Trek Fitness Guide for Himalayan High Altitude Treks by Indiahikes

Getting fit for a trek is intimidating. You might not know what goals to set and how to reach them. That is why we designed three trek-specific workout guides for you.

Complete the guide over the course of one month. With each week your muscles will shape up and get ready for the steep ascents and descents of the Himalayas!

Save these images for easy access when you’re working out.

TREK FITNESS GUIDE FOR EASY TREKS : Kuari Pass, Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, Deoriatal

One month trek fitness routine for easy treks

FITNESS GUIDE FOR MODERATE TREKS : Roopkund, Buran Ghati, Pangarchulla, KGL and Bhrigu Lake 

One month trek fitness routine for moderate treks

FITNESS GUIDE FOR DIFFICULT TREKS : Goechala, Warwan Valley, Rupin Pass, EBC, Pin Bhaba, Kanamo

One month fitness routine for difficult treks

You are already on your way to getting fit for your trek. Happy trekking!

What you should do now

1. If you want to see a complete list of treks that we run: Head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find help in choosing a Himalayan trek in a specific season.

2. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. We also have lots of applications coming in. So the sooner you apply, the better.

3. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our free guide here.

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50 thoughts on “Trek Fitness Guide for Himalayan High Altitude Treks by Indiahikes

  1. thank you. Im 58 years old working woman. I am planning to go for Kinnaur Kailash trek in 40 days time
    Im 64 Kg now.
    Im a vegetarian. I want to reduce 4 to 6 Kgs in forty days.
    Can you please guide me about my food simple and with fruits etc.
    Thank you

    1. Hello Nirmala
      Apart from keeping a check on your eating habits try getting into a fitness routine. You could start with walking. Level that up to brisk walking. Always remember to stretch before and after your exercise.
      The key is to eat right and not just eat less. Make sure you don’t starve yourself. Include a lot of sprouts and salads in your diet. You could even snack on them. Try out new recipes and make the whole journey fun for yourself. Hope this helps 🙂

    2. hello Nirmala, losing 3-4 kgs in 40days is very aggressive and I personally wouldn’t advice. what you may want to do instead is to build your cardio-vascular endurance with brisk walks, following it up with 3-4 exercises like squats and lunges to work on flexibility. Pilates and Yoga exercise forms for trekkers. Hope this helps

      1. No it’s not aggressive weight loss, because initially weight would be loosing in the form of excess water your body is holding and less fat. I am a internationally certified personal trainer and a nutritionist.

  2. I have a ruptured ACL in my right knee and patella arthritis in my left knee. Did Roopkund & Rupin with both these handicaps – from Indiahikes; after which problem intensity in both knees has increased. Jogging and skipping out of question for me. Is there a substitute for them? Note: There is a substantial proportion of trekkers who fall in this category.

    1. Hi Sanjay. Since trekking is essentially walking for long distances, you could substitute running with walking. Try setting time limits to build endurance. Hope this helps 🙂

  3. Hi,

    I am planning to trek in Himalayas in Bhutan in two months time. About 10 days of trekking , with about 5-6 hours average every day peaking to 7-8 hours couple days with light/rest day in the middle.
    I need some fitness advice. I am 47 years old , 5ft. 9 , weighing 162 pounds. Fairly fit.. I can brisk walk 4 miles in 60 min (6.4km) and run about 5 miles per hours for 20 minutes (do it twice a week for sure). I have also started climbing … do about 6 stories every day (150 stairs). 3 hours tennis (doubles) once a week.
    I would say my activity used to be about 70% of above at usual times – what I wrote above is how Inhave bumped it up to prepare for the trek.
    I have started feeling a bit of pain (slight) in right knee and am worried. Could be I am not warming up and stretching right. I need some advice :
    1. Can you suggest a routine to prepare for the trek ? (Should I pick the ‘difficult’ routine above ?). Change my routine and follow yours I guess ?

    2. Any suggestions on stretching ?



    1. Hello Puneet

      What you are doing already is quite good. I would suggest you also follow the guide to fitness for moderate treks to get some more workout into your routine. This will take care of your stretching bit as well. You can follow the fitness guide here.

  4. Hey! While this is great guide my issue is that I don’t have the space to go out to jog and thus tracking my achievements or meeting these goals is hard. Any goals one can measure progress by if one is working out indoors? And what would be the best thing to do if I can’t get out to work out?

  5. Hey!
    I am planning to do the Tarsar Marsar Lake with my parents. I am fourteen years old and I am five feet 1 inch tall. I weigh 36 kilograms. I cannot workout everyday due to my school. I have a few months before the trek though. Can you recommend a workout routine that I can follow every weekend maybe? Also what else do I need to do to be prepared for the trek.

    1. Hi Advaita,
      It’s great to see you being so focused about being prepared for the trek. In case you don’t have much time to prepare, do this HIIT workout. Do this at least four times a week. You can do this at home even in the evening and won’t take too much time.

    2. hello Advaita, see if you can incorporate a physical outdoor activity at least for 30 mintues in your play. even a 30 minutes jog is good followed by 5 minutes of basic squats, lunges and skipping.


