At the end of a long day of adventuring, it’s easy to throw down the pack and head straight for a long night’s sleep- only to wake up the next morning, aching and stiff all over. You can make grand adventures without the achy body and extreme stiffness. Take care of your adventuring body with these four simple trick for post-hike body bliss.
Eat up. The perfect post-hike meal combines protein (help muscles recover) and carbohydrates (which help replenish energy stores). Choose foods like a tuna-fish sandwich or chicken over rice that combine both sources of marco-nutrients for an easy way to refuel your body. Refuel and replenish your body within 30-60 minutes, during this time, the body is more efficient at storing glucose stores for energy and building protein in fatigued muscles. Eating directly after your hike, will help you avoid feeling tired and sore.
Slip into a relaxing epsom salt bath. Sinking into a tub of epsom salt can help your body’s skeletal muscles relax by flushing out the lactic acid held there after performing vigorous exercise (long hikes). If the lactic acid is not flushed from the muscles and instead stored, it can lead to delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. After 15 minutes of soaking, your muscles will thank you and feel less stiff days afterward.
Drink up. Water is your bodies’ best friend after a long hike. Water is essential to your bodily functions and muscle function. Aim for 20-24 ounces of water for each hour hiked. Making sure to drink enough water, can ease muscle soreness as well as prevent post hike headaches.
Foam roll. After a day of hiking, do you feel pain on the outside of your thigh that pulls at the side of your knee? This is your IT Band. When this becomes tight, it rubs against the outer knee and can become inflammed, which can be really painful. Make sure you release the tension stored here by foam rolling.
Lie on the foam roller, with the front of your right thigh on the foam roller and left leg off to the side. Turn your body to the left, so the side of your right thigh is on the foam roller, slowly pull your body forward and backward, massaging the IT Band along the right side. When you feel an extra spot of tension, pause. Press into the foam roller for 10 seconds, then continue rolling forward and back. Repeat on the left side.
Thank your body for all the miles with these four simple steps to avoid the after adventure ache and enjoy post-hike bliss.