Be a celebrity in the mountains

'Acclimatization' word has become quite a celebrated word amongst the trekking community. Well, it should be! As it is the one who decides if the trekker is fit or not. We keep hearing good acclimatization leads to healthy and a complete trek. Do you really know how it works?

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Just as you know acclimatization is a technique of our body to adapt to the high altitude. Aiding to work effectively with fewer oxygen molecules and getting used to the cold. It is the same as training your body for something it has never done before. I like to say our body is dumb. If you ask to do one activity continuously, it will blindly do the same. If you modify the routine it won't do it. You will have to teach it first. The catch here is instead of forcing, you listen to it. It will be loyal to you.

Analogous to above if you are going in the mountains, after being at sea level, you must teach your body to process efficiently at the high altitude. This can be done by being cautious and following some mountaineering laws. If you are trekking with an organization, half of these rules are automatically followed. Because every trek itinerary is designed such that the human body gets acclimatized. The rest of the rules is the trekker's duty.

Instead of looking at them as rules let us use them as an exercise to train our body. What are these exercises?

  1. Stay hydrated: This is an exercise that must be done frequently while doing other exercises. Drink water regularly. Do not skip tea, coffee, soup, etc. Just grasp all the opportunities to drink, and drink healthy!
  2. Stay behind the leader: You might be a world-class runner. But do not speed on the mountains. That way you will generate more sweat, which causes the body to cool and you might not stay warm. Another important reason is our body cannot generate oxygen at the same rate as sea level, so you might get fatigued. Walk step by step. After every 8-10 steps, take deep breaths and get induced in the mind-blowing nature.
  3. Stay out of tents: I know after a tiring uphill trudge some rest is mandatory. That does not mean to remain in the tent. If you want to sit, look for a place outside your tent. Let your body breathe the air around you, let it train itself. Do not sleep during the day, because sleeping reduces respiration rate.
  4. Stay away from alcohol, tobacco, smoking, depressant drugs, and fatty food: These will only inhibit acclimatization. Consume high-carb products for instant energy and avoid muscle loss.
  5. Stay loyal to your body: As I mentioned above, listen to your body and it will obey you. If any discomfort be it a light headache, drowsiness, nausea, or uneasy feeling make sure to discuss it with the trek leader. Remember that even a minor disorder takes infinite time to heel at a high altitude. So lose height, go down immediately. Do not force your body to keep going.

Just be honest with yourself. Follow these golden principles to experience the most celebrated word, acclimatization. Then you will have a luxurious body to trek like a celebrity!