> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking For Beginners > 6 tips for recovering well after hiking
POSTED BY December 23, 2021

Are you going hiking for several days? Recovery is as important as good preparation! After spending long hours walking the paths, the body may begin to show signs of fatigue. Recovery after exercise is important, especially if you have to set off again the next day. Recovering well after hiking cannot be improvised! So here are our top recovery tips.

West Highland Way Hiking Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Hiking The West Highland Way

1. Rehydrate and eat properly

It may seem obvious… but we often neglect post-hike nutrition!

As for food, it is better to focus on foods that will help us recharge our glycogen reserves just after the hike, such as starches .

The body loses a lot of water during the hike, so it is essential to rehydrate well after the effort (with water, not beer… we get along well!). Fluid intake helps drain and flush waste from the body – and therefore helps limit muscle pain after hiking.

Confused about what equipment to pack for a hike? Check out our post on this subject.

Hillwalk Tours Kerry Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Windy Gap, Kerry Way

2. Stretch

Stretching after hiking will also help rid your muscles of toxins .

But they will also help prevent chronic injuries, such as tendonitis . As you stretch, you will return the muscle fibers to a resting position. They will no longer pull on the tendons, thus limiting the risk of inflammation.

Finally, stretching promotes physical relaxation, for better general recovery.

Flower Hiking Boots Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Well Worn Hiking Boots

3. Use compression socks

Compression socks are to be worn for a few hours immediately after exercise (and not during exercise!).

By compressing parts of the foot and calf, they reduce muscle fatigue and promote the elimination of lactates.

They thus help recovery, by reducing the heavy legs effect and allowing a faster return to optimal performance.

Hiking the Rob Roy Way

4. The cool shower

Start the shower with hot water and gradually lower the temperature. Slowly.

Running cool water on your legs promotes recovery. Cold helps reduce swelling and breakdown of muscle tissue after strenuous exercise. So goodbye aches and pains!

Hiking Dingle Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Slea Head, Dingle Way, Ireland

5. Massages and treatments

Massaging your legs will help you recover well after hiking. Massage helps circulate blood to relax and relieve muscles.

The massages are very good after long efforts, and particularly in the case of hiking over several days.

You can combine leg massages with foot care, which is essential for prolonged comfort while hiking.

Feet a little sore while hiking? Read our footcare guide.

Hadrian's Wall Path Hillwalk Tours
Hiking Hadrian’s Wall Path

6. Sleep well

Sleeping well means giving yourself the necessary time to recharge your batteries, but also giving your body the opportunity to recover well!

Go to bed preferably before midnight. And if we go for a hike of several days, try to sleep for at least 7 hours, in order to give the body the rest time it needs.

Beara Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Dursey Island, Beara Way

Recovering after a hike is not an exact science and it is adaptable to each and the amount of effort put in. But recovering well after the hike will allow you to have less heavy legs, and to have less aches and pains the following days. You will also avoid some injuries, and be much less tired.

We hope that you enjoyed this guide to 6 tips for recovering well after hiking. If you’re interested in taking an independent hiking holiday, just get in touch.