Making sure you recover properly after your hike or multi-day adventure is essential to replenish energy stores and repair tissues which have been damaged.
Within 2 hours after the event... Refuel
If you do not replenish reserves you can start to feel sick and unable to eat anything, therefore depriving your body of the nutrients and energy it needs to repair itself. You should aim to eat a meal that includes a high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate within the first hour.
Your likely to become dehydrated, even if you did manage your water intake during the activity. Metabolic function and nutrient transfer depend on water so you should aim to drink plenty over the next few hours.
Cold Water Dip
Strenuous exercise can leave your muscles swollen and sore. 'Icing' your legs in a cold stream for 5-10 minutes can help. By doing so should reduce swelling and the breakdown of tissue.
As you sleep, your body produces growth hormone which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair. By wearing compression leggings whilst you sleep will help to reduce muscle inflammation and stiffness.
2 days after the event... Stretch
Make sure you have a good stretch, this can help protect you from injury. Pay particular attention to stretching out the quads and shoulders, back and neck if you were carrying a heavy load.
Low Intensity Exercise
If you gave yourself a challenge, it's likely you'll be feeling sore and stiff, more so two days after your adventure. Don't let that stop you moving; by doing low-intensity exercise like a light jog, swim or bike ride, you can help reduce stiffness and improve muscular circulation, thus promoting nutrient and waste transportation through the body.
Massage helps to accelerate your recovery and improve your circulation. A sports massage from a pro is the most affective. You can also try massaging yourself using a foam roller. You should be able to feel the difference between a bit of stiffness to a pain that makes you move awkwardly which could lead to injury. If you suspect a injury, see your doctor.