Pain While Hiking: Here are Tips on How to Prevent

Manage fatigue and muscle pain while hiking

Aches and pains are common while hiking or camping, both during and after walking. Who has not one day felt a sore knee when going downhill? Intense fatigue and muscle pain after a good day of hiking? Leg pain the day after a walk?

Although it affects everyone with varying degrees of intensity, there are nevertheless possibilities to limit this pain or even almost prevent it to apply some tricks.

Adequate equipment and good physical preparation will do most of the work of preventing pain in particular.

Manage fatigue and muscle pain while hiking

Important equipment to avoid pain and pain in the legs

It is often said that a good worker must have suitable tools. It is the same with the hiker. He must have good equipment. Not only it will be more efficient and more comfortable, but it will also be able to protect itself from the inevitable pain associated with walking.

Good shoes for walking

It is important to choose the right shoes suitable for walking, especially in difficult terrain. It is also essential to go on the trails with quality hiking shoes and not sneakers or other unsuitable shoes.

Take the time to analyze the cushioning offered by your pair, its flexibility and its resistance: discover the main criteria for choosing good hiking boots and equip yourself with a model that will last for years.

Adequate socks

The importance of socks in preventing leg and foot fatigue is often overlooked or ignored. However, they are essential for comfortable walking: it is the equipment that is closest to your foot and it is these that ensure all the contacts when you hike.

The hiking socks can be important after and during exercise:

  • During exercise: they provide protection for the foot and prevent overheating and blisters. And they also provide great support which makes it possible to avoid parasitic movements and therefore micro-lesions in large numbers.
  • After exercise: compression socks are ideal for ensuring good recovery and avoiding the traditional pain of heavy legs after prolonged physical exertion. In the event of a hike of several days, they allow a better condition the following days if you wear them for about an hour in the evening after arriving at the stage.

Manage fatigue by moving at your own pace

There is no point in running, you have to start on time. The famous adage reflects one of the fundamental keys to hiking: walking at your own pace. It is from an inappropriate pace that fatigue will come. It’s up to you to find a pace that allows you not to get out of breath, even while speaking.

It is better to opt for a slower pace, which will allow you to walk longer and limit the breaks that would cool your muscles.

And the advice is also valid for group hikes. No need to want to follow the fastest of the team. Let them go ahead, go at your own pace, and you will eventually catch up with them.

Walk with trekking poles

The walking sticks are not a panacea, but if you know how to use them properly, you will get safe and not hit stride. Trekking poles are a good reason not to go without them when deciding to hike regularly. In addition, you will have support that will compensate for errors in the position of the feet.

Finally, hiking poles are essential to avoid having pain in the knees when going downhill: they offer you support that compensates for the efforts of this joint and protects it from tendonitis and other inflammations that can create chronic pain.

Adequate physical preparation so as not to feel too much fatigue and muscle pain

As with any sporting activity, hiking requires a minimum of training and physical preparation. Just because it’s “just walking” doesn’t mean you have to imagine yourself as strong as the others and without warming up and stretching.

Learning to manage fatigue on hikes lasting several days requires essential discipline and almost perfect hygiene of life.

Train gradually to be in good physical condition

Many injuries come from a desire to do “too much”. Too long, too difficult or too often. It is important to progress in your practice of hiking with progressive and measured steps.

Before embarking on 40 km walks in uneven terrain, you should go through 10, 20, and 30 km walks beforehand, which is essential to prepare muscles and joints for prolonged efforts.

In addition, any 2-month cut must be followed by a more or less long progression phase depending on your previous experience.

Warm up to avoid muscle injuries while hiking

An adequate warm-up should precede your walk. It is unthinkable to embark on steep paths without overheating your engine! Even in the event of a fairly easy hike without technical difficulties, take the time to warm up at least a quarter of an hour before setting off. They are essential to give you a little flexibility and will be important at the end of the day when the risk of injury is a little greater.

Stay hydrated against fatigue and muscle pain

Against fatigue and muscle pain, drink water at will, and without waiting to be thirsty.

While walking, you will eliminate water: it is therefore extremely important to hydrate regularly to continue your walk forward without putting too much strain on your body. And to avoid having sore muscles later.

Eat well

Diet is also an important part of how you cope with fatigue. Before leaving home for hiking, bet on a nutritious breakfast, fast sugars, and even starches in order to be of attack. While walking, turn to light foods and energy bars.

Finally, ideally in the hour following the end of the hike, you should eat starchy foods. A good way to replenish quickly your stores of glycogen (the reserve form of glucose). Opt for vitamins, lipids and proteins.

Walk without bothering yourself

To fight fatigue and muscle aches, don’t go too loaded. No need to burden yourself with tons of food and items of all kinds. Bring only what you need and wear your bag correctly. Your back and legs will thank you a few hours later.

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Manage fatigue and muscle pain after a hike

Keep moving to recover

After long hours of effort, the temptation is strong, but don’t sit down right away. To better manage your fatigue, it is important to recover by staying active. Take off your backpack and walk calmly on the flat for about ten minutes. A good way to circulate the blood and relax the muscles a little.

Stretching after the hike

Stretching after a hike is important to avoid sore muscles in the evening or the next morning. This will also act on your tendons by making them work in a gentle way in extension and without shock or jerk.

Another benefit of stretching after hiking is that you will avoid the feeling of heavy legs and sore legs.

By emptying your muscles of your toxins and ensuring consistent and regular hydration after exercise, you make your legs lighter and much less painful after your journey on the trails!

Make massages

Alone or in pairs: a little massage never hurts, especially after a long hike. Massaging your legs will allow better evacuation of toxins in the muscles and reduce the risk of tendonitis.

However, be careful, prefer very ample movements and without forcing.

A moment of pleasant recovery should not be made painful.

Take a cold water bath

Immersing yourself in water at 10 to 15 ° C for ten minutes can do your sore muscles a lot of good, by restoring them to tone. The more cautious can opt for the shower by passing only the jet of water on the legs.

Get a good night’s sleep

After a long day of hiking, nothing beats a good night’s sleep. Ideally, try to go to bed early and leave the TV and screen aside 45 minutes before going to sleep. Don’t scroll social media while lying on the bed. If you do several days of hiking, your night’s sleep should be longer than the duration of your walk the next day. A minimum of 7 hours is recommended.

Train yourself

Your completed hike is not an end in itself. Regular practice, and “good fatigue” will allow your body to get used to these efforts, and to acclimatize better in the following times.

Last point, and arguably the most important: hiking is fun. Get away from it all and don’t focus on fatigue.

Wish nice painless hiking!

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