I began trekking since I was in my mother’s womb. Every morning on weekdays, my mom and I would wake up early, trek to the cold-room to bid for ice-fish she would hawk the whole day in the endless streets of Warri – Southern Nigeria. Together with other fish sellers, my mother would battle for a carton of different fish. The struggle was to get big fish at a cheaper rate to accrue more gain.
The peculiarity about fish business in Nigeria is that fish hawkers cannot afford to buy a whole carton of a particular fish except that you run a mini retail cold room. Fish sellers join an alliance with one another to bid for different species of fish and shared among the contributors. My mother always made efforts to get enough Tilapia and Croaker since that was what the folks in wealthy neighbourhoods preferred for their Banga soup.
Most times, my mother garners favour in the fish market. Other fish sellers would pity her because I was inside her big protruding belly. I always shrugged when the women called my mother “mama ejima” -meaning mother of twins. For Christ sake, like Jonah, I was alone in the big belly. Something else I disliked during my stay in the womb is that I mostly feed on fish with plenty of pepper soup which my mother ate frequently.
I started professional trekking as a Nigerian teenager when I got into high school. My parents wanted me to attend the best public secondary school in the state, so I had to shuttle between two ends of Warri city to go to high school. In the beginning, it was stressful because I could not cope with the long-distance trek. I would feel fatigued and resort to run to catch up with my mates as we trekked back home after the day’s schoolwork. Astonishingly, in less than a few months, I became a profession trekker myself. Trekking long distance became a kind of hobby to me over the years.
I know you’d probably be wondering by now why it’s paramount to learn how to trek like a pro. I know you would ask is trekking not stressful, why should you do that when you have a car or have access to public transport? Trust me, learning how to walk long distance comes with a lot of perks you can’t afford to miss.
Since the inception of the covid-19 pandemic through the lockdown till date, I’ve made it a habit to trek a minimum of ten kilometres a week. When I started my weekly routine of the long-distance trek, I felt fatigued and experienced pains in my hip joint. Today, I do same trekking with ease without feeling any discomfort during and after the exercise. From my years of experience, trekking has had a positive impact on my physical and mental health back to back.
Trekking is the best form of exercise that you can engage yourself to do. Walking for most persons is the recommended way for them to exercise when undergoing treatment for some ailment. This activity will keep you away from your doctor’s office in the long run. Unlike other forms of exercise, walking is cardio friendly, not intense but an effective way to maintain good health.
Benefits of Trekking Long Distance Like a Pro
Improves Your Mental Health
Have you ever wondered why you pace about when you are nervous or angry? That’s because we think better when we are agile just like walking around a room or taking a walk at the park. When you walk a long distance, your body is physically engaged; more blood goes to your brain. This process helps us to clear out any negative thoughts. Trekking also helps us to have creative minds. That billion-dollar ideal may pop into your head while you are walking just like the idea of writing this post.
Neuroscientists have also verified that engaging in physical activities helps to prevent a different kind of brain diseases. It is surprising what trekking a few metres a day can improve your brain health, career output and creativity thrust.
Are you looking at losing a few pounds of excess fat? Trekking is a great way to go about losing weight with ease. If you find it difficult keeping up with gym appointments, you can utilize the advantage of trekking to lose weight and stay healthy. Walking is similar to other forms of exercise routine. When you trek, your muscles are in good use. It helps to strengthen your muscle which displaces the excess fats in your body. I recommend you do more reading on health blogs on how physical exercise can help you lose weight.
Prevents and Manages Different Kinds of Disease
According to research in the field of medicine, engaging your body in physical activities has been proven to be the most effective way to prevent diseases like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure e.t.c. Individuals undergoing treatment or therapy are advised to do physical activities like walking, yoga, and other forms of exercise to regain their health.
Living a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous for our health. The heart loves to exercise. It functions best when we are physically active. Whether you work from home, 9 to 5 pm job or a student, endeavour that you make out time at least thrice a week to exercise.
Trekking is a significant way to stay healthy.
Right about now, I will give you tips on you can trek or hike long distance like a professional.
How to Trek Long Distance Like a Pro
- Prepare your Mind for the Trek
- Set A Trekking Target
- Physical Requirement
- Get a Comfy Footwear
- Have a Backup Plan
- Start Small
- Stay Consistent
1. Prepare your Mind for the Trek
To be professional at trekking, you must always prepare your mind for the task. Your brain controls your entire body and determines your physiological thresholds. The first thing you must do before trekking is to resolve within yourself that you can do it. Never get scared about how your body might fail you in the few minutes you’d be trekking.
Just like other forms of exercise, trekking requires that you stay positive and determined. You would not engage any competitor for the trek. You should relax your mind and enjoy yourself. Before I set out for my weekly trek routine, I tell myself that I would complete the task no matter what.
2. Set A Target Distance
It would be absurd to leave your comfy apartment, jump out and start trekking with no direction. You must have a target distance; how far you would want to walk. Trekking without a plan, you’d end up with premium frustration. An athlete during a 200-metre race for Olympic gold medal knows his distance. Before the race, he trains his mind and body for the most efficient way to run the 200 metres in the shortest possible time frame. Whether you’re trekking to a friend’s apartment or engaging in walking exercise, have a target distance in mind.
3. Physical Requirement
Trekking requires physical strength. You wouldn’t want to collapse on the roadside during your trek. It is necessary to be physically fit before you engage in the long-distance trek. Blood sugar powers our body mechanism. It is the sugar unit that enables us to move our muscles to trek. Do not trek on an empty stomach except you are taking a morning or evening walk. During trekking, if you feel dizzy, sit on the floor and call for assistance.
4. Get a Comfy Footwear
It will be a great disservice to yourself to trek with extremely tight footwear. You need footwear that fits your leg comfortably. You can decide to go for sneakers or plastic shoes that do not hurt your toes. Apart from wearing comfy footwear, it is also required you use socks. Socks provide a cushion for your leg. You don’t want to experience pains all over your heels or toes. If you are trekking during a sunny day, use sunglasses and hats.
5. Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes, along the way, it becomes hard to meet up with our target trekking distance. You don’t have to get all worked up because you could not complete the trek. When you set out to walk, ensure you have an alternate avenue to return to your base in case you feel fatigued or dizzy. It is important not to get stranded when you are unable to trek the required distance.
6. Start Small
Trekking is like other sports activities requires that you start small. Trekking requires stamina which you cannot get in just one day or week. You need to trek more often to increase your stamina and trekking threshold. Do not push yourself to the extreme just to complete a trek routine. You may come down with joint pain and end up at the physician’s office. Whatever distance that you decide to trek, your muscle needs time to get used to the pace. Allow every part of your body to work in sync whenever you trek. Start trekking short distance before thinking of entering the big picture.
7. Stay Consistent
The secret to becoming a professional trekker is to have a consistent trekking routine. When you start to trek from a short distance, you have to keep practising to stay fit for trekking long distance. Staying consistent will help to maintain your stamina and ability to trek with ease. You’d observe a tremendous drop in your strength when you try to walk after a long time. It will be like you’re starting all over again from the start.
Trekking is a beneficial physical activity. I highly recommend that you get healthy with trekking.
- What’s the farthest distance you have a trek?
- What’s your experience trekking?