If we ask people about what they think of trekking, the most basic perception we get from them is – walking. They say that trekking is like walking. Walking is something most people do every day and do not find it that difficult. However, trekking is one difficult task. If it would have been that easier like every day walk, everyone would have been a great trekker. But unfortunately, it isn’t. There is no chance of doubt about the fact that Kashmir is a beauty beyond words. But don’t dare to commit the mistake of taking this beauty lightly. Just like the two sides of a coin, if one part showcases the beauty of Kashmir, the other can be as dangerous.
Kashmir Great Lakes is a moderate to difficult trek. It can be as difficult as the Roopkund or Rupin Pass trek. You tend to cover an average of 10 km each day. In 4 days you may gain an altitude of 8,550 feet. You can’t expect Kashmir lying in the lap of ‘The Great Himalayas’ to be so easy and good to you. On watching the pleasing and beautiful views of Kashmir in pictures, people often create an idea in their head about Kashmir not being very troublesome and end up reaching unprepared. And as Kashmir lakes trek isn’t that easy, this lack of preparation leads to the entire trip getting ruin. Therefore it is necessary to prepare yourself and get fit before starting the trek. We strongly urge you to train yourself for trek and achieve optimum fitness.The old saying “Health is Wealth” holds perfect for Trekking. Only if you’ll be healthy, you’ll be able to enjoy and focus on the scenery, culture, nature and know about your fellow trekkers.
You need to build a strong foundation of fitness for the mountains three months prior to the trek. This will lead to acclimatization of your body as per the upcoming conditions that you’ll be facing during trek. Focus on your regime and train yourself with complete dedication during these months so that you don’t face any problem while on trek. However, the main reasons to get fit before beginning the trek are as follows:
If you wish for a successful Kashmir trek and enjoy all its glorious views, there is a strong need to prepare you well and get fit.
Calculate your BMI before you take on the fitness regime. If your BMI comes out to be normal, you can plan your fitness regime as discussed further. If you’re suffering from any chronic or acute illness, you need to consult a medical practitioner. If your BMI doesn’t comes out to be normal, consult your trusted doctor before you get on with your fitness regime.
The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is definitely not an easy one. It requires the good level of endurance and stamina in your body. Youcan start by jogging everyday as the first step towards achieving fitness. Start slow and then slowlyincrease your pace every day. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without multiple pauses in between can prove to be helpful.
To prepare your body for a high-altitude trek, you should plan acombination of distance and speed targets. And if you are newly introduced to a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your targets in the following manner -
The descent from Gangabal to Naranag can be extremely tiring, resulting in a stress on your knees. So you need to make efforts on your core body strength and your thighs, to take pressure off your knees. You can do some squats as well. Begin with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and gradually increase it to reach towards the target in 3 weeks. You can also make planks and crunches a part of your fitness regime. This will help in increasing the key strength of your body.
Talking about work on muscles, you need to keep them loose and flexible. To achieve this flexibility, you need to perform some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. As carrying a backpack/day-pack after a while can become strain making you extremelytiring, these exercises will help you to be in a good shape before the trek and will make you capable enough of carrying weight.