Perks of regular trekking


- Ameet Shet


People these days regularly engage themselves in a lot of outdoorsy activities as a way to stay fit and alleviate stress. One activity at the brim of this list is trekking or hiking. One might often come across people going for elaborate treks, even on their busy weekends, making you wonder-
What is so fascinating about trekking?
Why should we shed our sweat, blood and tears, just for climbing a mountain?
What is it that people achieve by scaling such huge mountains?
Yes, if you are someone who doesn’t trek a lot, then these questions do play on your mind.

Today, let me run you through the impeccable benefits of regular trekking & the reason why you should definitely take this up in your life.

Trekking is meant for all those adventure lovers who just love to spend some their time outdoors witnessing the mesmerising and ever changing patterns of nature which enthrals you in a unique way. The tranquillity experienced by your mind and soul in such an environment is something words can hardly describe. Not many things can compare to the pure joy that one gets from travelling and spending time with and in nature, with all its wilderness and beauty. Trekking is the best way to experience this beauty in its rawest form, with no baggage, but just a backpack.

Those moments of absolute serenity helps you unplug from all the hustle and gives way for some self realisation and soul searching.

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

– Edmund Hillary.

The urge to test one’s physical endurance, discover unknown territories, understand the fragility of mountain ecology, study the existence of flora and fauna at high altitude, and learn about distinct geography is what drives people towards trekking. The scope of discovering the many hidden secrets in nature in a fun-filled atmosphere makes trekking no less than a crash course in Nature. The feeling of euphoria, that adrenaline rush you get from constantly challenging your body while trekking, is something everyone should experience.

Now while we are at it, let’s explore some of the positives of trekking.

First & foremost it is directly related to your level of fitness.
For most of the level-headed outsider who is unexposed to the outdoors or wilderness – trekking is normally seen as an arduous task; trudging on some hard and uneven ground. My friends and colleagues could never fathom the fact that I would come back looking more fresh, rejuvenated and elated than ever before.
Many trekkers get a rush of adrenaline from reaching their destination. Yes, legs might be sore or tired and sweat might be dripping off your face, but reaching the summit is a feeling of accomplishment.

Trekking is one of the best and cheaper forms of work out
Exercise in recent years has gained a centre stage in the health care regime of people and rightly so, as its advantages are staggering. Trekking is an amazing form of exercise that helps you increase your stamina by extending your limits. Even a short and quick hike can have a huge impact on our mental health, without leaving a huge hole in your pocket.

Helps you shed those extra kilos.
It helps to burn those extra calories, build muscles & provides with the best exercise options. Hiking in the mountains is always effective than simply walking on those busy, honking streets. During trekking, our body is constantly on the move and subjected to different kinds of terrains, which works different muscle groups providing for a full body workout. For example, climbing a mountain engages different set of muscles than when you are trying to cross a small lake, thus challenging different parts of your body.

Being one with nature
Breathing in the fresh air and pure oxygen from the forest and trees keeps the respiratory system clean – a refreshing change from the city air, where 75% of air is polluted from vehicle emissions, factory outlets and such. Trekking is generally undertaken in tranquil places that are away from the noise and crowd in the cities. Pollution in some cities is so high that the sky is barely visible; so people in such places are highly deprived from watching the morning sky in its full glory or the sunset with all its hues. Almost all the trekking destinations in India are serene and free from anthropogenic pollutions, giving the travellers many unforgettable experiences that they will cherish for the years to come.
Also, while trekking, you’re much less likely to drink coffee or alcohol, but you’ll drink plenty of H20 and eat whole foods. Consuming nothing but goodness for a week or more has positive outcomes for internal health system. You’ll feel fantastic, your skin radiates, your body rejuvenates itself by going au naturel.

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Improves cardiovascular strength
Regular trekking can increase cardiovascular strength as the heart has to pump harder to keep up with the oxygen demand while trekking. This augments blood flow to the muscles and the brain, improving the circulatory and respiratory system’s health.

Unplug from the world
We’re constantly staring at our screens and checking our phones, always plugged on to the World Wide Web. Wandering off to places where there is no internet connection can really help us cleanse off the mental fatigue that technology inevitably causes. Sometimes switching off from the world is exactly what we need to restore positivity back into our lives.

Revisiting History
The interesting historic events of the fort can be understood by living those moments & witnessing the fortification & architecture, from the pre independence era, is something that can be enjoyed by history buffs and amateurs alike. This also helps to preserve the forts by creating awareness.

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Studying various ecosystems
Nature includes different varieties of flora and fauna, rivers, lake, mountains, glaciers, and so forth. Wildlife and bird watching is one of the many highlights while on a trek, and can give a unique insight into the distinct ecosystems of a particular place. Trekking in places rich in exotic wildlife gives you a lot of hands on information on the varied ecology that these places have to offer.

Helps to bring out the leader in you
The benefits of trekking don’t just apply to your physical, mental or social health – it can also benefit your management skills, believe it or not! When planning your trek, you may find yourself setting training targets, organising your schedule, setting goals, learning how to adapt to change and developing your mental strength. It helps you remain calm under pressure. These are all skills that are highly valued in the real world, and can be the foundation for personal growth with a new found self-confidence.

Photography
Many trekking destinations in India are replete with breathtaking beauty and picturesque backdrops. The #nofilter images that you capture here are not like any other photo that you forget in a few days after posting on your instagram, but it will leave a deep imprint in your heart and more importantly, it can even encourage others to visit these wonderful destinations.

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Networking & making friends
Trekking with other people can create lifelong friendships. While trekking, you are able to spend time bonding with members of the group, motivating and encouraging each other to keep going and persevere when the times get tough. Trekking can also help overcome differences, be a team and encourages the feeling of acceptance. Trekking with your family and loved ones goes a long way in strengthening the bond of love and trust as you get to know each other better while dealing with the obstacles that trekking throws at you.

Livin’ the country life
Undertaking a trek in the smaller and more remote parts of the country enables us to live the country life, as they call it. You get to interact with the residents, learn about their way of life and hog on the delicious, yet wholesome, organic meals that different country cuisines have to offer. It also gives a sense of giving back to the society by helping these people earn a livelihood in small ways.

To enjoy & live our life in the state of euphoria
It is like a drug that gives you instant gratification amidst all the vibrant colours of nature. While trekking you are awestruck by the sheer untouched beauty of a scene; a picture so perfect that it gets embedded in your mind forever; something that never be experienced driving a car in the city.

Risk utha naam bana, become fearless
All beings are equal in front of the mountains with no reservations.

P.S- This blog is written from my perspective and is an honest attempt at describing my experiences while trekking. It may change from person to person.