Whether it's between each stage of your multi-day trek, after a long day of hiking, or a short hike with the family, It is essential to do what is necessary to benefit from optimal physical and physiological recovery.

Why is proper recovery after a hike important ?

Leg pain, various muscle aches, fatigue... it is not uncommon to experience these kinds of discomforts after a hike. The importance of good recovery is to prevent and/or reduce several harmful effects, and allow you to get more physical benefits from your hike:

  • To minimize muscle soreness, tension, and cramps
  • Reduce the feeling of heavy legs
  • Optimizing the repair of microlesions
  • Reduce overall fatigue

Whether you have planned a new hiking session or another sport activity the next day or in the following days, You will feel more efficient, less tired and you will be less likely to get injured if you perform the right actions to properly recover after a hike.

Now that you know why, it's time to tell you how! So here are some tips for setting up a recovery "routine.", whose intensity must be adapted to that of the effort provided, as well as your sports level.

During the hike

Yes! Contrary to what one might think, good recovery after a hike starts during the hike itself !

To stretch

During the hike, during breaks, Perform stretching exercises called "passive".. This involves gradually stretching the tense muscles, mainly those in the legs (thighs and calves), without forcing, and holding the stretch for about 20 seconds. The tension should then be slowly released.

Respecting your own pace

In a group, we are often tempted to want to follow everyone. But a pace that doesn't suit your rhythm will tire out your muscles and make you out of breath more quickly. So listen up! Choosing a slower pace will allow you to space out the breaks during which your muscles cool down, and preserve your energy reserves. There's no point in rushing, it's better to start at the right time !

Hydrate properly.

During the hike, don't wait until you're thirsty to drink! Hydrating your body as it uses up its reserves is essential. The loss of hydration can vary depending on the weather conditions, the duration of the walk, the elevation changes, or even the equipment. But as a general rule, It is recommended to drink small amounts of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

Eating properly

Just like with water, it is necessary to replenish your reserves as your body uses up energy. But during the hike, Prefer light and nutrient-rich foods, necessary during physical exertion: fruits, dried fruits, and semi-whole grains for carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs for proteins. Energy bars can also be suitable. Travel light. The heavier your bag, the worse your endurance will be. Therefore, avoid overloaded bags and only carry what is necessary, or even essential. Moreover, hikers with the lightest bags are also the least prone to injuries !

After hiking, during recovery

Active recovery, what is it ?

After several hours of effort, one would rather feel like settling comfortably and not moving anymore. But to recover well, it is better to stay active by making gentle to moderate efforts: a few steps on flat ground for about ten minutes right after the hike, a leisurely walk or a light jog the next day...

This allows to relax the muscles, activate blood circulation, and help eliminate toxins.

Stretch again.

To alleviate muscle pain after a hike, Stretching is very effective.. They allow the muscle fibers to rest. Your muscles relax rather than continuing to work unnecessarily., and the tendons that connect muscles to bones will no longer be stressed, thus avoiding inflammation. It is important to focus on the muscles most used during hiking, such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. If you are walking with a backpack, You can also stretch your back and neck.

Depending on the intensity of your effort, do them right after your hike (especially if you are taking the car to go back home), or a few hours later if the effort was extreme. Make sure the exercises are done... Do not be painful so as not to hurt yourself. It's more about loosening up than stretching per se. Do another stretching session just before going to bed.

Continue to stay well-hydrated.

But forget about the so-called beneficial beer after exercise! Indeed, alcohol is the enemy of muscle recovery. Contrary to what many believe, it prevents the elimination of toxins and lactic acid. Alcohol therefore lengthens the recovery period.. Drink water or other hydrating beverages regularly in the hours following the end of your hike. This way, you will eliminate a maximum of toxins while replenishing your mineral reserves. And hey, non-alcoholic beer is allowed ;-)

Replenish your energy reserves by eating.

What do people usually eat in mountain huts during long hikes? Starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes... And it's not for nothing! To compensate for the effort made during the hike, the body first draws on glycogen reserves, a molecule that provides glucose to fuel the muscles. This is therefore the first stock to replenish. Next come the protein reserves found in meats, lipid reserves found in fats, and vitamin reserves found in fruits and vegetables, among others.

The ideal is to do a meal consisting mainly of starchy foods within an hour after hiking. Indeed, during this first hour after exertion, The body has less effort to make in order to quickly replenish glycogen reserves.


Massages allow... an activation of blood circulation, increased relaxation of muscles and tendons, and better elimination of toxins. To enhance the massage and increase its effectiveness, you can use a special recovery cream. Perform a gentle and consistent massage to avoid hurting yourself. Whether you are alone or with someone else, treat yourself to this little moment of relaxation without moderation !

The benefits of cold water

Much less appealing than the massage, Running your muscles under cold water will facilitate your recovery just as effectively! Indeed, cold water lowers the body temperature, prompting the body to send oxygenated blood to the tissues. The cold also activates the nervous system, increasing the levels of certain molecules in the blood. This results in faster regeneration of muscle fibers and an increased sense of well-being. Ideally, a bath of lukewarm to cold water is beneficial, but a shower can be equally effective, even if focused solely on the legs !

Sleep well

Muscle fibers are restored during the deep slow-wave sleep phase, Under the action of growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland. This hormone plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins that will contribute to the regeneration of all tissues. The muscle relaxation that occurs during the REM sleep phase then promotes recovery and the elimination of toxins.

This is why good quality sleep allows for faster recovery. As a general rule, it is recommended to sleep at least 7 hours per night, knowing that an adult needs to sleep. between 7 and 9 hours in total.

Training regularly

Your body will be better prepared and will recover more easily if you engage in regular physical activity. So don't hesitate to plan hikes throughout the year !

Using compression socks

Socks with a gentle, yet effective compression level ensure better blood circulation. This promotes muscle oxygenation and reduces the risk of cramps. You will thus gain in comfort and performance., and this allows you to recover better after hiking ! Now that you know how to recover properly after a hike, you have no more excuses not to go for it !

We do not sell compression socks unfortunately. You can easily find them at our dear competitors ;-)