What does it mean to train your way to reach an improved level of fitness? Essentially you need to push yourself, gradually getting your body to do a bit more than it is used to; to get stronger, to improve your endurance and to shorten the body’s recovery time afterwards. It sounds easy, but it’s hard work.
If you are not accustomed to training, it’s important not to try too much, too soon. Establish a routine, devise a program and take things gradually. Start early, as soon as you have decided to take on Kilimanjaro, and then stick to your program. Even better, take some advice from a fitness instructor. Let them know that you are aiming towards a Kilimanjaro climb, so they can structure a program specifically for your needs.
And remember that away from the gym, or any type of formal exercise, there is plenty you can do on your own. Walking costs nothing and can be done anywhere, so build walking into your daily routine. Build up the distance each time you walk and if you are lucky enough to live near some hills – of any height – use them to get used to climbing and descending. Walking as part of your training is also a great opportunity to check that your boots fit and that they are in good condition. If you can find time, walk good distances on consecutive days, as that is what you will be doing on Kilimanjaro.
There are plenty of different ways of improving your strength and stamina and some climbers will already have a fitness routine. Below, we suggest a number of different types of exercise which can be combined to give you the fitness necessary for your Kilimanjaro climb. Even if you do already exercise regularly, we would ask that you read through these suggestions to ensure that you have a good balance between building strength, increasing your aerobic fitness and improving your stamina. Work hard on these and you’ll have every chance of standing on the Roof of Africa!