    1. Hi Gautam,
      The exercises mentioned in this article will help you get fit. If you’re a beginner at fitness, I suggest you start off with the guide for moderate treks. Follow the routine mentioned in it to gradually build your stamina and strength.
      As a rule, ensure you do a good mix of cardio and strength exercises. Running/jogging is the most effective cardio workout. Start slowly, with short distances and gradually increase the distance you run. For example, if you target 5km, in the beginning, you might walk a lot more than you jog. Over 2-3 weeks, get to complete the entire 5km by jogging/running.
      Squats, planks and push ups are great for building core strength. You can do a couple of sets of these after each run or even independently.

  7. Hi,
    I am going for Himalayan adventure trip in may. We will trek to Patalasu peak. Please guide me that which fitness guide I use. Moderate / difficult?? I am quite busy with exams . So also tell me how I should manage the time??

    1. Hi Jaishree,
      You can use the moderate fitness guide. If you don’t have much time during the day to exercise, do a 20-30 minutes HIIT workout and go on 5km run once a week. You can also do a few rounds of stair climbing to build strength in your legs.

  8. Hi,
    I have been reading Suhas Saya’s daily emails to start building my Trek fitness. I am however really surprised by today’s mail, which says we should drink 5-6 liters a day during trek. This is really a lot. Are we sure drinking so much water does not make the Kidney’s having to work too hard. Also how much water should a person drink while not on trek, i.e. while he/she is at a desk job in a city.


    1. Hi Arish,
      Drinking 5-6 litres of water a day does not make your kidneys work too hard. Your body loses a lot of water while trekking since you breathe harder and also sweat. You need this quantity of water to replenish the body.
      In fact, you should drink 6-7 litres of water even on a normal day, when you are not trekking. Especially if you exercise and run regularly or spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms.

  9. I have a lot of love and respect for India Hikes.
    Th information you provide over internet is truly immense and I feel grateful towards India Hikes for it.
    I just aim to add a small bit from my side to it.

    It is a Myth that oxygen in drinking water can compensate for low oxygen in higher altitudes

    The air inhaled has 20 percent oxygen.
    The air exhaled has 15 percent oxygen.
    So about 5 percent of air breathed in by us is used by body.

    An average adult breathes in 500 ml of air in 1 breath.
    An average adult at rest, breathes about 14-16 times a minute.
    So average adult at rest inhales and exhales something like 7 or 8 liters of air per minute.
    A day has 60 * 24 = 1440 minutes.
    That totals to around 7.5 * 1440 = 11,000 liters of air in a day.
    Therefore, a human being uses about 550 liters of pure oxygen per day.
    1 liter of pure oxygen weighs 1.42 gram.
    So in a day a person with sedentary lifestyle will require 550 * 1.42 = 781 grams of oxygen per day

    Obviously a person who is exercising/trekking needs a lot more oxygen than that.

    Human body or other living organism like fishes can never break down water into oxygen and hydrogen.
    That requires high energy machines.

    Instead fishes use the dissolved oxygen in water.
    Their gills act as lungs, they absorb the dissolved oxygen in water to their blood via their gills.

    The dissolved oxygen (DO) in water can vary between 1 mg to 20 mg per liter.
    We can take 10mg/liter as a reasonable average of dissolved oxygen in clean/drinkable water.
    This means that a person drinking 6 liters of water gets 6* 10 = 60 mg of oxygen = .06 gm of oxygen

    .06 gm is completely negligible compared to 781 grams of oxygen required by a person in a day, even when he is not exercising.

    Also it is unlikely that kidneys can function like Gills and move even this negligible dissolved oxygen to blood
    Fishes are able to get sufficient oxygen from dissolved oxygen in water because they constantly run through 100s of liters of water over the surface of their gills in a day.

  10. Hi,
    I alternate weights and cardio workouts on alternate days. Climb 528 stairs thrice in a week.
    Can you suggest a quicker way to lose weight and improve muscle tone? I am preparing for Rupin Pass Trek in September.

  11. I am going for Kedartal trek and following the difficult workout. I didn’t understand the stairs part written. Does “3 storeys*10” mean 30 storeys? Is it just going up or going up & down?

  12. My self Manjul Manyank. I am 41 year old.
    I brisk walk average 7 KM at 1 hour in play ground or jog 30 to 40 minute on trade mill daily from last 2 months.
    I stair climb one story building (16 stairs approx 3,5 meters vertical height) 28 times up and 28 times down in 10 minutes daily from last two months,
    I do 2*18 sets of Scots and 2* 13 sets of push up daily from last 2 months,
    I run a spin cycle 10 to 20 minutes from last two months.
    I can also walk 14 to 15 KM in two hours when i need.
    Can i fit for a difficult trek ?
    or i am fit for which type trek easy, moderate or difficult trek ?

  13. Hii
    In your’s trek fitness guide chart given things are not very clear. Normally four work given to do at four times in a week, stairs climbing, Jogging, Squats and skips. But this is not clear that all these things done at a time continously morning or evening at four times in a week. Or two things done morning like stairs climbing and skips, and another two things done in evening like jogging and Squats at four times in a week . Or two things done in one day like stairs climbing and skips, and another two things done in next day for all days of a week.

