Rest, recover & recharge
After a full day’s hiking, particularly on a wet and windy British Autumn day, it’s tempting to relax with a beer and crisps, and snuggle down on a comfy pub sofa. However folks, if you want to be fresh as a daisy the following day, and really make the most of your weekend, here’s my recommendations for a post-hike cool down:
Hydrate – really important to avoid headaches and sore muscles that evening. Yep, you know it, avoid alcohol or try and intersperse non-alcoholic drinks to keep your fluids up. (See our recommendations for the best non-alcoholic beers)
Nourishment – think protein for muscle repair and complex carbohydrates for energy replacement (more to come in future posts about the best foods for this!)
Stretch out (see below)
Warm down with a lovely hot shower, or even better, a soak in the tub
The main muscle groups you’ve been using during the hike are the quadriceps and hip flexors (front of thigh); the hamstrings and gluteals (back of thigh and bottom); the gastrocnemius, soleus and tibialis anterior (calf and shin muscles), and you’ll also have been stabilising your pelvis by activating the abductors and adductors (outer and inner thigh muscles), as well as the muscles which support the spine. I can really feel the outer thigh muscles have worked after a hill walk; the small stabilising muscles round my ankles stiffen too after a particularly precarious scramble. Keep your eyes peeled over the coming months for specific warm down exercises that will help release all of the above!
A few simple stretches can really make a difference to reducing those aches and pains the next morning. I just hold these for about 15-20 seconds each side (leaning on the car or a fence) and then I’m good to go for the evening!
This is a really quick overview of what I do post-hike. Over the coming months, I’ll write in more detail, as it is all well and good getting outside for exercise and fresh air, but the post-care is just as important for your physical wellbeing. To keep up to date with any new posts, by all means subscribe or follow us on: