Spectacular views follow you in the Annapurna region |  <i>Brad Atwal</i>

Recovery tips – easing those aches and pains on your Challenge

Most people spend a lot of time in the lead up to their Challenge training to ensure they are able to complete and enjoy their Challenge. Regardless of the amount of training put into a trek, most people find they have a certain level of ache, pain or strain at the end of each day and after returning from their Challenge. Following a few simple guidelines along the way will help ease your aches and keep your trekking legs strong. 

Cool down on your way into camp

Recovery should start before you reach camp – after all, the last thing you should do when you finish exercising is to stop completely. When you are 5-10 minutes from camp, reduce your pace to a lower intensity to transition your body from activity to a resting state. Allowing your body to gradually cool down will reduce the risk of cramping, as well as removing lactic acid from your muscles. This is especially important in cooler temperatures, when muscle stiffness is much more pronounced.

Stretch

Once you arrive at camp, consider gentle stretching for five minutes to allow your muscles to relax into a resting state. Stretching restores your muscles to their normal length, aiding in their recovery. Focus on the muscles used during the day while you’ve been trekking, such as calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps. Avoid bouncing in and out of the stretch. Move into the stretch until you feel a mild to moderate tension, and hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds.

Eat while setting up camp

Long walks deplete your energy stores. It’s important to refuel to replace this energy, repair tissues and supercharge your recovery process. Take advantage of the 30-45 minute post-exercise window where your body maximizes the absorption of protein, water and carbohydrates, and aim to have a snack while you’re setting up camp for the night. Include some high-quality protein and complex-carbohydrates such as granola, energy bars, nuts. Your body will thank you for it later. 


Rehydrate and replace fluids

You lose a lot of fluid during a long hike. Whilst you should be replacing fluid during the walk, many people are in a dehydrated state to some degree when they arrive in camp. Drinking 1 ½ cups to 2 ½ cups of water per hour for at least 2 hours after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery, as water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in your body. Just remember to reduce your water intake as you get closer to bedtime to limit the amount of times you have to get up in the middle of the night.

 

Rest

You lose a lot of fluid during a long hike. Whilst you should be replacing fluid during the walk, many people are in a dehydrated state to some degree when they arrive in camp. Drinking 1 ½ cups to 2 ½ cups of water per hour for at least 2 hours after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery, as water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in your body. Just remember to reduce your water intake as you get closer to bedtime to limit the amount of times you have to get up in the middle of the night.

Preparation

Being prepared for your Challenge doesn’t just mean training and ensuring you are fit, you also need to consider a few other things including:
Ensure your backpack is sized correctly and avoid carrying a backpack that is too heavy for your frame, or that you are not physically fit enough to carry.
Minimise the risks of sore feet by wearing proper hiking socks and hiking boots that are broken in.
Use trekking poles to assist your muscles. These can be especially worthwhile on uneven terrain or when you need to rock-hop.
While on your Challenge warming up your muscles before you start the trek can do wonders. Stretching can help prepare your body for the day ahead.

Taking these few simple steps can help you to enjoy your Challenge and limit the aches and pains! What are you waiting for? Book your Challenge start training and start your adventure for a cause.


 


 

 

 

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