Even if people in amazing shape experience some post hiking fatigue. When planning how to recover from a long hike, make sure you have the time and supplies to take care of yourself. Taking some time the day of your hike and in the days after can speed up your recovery and get you excited for your next trek down the trails.
1. Cool Down and Stretch After the Hike
Most people are aware of the need for warming up before athletic activity. But, cooling down afterward is every bit as important. Don’t just drop your pack and slump by the fire (as much as you might want to). Instead, taper your pace and take some time to walk slowly along a relatively flat surface.
After five to 10 minutes of relaxed walking, put down your pack and stretch. Focus on the muscles that you use most when hiking like your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Stretching after activity can help cut the soreness you feel later on.
2. Have a Post Hike Snack and Something to Drink
Hydration and refueling after a hike are vitally important to recovery. Sip water gently to avoid cramps. While everyone’s needs are different, at least two cups after you finish is a good rule of thumb. You’ll also need to take in some calories. Your body burns glycogen stores as fuel, and may also pull proteins from muscles. A high protein and carbohydrate snack can help restore what you’ve used and aid in your recovery.
What to eat:
Hard-boiled eggs, crisp cooked bacon, foil packs of tuna, mackerel or chicken can all help meet your protein needs. Pair this with high carb choices like crackers, quick oats, or fresh fruit.
3. Take Care of Your Feet
Taking good care of your feet can go a long way toward reducing aches, pains, and injuries after hiking. Pull your shoes off right away. They provide support while hiking, but can be constricting after your hike is done.
If your shoes are wet, take the time to remove them and hang them to dry. This is especially critical if you’re going on a multi-day hike and will be putting them back on the next day. Blisters are more likely to form in wet shoes. Note: always bring an extra pair of socks to change into should your original pair get wet.
Moisturize and exfoliate your feet. This will help minimize callouses, and ensure that your shoes are more comfortable. While you are at it, give yourself a foot massage. Massaging increases blood flow and will cut down on aches and pains.
4. Use CBD to Soothe Post Hiking Fatigue and Soreness
Sometimes it takes a day or two for muscle soreness to set in. If you find that you are experiencing serious discomfort, a little TLC goes a long way. Soak in a hot tub or apply warm compresses to areas that feel especially sore and tight. If you have any injuries or swelling, cold compresses can be better.
If you’re new to CBD, here are a few resources to get you started:
A good muscle salve can help with both muscle pain relief and healing. Our CBD Salves leverage the soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabidiol to ease soreness and help your muscles recover. For more severe pain, an over-the-counter painkiller can help.
Giving yourself a bit of pampering after a hike can make all the difference in how quickly you recover. Pay attention to your body, and make sure that you don’t overextend yourself. Making sure that you don’t get bogged down with a long recovery means that you’ll be on the trail that much quicker, ready to see what else is out there.