Four reasons why you must trek more often

If you haven't yet tried trekking, you don't know what you are missing!

Group trekking on hill at sunset

When there were no means of travel, people had to commute by walking. Now, with advancement in the modes of travel, we have forgotten travelling on foot. We have become tourists rather than travellers.

Trekking is a one-of-a-kind experience in which the addiction to connect with nature and to stay fit is a lifetime legacy. I have experienced the goodness of trekking in its entirety; that’s why I’ve been hooked to it since the last 30 years. I urge you to try it too. Some of the benefits it gives you are…

A fitter you

Pair of legs trakking in natureWhen you are trekking, you are out in nature and that is the best place to get free doses of vital ingredients for your body to function at its optimum. The abundance of pure air, full of oxygen, and the vitamin D from the sunlight are helpful for your lungs and bones.

More oxygenation of the blood benefits many metabolic activities and stronger bones means problem-free joints. Trekking builds stamina and is beneficial to your cardio-respiratory system as it tones the heart muscle and improves lung function. It also tones your body and helps you stay on the ‘slim’ side of the scale.

A lot of people think it’s foolish to explore on foot when transport is readily available. Just like your car, your body needs maintenance too; it has to be regularly serviced so that in times of emergency, it functions at its peak. Trekking on a regular basis helps keep your body in mint condition. It has the resilience to fight disease when you need it the most.

Chance to connect with your self

Man alone trekking in mountainsTrekking enables you to explore your hidden inner persona. You have all the time to yourself without any outside interference while you soak in the calm environment around you.

Trekking disciplines you and teaches you to live every moment of your life to the fullest. You discover a new self, which was hidden and dulled by the routine chores of day-to-day existence.

You have all the time to yourself without any outside interference while you soak in the calm environment around you

Improved life skills

A group trekking in green mountainTrekking also teaches you time management, for, you have to plan your route and arrival time with precision so that you may have adequate rest and then continue your journey the next day. This skill is useful in your routine work as well. It helps you manage your workload efficiently so that you need not face time constraints and have enough time to complete all tasks well.

A trek sharpens your reflexes and responses and boosts your self-confidence, which helps you overcome the obstacles and difficulties encountered in daily life. Perhaps that is why our ancestors went on pilgrimages to far off places.

Even today, many people go undertake pilgrimages on foot. They climb mountains and cover vast distances and although they face hardships on the way, they return rejuvenated.

Memories for a lifetime

Hikers group trekking in CrimeaTrekking also gives you a chance to experience first-hand the enviable vistas that you otherwise see only on TV. The views and the sceneries are so beautiful that they are incomparable to the visual experience we ‘imagine’ in front of the television. Camping out at night in the mountains, I often watch the dark blue-black sky studded with millions of stars, wondering about galaxies and constellations. The feeling is out of this world!

The pictures you click make for great memories to relive with your family and friends. Whenever I see pictures of my trek, I feel enthused to relive similar experiences again. And off I go on another trek—it’s addictive!

The joy of travelling and the many experiences touch your heart. It is good for your body and even better for your soul. Every time you go on a trek, you return a better and a more confident person.

Trekking tips

trekking-find-your-new-self-4Anyone can trek at any age. If you are a beginner, start off with a one-day nature trek on flat terrain. Once you get a hang of it, graduate to taking extended treks for a couple of days to a week.

For a trek all you need is a haversack, a one-time meal, water, a first-aid kit, a hat and a passionate zeal to complete the trek. Of course, when trekking in the mountains you need a raincoat, a sweater and a wind-cheater too.

If done the right way, a trek is not exhausting but invigorating. The technique is to focus on your rhythm of walking and breathing. The steps you take and the times you inhale and exhale have to be adjusted as per your speed of walking. If you maintain this, you can trek for hours on end.

A version of this article was first published in the February 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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