Mount Fuji is a timeless mountain climbing destination that should diffidently not be missed if you are visiting Japan. It is also one of the country’s three holy mountains, and a distinguished landmark, both for its cultural and spiritual significance, as for its spectacular beauty.
Mt. Fuji is also one of the most famous uniquely cone-shaped volcanoes in the world. The distinctive cone shape features of Mt. Fuji provide a challenge for many hikers, including severe elevation gains, rapidly changing weather and steep inclines. There is a 20 degrees difference in temperature from the base of Mt. Fuji to the summit of Mt. Fuji. The climb is unlike any high-altitude quest one will ever encounter.
Mt. Fuji is a distinctly triangle-conical shaped Mountain.
One of the unique features of climbing a volcanic cone is almost immediately after starting your Mt. Fuji climb you will be hiking uphill. Depending on your health and fitness Mt. Fuji climb can be an extremely challenging hike for some. For those who are attempting to climb Mt. Fuji for the first time and not used to hiking a high altitude cone-shaped volcano, we have prepared a practical and useful fitness guide to help you get physically and mentally prepared to fully engage in your Mt. Fuji hike, because the more prepared and equipped you are for the hike the more enjoyable the hike will be.
Hiking at altitude can mess you up: so adjust your expectations
Simply put the lack of oxygen at high altitude causes an increase in the breathing depth and rate increasing the demand on the heart, adrenaline and artery pressures.
Points to Remember -
The better your cardiovascular fitness, the better prepared you will be to cope with the physical demands of hiking at altitude
Good cardiovascular fitness will improve your stamina
The cold also affects your cardiovascular system
So, with this in mind, it is definitely worth improving your cardiovascular fitness prior to your Mt. Fuji climb. The aim of cardiovascular exercise is to get your heart and lungs working hard for extended periods.
Recommendations Pre-Hiking -
start to increase (or introduce) cardiovascular training at least 8-6 weeks prior to your Mt. Fuji Climb
aim for 3 - 4 cardiovascular sessions a week. These sessions should last at least 20 - 60 minutes in duration and ideally you should be working at around 60% - 70% of your maximum heart rate
ensure your training has variety and is progressive; each week try and up your pace, vary your workouts, introduce interval training and vary the length of the workouts that you are doing e.g. mix and match shorter 20-minute sessions with long bike rides and hill walks
outdoor examples of cardiovascular exercise include running, cycling and stair climbing or hill hiking (add a weighted backpack (10~20 Kgs) and try ankle weights for more resistant.
in the gym you can use the treadmill, bike or cross-trainer to work on your cardiovascular system, as well as introducing circuits and aerobic type classes.
Other Considerations -
To further help you acclimatize and to help to enhance the functioning of cardiovascular system, take into account the following when you are at altitude:
You need to get mentally prepared that it’s going to be harder
Consider your diet (Travel light - and not just your packsack but your body weight as well - losing just a couple of pounds/kgs before you hike will make a world of difference)
stay well hydrated. Mountain air is extremely dry and therefore you lose a lot of water. You need to drink a lot more than you think in the mountains
it is best to limit alcohol consumption before and during the acclimatization period as it increases your risk of dehydration and can increase feelings of loss of appetite and fatigue
if you have a pre-existing cardiovascular disorder it is worth talking to your Doctor before ascending to a high altitude
if you suffer from headaches, sickness and decreased appetite at altitude, your body needs more time to adapt so don't overdo it, especially when you first start hiking.
an initial decline in appetite is not uncommon so think about what you are eating. A high carbohydrate, low salt diet allows for better adaptation. Choose slow release carbohydrates rather than refined sugary snacks and meals that help to keep your blood sugars steady e.g. whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables