Trekking in the Himalaya is definitely demanding, but not as physically tough as many people think. Our trips are not mountaineering expeditions for triathlon types, rather, they are attainable for most people who have a reasonable level of fitness.
We suggest that you begin a fitness program a few months before departure, and undertake activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging. Walking up and down hills is particularly good preparation.
If starting from a low base of fitness, begin with one-hour walks, and over a period of few weeks build up to two or thee hour walks over mixed terrain, few times a week. Remember, even if you live in a city with limited parkland and lacking hills, you can easily train using the stairs in your apartment building or office tower. When trekkers arrive in Kathmandu, they should be able to walk four to five hours over mixed terrain without feeling unduly fatigued.
You do not have to be an olympian, but whatever gains you make in preparation for the trek will hugely benefit you on the trail. Hikes will be easier, climbs will seem smaller, and you will generally feel less strain carrying your pack. This will massively enhance your enjoyment, and instead of being breathless on the account of your fitness, you can be breathless on the account of the scenery!
While a lot of expeditions allow ascents of more than 800 metres per day, we feel that this is excessive, and definitely will leave you breathless, but in a bad way. Thus, our itineraries, while slower than others’, will not take you more than 300-400 metres in one day. This means you will be as fresh as a lark every single morning and enjoy yourself much more than if you rushed to the top.
Naturally, the higher we get, the more noticeable the altitude gain will become, but even with our relaxed pace there is plenty of time in the day to cover the required distance. Also, our itineraries have plentiful rest days, which will allow you to recuperate the big hikes, or, if you are a tough one, allow you to enjoy additional local hikes and explore even more.
There is no doubt that the fitter you are prior to the trek, the better your experience will be, so get out there and get walking!!!