will make your expedition much more challenging. Staying hydrated will help you sleep better, and so will making sure you have the right equipment to be comfortable. Try out your sleeping set up for a few nights before your trip to get used to it and make sure you are comfortable. It is also a good idea to get used to sleeping with earplugs, as the yare helpful on windy nights on the trail.

Three Months Prior Build a strong foundation of fitness for the mountains. Focus on dedication during this month. Make a personalized training schedule and stick to it.

Day 1: Hike uphill for at least 40 min; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 2: Jog for at least 30 min
Day 3: Hike uphill for at least 40 min; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 4: Jog for at least 30 min
Day 5: Hike uphill for at least 40 min; do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
Day 6: Do something fun where you can get a workout (cross country ski, bike, paddle etc.)
Day 7: Rest

Notes: Stairmaster or stair-climbing may be substituted for uphill hike. Swimming or biking may be substituted for jogging. Biking, however, should be challenging – uphill or longer than 30 min.

Two Months Prior
Build endurance and strength. Keep workouts challenging and fun.

Day 1: Hike uphill for at least 40 min with a weighted pack; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 2: Jog for at least 35 min
Day 3: Hike uphill for at least 40 min with a weighted pack; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 4: Jog for at least 35 min
Day 5: Hike uphill for at least 40 min with a weighted pack; do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
Day 6: Do something fun where you can get a good workout (cross country ski, bike,paddle etc.)
Day 7: Rest

Notes: Every other week, do a 10-15 mile hike that is a full day of 6-8 hours of hiking with short breaks. One Month Prior
Step everything up in intensity. Hike and jog at a faster pace. Add more weight to your pack. Add another set of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. When you feel like quitting, go even further. Really challenge yourself this month to gain mental toughness. Be sure to test out your gear extensively this month. Try to consume at least three to four quarts of water per day.

Day 1: Hike uphill for at least 45 min with a weighted pack; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 2: Jog for at least 35 min
Day 3: Hike uphill for at least 45 min with a weighted pack; do push ups, sit ups, and pull ups
Day 4: Jog for at least 35 min
Day 5: Hike uphill for at least 45 min with a weighted pack; do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.
Day 6: Hike at least six hours with a weighted pack.
Day 7: Rest

Notes: Plan at least one overnight backpack trip where you can test out your sleeping gear
I hope our every trekker will get a tough and healthy fitness on the Himalayan slopes. So that we will never see the AMS symptoms and cramp on our trekkers body.

Written By: Rakesh Pant

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