    Dinesh Kumar

  14. Hi Sneha, if any one can not have two or three storeys building for stairs climbing ten times than, can he do stairs climbing on a single storeys building 30 to 35 times in 1 5 minutes?

    1. Hi Dinesh, that should be totally fine. But you can visit another apartment in the neighbourhood to make it less boring for yourself. 🙂

      1. Hii Swathi
        What is the safe dose of dimox for batter acclimatization and when we should start to take dimox before start a high altitude trek?

  15. Hi!
    I have always been really excited for trekking to roopkund(i can definitely settle for easier ones!, Pls suggest.) With you. I have been looking forward to trek with you since June 2018 ; i wish to trek in summers next year. I am 16 now, but i haven’t been able to achieve much fitness . I run 1 km in avg. 6 min. Daily and on Sundays i run about 8-10 km at avg 8-9 min./km . This is through the nike run club app. I am also enrolled in a 4w plan on nike training club app. What should i do to achieve required fitness in time?and also, i weigh about 95 kgs .

    1. Hu Shubhang, it’s wonderful to see you taking fitness this seriously! Instead of concentrating your running mostly on the weekends, spread them over the entire week. See if you can run 4 km everyday in around 25-30 minutes. Run at least 5 times a week. That will help. With just this much preparataion, you’ll be able to trek.

      However, the Roopkund trek is currently not running. I hope you know that. The High Court has banned camping in the alpine meadows of Uttarakhand. So without the Bendi Bugyal and Pathar Nachuni camps, it’s impossible to run the trek.

      Instead, I would suggest you do the Buran Ghati trek. It’s a beautiful alternative to Roopkund!

      1. I am really glad you replied. I see that there is not shortage of treks, thanks to you guyz. But if i do 4 km in 25-30 min (and only this much) daily? Will this substitute for everything else?

  16. Hi Swathi,
    I am planning to go for Kedarkantha Winter trek within 3 weeks. I was experiencing heel pain for past 1 years but I followed fitness regime from past 1 month which included Surya Namskar yoga, brisk walking for 4 KMs and climbing 10 stories twice in a day for 4 days in a weeks. However while doing the checkup from the doctor, he mentioned that I have Plantars Fascitiis which is basically a kind of heel pain, started medication and asked to me not to run or jog for at least 2 weeks but can continue to do the yoga and climb the stairs. My question is even if the doctor okays after 2 weeks, will this kind of practice is good enough to go for Kedarkantha in 1 week. This is my first trek and I am 44 years old.

    1. Hi Praveen, it’s so sad to hear about the Plantars Fascitiis. Just read up about it and can imagine how painful that might be. I think you can manage the Kedarkantha trek with your current fitness. I’m only worried about the heel issue and don’t want it to affect you on the trek. Just make sure that before you go, you don’t have any pain in your heel. There’s quite a bit of climbing to do, and with pain, it could get difficult. If your pain goes away, then go ahead and do the trek, you’ll be able to do it comfortably. 🙂

  17. Hey. I’m planning for Himalayan winter treks. I have been to many treks previously, but not any of the Himalayan treks. Is BMI really a concern? I fall under the Underweight category, but I eat a lot (not junks) and jog everyday. I have climbed mountains in South India, 12kms (8 Hours), one way, carrying a backpack of more than 5kgs weight. I was able to do it with ease. I have been consistent in training my body, but I couldn’t gain weight eventhough I eat a lot. If BMI has to be a concern for Himalayan winter treks, Is there any way to gain weight before winter? By the way, I’m a vegetarian. Thanks in advance, 🙂

  18. Hi IH, I run into IH videos by accident and I am very impressed by the philosophy of trekking and how it applies to life and well being of all. Hats off to Arjun and his team for keeping this going. After looking at your website, I am tempted to try VoF or similar trek with IH. I do a fair amount of walking and climbing on small/med hills (not mountains). I am 60 and had some cardiac issues in the past. I feel I can follow for your “difficult” routine., would that be acceptable fitness for some of these treks?

    1. Hi, yes. Once you register for the trek, you will be required to share screenshots of your jogging stats periodically to help us gauge your fitness 🙂

  19. Hi,
    I am Amitava Nath from Kolkata. Me and my wife trek together. During our trek at Deoriatal in April 2018, I saw your team there. It was so organized. I talked to some of the participants. They were very pleased about your organization. This article is very helpful for the trekkers specially new one. Thanks for posting

  20. I ride cycle every day and can finish 22-24kms in an hour and can walk 6kms in an hour. Will this be sufficient for Moderate treks?

    1. Hi Anoop, your cycling speed is pretty impressive! For walking too, it’s quite good, if you can bring it down to 55 minutes for 6 km, it’ll be even better. Choose running / brisk walking as your fitness routine because it is the closest to trekking, and you’ll work on the same muscles that you need while trekking too.

      But if you keep this up and improve slightly, you’ll be able to do a moderate trek comfortably.