What is Trekking?
According to Oxford Dictionary, Trekking is defined as “A long arduous journey, especially made on foot”.
In simple words, trekking is just another word for walking long trails which takes you up, down, over and around mountains.
Trekking is an activity which changes your way of seeing a mountain. When you trek on a mountain, you see the mountain, its history, the people, their culture and the way how they are preserving the heritage of that place.
Trekking offers you experience which you cannot get by “working-out” for six hours every day in a gym. You can walk through the mountains, forest and any trails that lead you to the top of the mountain; become one with the nature. What more would you want from life right?
Why should you go for Trekking?
In the beginning when I started trekking, I used to wonder why people trek. I am sure the same question will strike you and it is also very obvious. Why would people take so much efforts, struggle to reach all the way to the top carrying all that heavy weight on their backs? We are living in the modern world, so why not use vehicles or other inventions to reach the top?
Later on as I started to trek more and more, I came up with the following answers for the basic question “Why Trekking?”
Overall improved fitness:
One of the major benefits of trekking is that it improves your physical health immensely. We all know fitness is given a lot of attention in today’s world. People spend lot of money and dedicate ample amount of their time in gyms to stay physically fit.
Spending multiple hours on the trail, climbing around boulders, rock hopping and ascending hills gives your whole body a workout, improving your strength, agility and cardio fitness. You will realize this while practically doing it because trekking takes a lot out of you.
Trekking is also a fantastic way to lose weight. If you carry a full pack of stuff with you, you can burn good amount of calories while trekking. It sure beats spending the same amount of time indoors at the gym!
It’s hard to disagree with science with all their theories and research. Living in this fast world is not that easy and you know it. Sometimes, it just gets too overloaded with worries about work, commute EMIs, family, health, children’s school, repairs and list goes on!
You cannot run from your duties but there is a simple solution. You can find numerous research papers proving that, spending time outdoors on a trek or active holiday in nature is a perfect way to clear your mind from the stress and worries from home.
Trekking often requires a person to be focused on their activity, where the only distractions are majestic vistas and dramatic scenery. Ask any trekker and they’ll attest that spending time in the wilderness was one of the most relaxing times they’ve had.
Improves cardiovascular strength:
Statistics show that death rate due to cardio disease in India, has risen from 157 to 210 deaths per one lakh population in 2018. This creates a worry in everyone’s mind. A lot of focus is given for preventive measures like people’s lifestyle and ways to maintain good health.
Regular trekking can increase cardiovascular strength as the heart has to pump harder to keep up with the oxygen demand while trekking. This increases blood flow to the muscles and the brain, improving the circulatory and respiratory system’s health.
In addition, 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 the air is polluted with various emissions.
Trekking spots are great to meet new like-minded people and make new friends. You can always go to a new trek and find a few handful people trekking. Trekking with other people can create lifelong friendships.
Even if you have a group and plan for a trek, you are able to spend time bonding with members of the group, motivating and encouraging each other to keep going and persevere when times get tough. Sharing the good memories and experiences that come with trekking can also help overcome differences, encourage an acceptance of different kinds of people and increase your ability to adjust and get along with others.
Being out in nature also means that technology and social media is inaccessible. This means no virtual social media, but stimulating one-on-one conversations.
You may very well find that the people you trek with become life-long friends after spending a week in the wilderness!
The benefits of trekking don’t just apply to your physical, mental or social health but it can benefit your management skills too, believe it or not! This specially applies if you are the trek leader, not for an organization particularly, but even if you are going with your friends.
When planning your trek, you may find yourself planning for the trek, organizing your schedule, setting goals, planning navigation, learning how to adapt to change and developing your mental strength.
These are all leadership skills that are highly valued in the working world, and can be a foundation for personal growth that you may surprise you with a new founded self confidence!
Whether you’re trekking past sacred aboriginal sites, past ancient rock paintings that are thousands of years old, or visiting destinations rich with history, there is an opportunity to gain insight into the history.
History behind every fort or the area is different and unique. With this insight comes an understanding of the fort or the area that can lead to a much deeper appreciation of the area and the respect that you give it.
Who does not like wildlife safari? Watching wildlife in a zoo and encountering them in a forest or sanctuary is an amazing experience.
Most of the forts in Maharashtra are currently situated in sanctuary. Numerous photographers visit these sanctuaries for wildlife photography. Many sanctuaries offer bird watching opportunities too.
While trekking, you are much less likely to drink coffee or alcohol. Besides you will drink plenty of water and hopefully, eat whole foods. Consuming nothing but goodness for a week or more has positive outcomes for inner health. You will feel fantastic, your skin rejuvenates and there is definitely empowerment when the body goes all natural.