Hiking is a great way to explore the outdoors, get some exercise, and to clear your mind. But, after a long and strenuous hike, your body may feel tired and sore.
Recovery after hiking is essential to ensure your body can bounce back and prepare for your next adventure. Here are 5 ways to recover after your next hike.
1: Hydrate & Refuel:
We can’t talk about recovery without talking about hydration. The average adult human body is about 60% water. After a long hike, you’ve probably lost a decent amount of water through sweat, and your body has depleted its energy stores. The intensity of your day out will dictate just how much water you need to drink to recover. And we can’t forget electrolytes. They’re essential minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Electrolytes regulate muscle contractions. After a day out hiking, your body will lose minerals. You need to maintain certain levels of these minerals for optimum function and recovery.
2: Drink During Your Hike:
And now thanks to technology, you don’t even have to stop to drink. Hydration packs and vests from Salomon make it super easy to drink when you’re on the move. With a hydration pack, you have a bladder in the pack or bag and a tube feeds the water from the bladder to you. And most hydration packs double up as a backpack. One of the most important things you can do to recover from your hike is to drink water during your hike.
3: Stretch & Massage:
Have you heard of DOMs? Well it stands for Delayed Onsite of Muscle Soreness. Basically, when you exercise, you can get tiny tears in your muscle fibres. This is why after a tough hike or trail run your muscles can feel stretched or tight. Stretching and massaging your muscles after a hike can help to reduce soreness and improve flexibility because they help bring oxygen rich blood to the area. Take some time to stretch out your legs, hips, shoulders and back. You can also use a foam roller or a massage ball to work out any knots or tight spots in your muscles. This will help to increase blood flow and promote healing. There are tons of videos on Youtube to get you started.
4: Take a Rest Day:
Your recovery is dependent on your actions after your hike. Naturally, if you do a tough hike on Saturday it’s not ideal to do an even tougher hike on Sunday. Your body needs time to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, and a rest day can give your body the opportunity to do so. Take a day off. Go for a walk on the beach to keep blood flow moving or go for a swim. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself.
5: Get Enough Sleep:
Your body repairs itself during sleep, so it's crucial to get enough rest after a hike. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to give your body the time it needs to recover and prepare for your next hike. And what if you can’t sleep? Well, there’s emerging anecdotal evidence to suggest a couple of nights camping outdoors may help reset your circadian rhythm. Check out our tents and camping accessories if you’re planning to go camping this summer.
So to sum up, recovery after your hike is essential to ensure your body can rest and be ready to go again for another day on the hills. Of course we could have given you 15 ways to recover after your next hike but we wanted to focus on the basics. By taking these steps, you’ll minimize injury which gets you back on the trails again in no time.