Do you do one squat and then sing “Who’is that fitness freak I see over there? Oh wait, that’s me. Staring in the mirror”?
Starting your fitness routine is easy…for about two weeks. You get a gym membership, go on a run or do a few crunches and it’s exciting. But after two weeks of continuously staring in the mirror and seeing no noticeable change in your body, your chirpy song can turn into a dreadful complaint.
While I was always quite active, I can pinpoint the start of my fitness journey to about a year ago when I ordered a salad instead of a pizza! For the next two weeks, I ate healthy and increased the intensity of my workout but, when I looked in the mirror…dah. Dah. Daaah. I looked exactly the same.
Since then it has been a task to not look in the mirror every now and then. It took me so much effort to not give up immediately!
There are so many people who give up even before their body starts to show results. And it isn’t easy admitting it but being patient with your fitness regime is really hard.
Preparing for a trek takes time, especially when your start line is the couch. One month is good enough for someone who is actively working out every week but, for others, it can take up to two months to get fit for a trek of moderate difficulty.
So, here are a few tricks that I follow to keep moving towards my goals.
Set markers on your timeline
Before I started training for a trek, I used to use events that I looked forward to as my timeline markers: Eating super healthy until my convocation or being able to run 7 km by mum’s birthday. But nothing beats the countdown towards your trek to get you out and about. I am surrounded by the most beautiful pictures sent in by our trekkers from the slopes! I even have a magnet on my fridge of the Har Ki Dun trek. So every time I break off a block of chocolate or skip a workout, I’m always reminded of what I’m working towards. I ensure that I run a little extra the next day.
Setting reasonable goals
Don’t be a drill sergeant. You might be tempted to set harder goals but they might be unreasonable. Your body needs time to recover too. Muscles are only worn and torn in the gym and on the track, it is only while the recovery period that they grow back stronger! Without the rest, you are not giving your body enough time to recover from your workouts.
Find a Robin to your Batman
A sidekick: he is great at motivating you when you’re down, criticizing you when you get overconfident, throwing a few punches and looking very, very cool. Do you have one?
My mum is my not-so-humble but loyal sidekick. She is there every morning on the track or the pool. At her own pace she walks, appreciating my hard work or mocking my laziness as I overlap her. She is the definition of the perfect sidekick.
You must find yourself one. Not just a sidekick but a friend who shares your fitness goals.
A great way to find people who are training for treks is social media. A single post on your wall will ensure a few replies. Another great forum is Whatsapp. As soon as you register for a trek, you are added into a Whatsapp group and get in touch with the respective Ground Coordinator. It is a great opportunity to organize a Sunday morning 5k at the city park.
Declutter your environment
A 10 km walk in the Himalayas or one through busy roads in your city. Which do you prefer?
Running on a busy road can sometime be very disturbing. The pollution does you no good. Local parks seem to have the right spirit and vibe for your workout. Old and young wake up each morning and head there. Laughing groups, yoga groups, runners, cyclists–you can take your pick. But everybody is aiming to get fitter.
I love going to Cubbon Park in Bangalore for my runs and workouts. It is a great way to start my day. I see people doing pull ups on branches and playing badminton with a make do net. I would rather stop to pet a drooling little little dog than stop for a car to pass!
The Whatsapp group is one medium where I see so much potential for trekkers to meet others even before the trek has started and to help one another. We at the office often go out on runs and rides on Sunday mornings. Just like us, I really do hope that every trekker can find a little group of trekking enthusiasts.
It is an amazing way to keep you going. I realized the importance of my first two weeks of working out only after about two whole months. But now a year later, I can take a break for a week and when I get back to working out, I still have those first day jitters. I can brave them now and continue on routine because I have my park, my sidekick, my timeline and a hell of a lot of pictures from the Himalayas to push me.
If you have any ideas on how to find a local trek buddy or any points that you would like to add to this list, do mention them in the comments. We would love to give them a try!