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Physical preparation
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preparación física camino inca

The routes of the Inca Trail are hard and require physical preparation to perform this activity.

Preparing for the Inca Trail fitness, exercise and heart rate

The preparation for the Inca Trail begins by taking into consideration the physical condition in which you are currently. It is necessary to get organized, specialists recommend to start preparing 6 months before your trek.

Muscles become stronger, if they are trained regularly and above all properly, start with daily walks, so that your muscles will generate resistance, increasing the degree of difficulty little by little; which will gradually strengthen your physical condition and above all will train the heart muscle, making it pump blood more efficiently and have more oxygen.

To be fit to hike, your heart, back, hip and foot muscles must be strong so that you can climb more easily and use less oxygen; therefore, altitude sickness will not affect your body.

Where and how to exercise?

This depends on your lifestyle and where you live. Ideally, you should start taking short walks and climbing stairs, all accompanied by joint rotation exercises if you walk briskly.

The answer depends on your preferences, your lifestyle, and where you live. If you live near pleasant walking and/or running terrain, you should have considerable self-discipline and proper footwear may be all you need. Consider getting a heart rate monitor to make your training more systematic. Try going out with a friend who also wants to get fit: if your training needs and paces are compatible, you will motivate each other.

If brisk walking or running doesn’t work, try to find a combination of activities that you enjoy and can do frequently (three times a week); for example, dancing, cycling, or swimming. Consider going to a gym, where they can monitor your progress and fitness. It is important to complement your training with hikes that contain ascents and descents, in rough terrain. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sessions.

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
People exercising before starting a walk

When and what exercises to do often

You don’t have to become an exercise addict to do these hikes, but you do have to be fit enough to enjoy the experience. Start training well before your departure: if you are not very fit, it is best to start 3 to 6 months in advance. If you smoke, quit at least until after your trip.

The best frequency for training is every other day: the body needs a rest day to extract the maximum benefit from the training session. Three times a week is the goal for a training period. Before leaving, do longer sessions and stop training one to two days before leaving.


By Inca Trail Machu Picchu - Last updated, 26-02-2024

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