Walking! Yup, that's right, walking!  I never really thought that this was something I had to even think about.  I mean I walk everyday around the house so isn't that enough!  It's normal so it's something that doesn't really matter.  But, it does!  Because you'll be doing a lot of walking and not just during the 5 days of Hajj.  You'll be walking from the moment you leave your home and especially when you get there.

You'll be walking when you do Tawaf and Saee, and that's not all.  Remember you'll be walking to the Haram to pray your five daily Salaah and if your hotel isn't close by, then you may need to walk quite a distance to get to there.

It's really important to get fit and healthy so that you can do this without getting too tired especially in the heat.  And if you're from the UK you won't be used to the high temperatures and the humidity.  It can tire you out so takes things slowly and give yourself enough time so that in the end you're not overdoing things just because you're having to rush.

Talking about tiring yourself out, whilst you're there keep topping up on your vitamins.  You can buy dissolvable Vitamin C tablets over the counter and they taste just like fizzy orange juice.  So sip on that whilst you're there too.  Also if you are taking iron tablets, keep on top of it.  You'll thank me later, as you'll know, low iron makes things a lot more difficult to do.

It's important to maintain your health as much as you can.  If you're taking any medication try to take them regularly, even if they are just iron tablets!  If like me you skip them because they make you constipate, TMI I know, but I've got to say this, take them with a glass of orange juice and trust me, you'll be fine!

I know we don't always notice how eating junk food can really take it's toll on your health but do try to cut back on it before you go and opt for more healthier foods.  Try to eat a balanced diet because you'll really notice the benefits later.  Think about it this way, you want to try to keep your wudhu for as long as possible and junk food ain't gonna help you do that!

Another incentive for you to want to maintain your physical health, apart from being able to perform Hajj with ease, is the climb up Mount Hira.  I'm sure it's one of the things you'd love to tick off your bucket list and be able to climb to the top whilst you have the chance.  It's a tough trek up and definitely makes you wonder how our Prophet Muhammad PBUH managed to do it. 

Back to the topic of walking, and in particular ME doing the walking, here's something you might like to know.    

When I went, all I wore were flip flops!  Even during the long walk from the Jamarat to Makkah and back to Mina again.  I didn't understand why people had pumps/trainers with them because I'd always worn flip flops.  But it wasn't until the last day of Hajj that I realised it would have been a good idea to have had some proper footwear for walking.  You can do it in flip flops but it's not great for your feet.  You can't really tell at the time but it hurts after you're done walking and you finally sit down.  That's when the pain starts, so a good pair of trainers or pumps is essential.  Don't take brand new ones as you really don't want to be getting any blisters.  Take the ones you already wear, but if like me you don't own any, then buy them now and wear them in!

Also something you may not know, is that during the last few days of Hajj, once everyone has cut their hair and taken off their Ihrams, things can get a little unclean.  Walking around in flip flops is not going to be ideal or hygienic as many people cut their hair on the roadside and leave the razors and hair lying around.  Even though there are plenty of signs telling you not to do this, unfortunately, not everyone abides by these rules.  So it's a good idea to wear footwear that covers your feet to stay on the safe side.

So now that I've been able to give you a little information about how to prepare yourself physically for Hajj, I'm going to move onto how you can mentally prepare yourself too.

Shall we?

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