You’ve just spent all day tramping across all sorts of terrain. You’re covered in aches and pains, but you feel good. It’s great getting out into the wilds again and blowing those cobwebs out after spending so much time inside. You slump down and you’re done for the day. Pause right there. You’ve just made your first mistake when it comes to post hike recovery. Let’s break down what you need to do to not feel like an broken human being the next day.
1. Prepare Ahead of Time
If your knees get absolutely annihilated on the downhill slog, pack some painkillers and knee braces. Keep anti-blister plasters on hand and hand and feet warmers around if you know you’re going to get cold.
2. Take Only the Essentials
Gear weight is a major factor in determining how long and far you are able to go for during a hike. Maybe don’t take your pet brick with you.
3. Drink & Eat Before You Get Thirsty
By the time your body tells you it’s hungry, it’s already too late. Nibble something throughout the day and take frequent sips of water to keep your body running at maximum efficiency.
4. Slow Transition
Rather than flopping over and giving up at the end of a hike, slowly transition out of the activity. Consider it a warm up in reverse. This gives your muscles, heart rate and body temperature time to acclimate.
We recommend spending 10 minutes stretching your back and shoulders and work your way down your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
5. Eat Within An Hour Of Finishing
Your body starts rebuilding glycogen and muscle proteins directly after physical activity. Eating in the 45 minute window after you’ve finished your hike can aid the process and get you into peak condition quicker. Crack into some carbs and protein for optimal muscle repair.
6. Treat Your Feet Right
After you’re done with your stretches and wind-down, pop your shoes off and air them out. They need it! Also go ahead and give yourself a foot massage while you’re at it. Don’t forget to wear the right gear to begin with!
7. Keep Moving
The day after your expedition, you might still be tempted to stop moving if you’re feeling some aches and pains. Don’t fall to temptation, try and do some light exercise (nothing too intense) to keep your blood flowing and stretch tight muscles.
Now repeat this for the rest of your existence.