There is no doubt about it, a good physical health is incredibly important for trekking. Especially because this will have a big impact on your spirits. Trekking is a physical demanding experience. The fitter you are, the more you save yourself the grief on the trails of Ladakhi mountains. Preparing yourself before you trip is thus very important so that you could enjoy this trekking experience to the fullest!
To handle this type of effort over several days, acquiring endurance (read: stamina) is a crucial factor. Do not start training just 15 days prior to your departure; you can have a good endurance only over a long time. For those who do not exercise during the year, at least 3 months will be needed in order to improve muscular and cardiovascular capabilities. We therefore advise you to practice a physical activity (cycling, running, walking, roller-skating, cross-country skiing...) regularly before starting your trek, twice or thrice a week for at least 40 minutes over these 3 months (or more).
Test your fitness
Ladakh is located at a high altitude (Leh is at 3500 m). It is thus important to choose you trek properly and get acclimatized once you reach a place located at a high altitude. Here is a quick and simple test that will help you to select a suitable itinerary according to its level of difficulty.
The Ruffier-Dickson test is a test to assess the aptitude of an individual for effort. It takes place in four stages :
Be careful, to get a reliable result, it is necessary to repeat this over several days. Moreover, the results of this test should only be taken for the purpose of information and this test is in no way a substitute for consultation with the doctor. In case of any doubt, do contact us.
After a few minutes of rest and relaxation, sitting or lying down, measure the heart rate as per your habit (radial pulse, carotid pulse).
Choosing your trek
The worst thing that can happen when you set off on a trek is to have chosen the wrong trek! Therefore it is very important to have the answers for a few questions before making the final choice :
As it is the case with most travel plans, the right choice of the season is very important and even crucial if your want the trip to go off really well. However, for trekking, the condition is all the more crucial for things to turn out just perfect. Don’t forget that trekking is about walking; thus, there are two extremely important conditions to be considered: the climate and the crowds.
Crowds are an important factor to be taken into consideration when we set off on a trek as we normally look for nature and stoning landscapes. This can turn out to be a huge disappointment if there are many hikers following the same itinerary as you. It is definitely a better choice to decide to leave mid season and to avoid holidays season as much as possible. This will also help in saving some money, as our prices are cheaper then!
In the mountains many people suffer from what is called the mountain sickness. It is linked with a change in altitude, in the Himalayas for example, and often manifests as nausea, headaches, insomnia, and tiredness. Nevertheless our treks and trips are designed to avoid the highest risk of acute mountain sickness.
The best advice for you is to remember to drink plenty (water, tea, soup), to eat garlic with your food, to relax and to have a good day of rest when you arrive in Leh.
Here is a homeopathic remedy to tackle mountain sickness :
For more information, get in touch with your doctor.
Suitable equipment is a key component to a successful trip! Travel with a light luggages and it will be less strenuous on the porters. If possible, try to stay below 15 kilos.