Ask anyone how they feel after a long hike and they will have a different experience. But, most often, hikers are already planning their next trek on the trail down. Once you take the first step on your hiking journey, you won’t want to stop! Take it from us.
Everybody is different. So, while we can’t tell you exactly how you’ll feel after a hike, we can give you a rundown of our usual sensations post-hike, plus some tips to unwind.
At BeWild! Adventures, hiking has helped each of our team grow mentally and physically stronger. As locals to British Columbia, we love nothing more than sharing the landscape’s joys all year round on our Summer Hiking Day Trips and BC Winter Snowshoe Hikes.
Our ethos is that anyone should be able to experience the world’s natural wonders at their own pace. Hiking is not about the finish line, but the journey! If you have any questions about the pace and length of our trips, please get in touch. Our friendly team is always happy to help.
In the meantime, let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of nature’s therapy.
After a Hike, You’ll Feel Exhilarated
There’s nothing like reaching the finish line of your hike. It’s always a thrilling experience to take a refreshing sip of water and look back at the land you’ve covered. Studies have shown that walking improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and improves your mood, meaning hiking is a great way to get fit and enjoy nature.
Whatever the length or level of your hike, the endorphin rush you feel when finishing is your body’s way of saying, “You did it!” You may even feel like you’re ready to go for another few hours! But save that energy for unwinding and relaxing your muscles.
The Pleasantly Tired Post-Hike Feeling
After the physical buzz has worn off and you’re on your way home, feel your limbs become heavy. The ache will start to creep in, so we recommend some gentle stretches to ease out your hips and ankles. Then, jump in a warm bath or shower.
An Epsom salt bath is a great way to unwind mentally and physically. Soaking your body in warm water with salts can help kickstart muscle recovery. That’s why BeWild! gifts hikers with a jar of bath salts for their own post-hike soak. We want you to feel cared for throughout a hike, from start to finish!
It’s also important to rehydrate after a hike, even if you were drinking while walking. Your body has just done a tremendous amount of work, so reward yourself with plenty of fluids, sitting or lying somewhere comfortable, and having a good snooze. A post-hike sleep is one of the best you’ll have!
You’ll Feel Strong After a Hike
While your calves and feet may be sore, knowing that you’ve completed a hike is not only great for personal morale but a reminder of how strong you are. Hiking is a long game. Over time, your strength will build but some hikes will naturally feel harder than others. Don’t worry, this is all par for the course.
When preparing for a hike, there are several things you can do to increase your stamina. Try resistance training focused on your legs, glutes, and core as well as hill intervals in the weeks building up to your hike. Practising breathing techniques is also helpful. The more you can train before, the easier the hike will feel.
An Inner Sense of Calm After a Hike
The feeling of calm that comes from communing with nature is unparalleled. Focusing on your breathing and the next step of the trail becomes easy in a beautiful landscape. Not only does hiking help us to be grounded in the moment, but studies have shown hiking decreases stress levels and anxiety.
At BeWild! pairing yoga with hiking is one of our favourite ways to reconnect to ourselves and the landscape. Our Garibaldi Lake Hike and Yoga is an intermediate, full-day experience. Join an intimate group to practice self-care near the stunning Garibaldi Lake as a pit stop from the hike. No previous yoga experience is required!
Even a short hike in the natural world can remind us there are bigger things than the humdrum of daily life. If you feel like something’s a little off but can’t quite put your finger on it, spending time outdoors can be the revitalising dose of calm you didn’t know you needed.
Understandably, completing a hike leaves people feeling a great sense of accomplishment! Whatever your level, committing and finishing a personal challenge is a big morale booster. While hiking not only makes you happier, it affirms your ability to achieve your goals.
Whether it’s your first or fifth hike, you set yourself a target and achieved it! Even if it was tough, took you longer than you expected, or didn’t go exactly as planned, you showed up for yourself. If you can do something physically hard, that energy will blend into other areas of your life. You’re stronger than you know, in every sense.
What are your favorite post-hike feelings? However you like to hike, British Columbia has a trail for you. Whether you want to disconnect from modern life on a gentle yoga hike or challenge yourself on a multi-day backpacking hike, we hope you’ll find a walk to inspire you to get out into nature.
If you have any questions, why not drop us a line? Our knowledgeable guides visit the splendor of BC for work and pleasure, so we can recommend routes to suit your needs. Or, if you have more general questions, let us know! From the best boots to calf stretches, the team at BeWild! can help.