As an athlete, you know that pushing yourself to your limit, developing your skill and always looking for new ways to improve are some of the most effective ways to achieve your goals. However, existing in that place of pushing your limits continually can, over time, begin to wreak havoc on your body. You may find yourself needing more time to recover after a hard workout or an event, just because your body needs to spend more time and energy restoring itself after working so hard to help you achieve your goals.
Luckily, there are many natural products on the market today that are easy to incorporate into your recovery routine and daily self-care, which can help your body to maintain its performance at a high level. Your body is your greatest friend and ally – take care of it, and it will reward you with amazing feats for years to come.
CBD, or hemp extract, is a newer natural product on that market that has shown some promise in reducing stress and anxiety, and aiding the user in reconnecting with the physical world around them. One popular technique for utilizing CBD and enjoying its benefits is to inhale the beneficial compounds through CBD vape and CBD joints.
Vaping allows the cannabinoids in CBD to enter the bloodstream immediately, creating immediate effects in the body and mind. It also protects your lungs from inhaling smoke and has been described as a healthier alternative to smoking CBD or hemp flower.
CBD oil, when ingested, is metabolized by the liver and, over time, will deliver the effects to the entire body. This is a good technique for those who want the therapeutic effects of CBD to sink into the body and mind gradually, without making an impact immediately. You can also add CBD or hemp flower to your recipes – one of the most popular ways to do so is to infuse butter with your CBD or hemp flower and then cook with it. CBD-infused gummies are also a popular option for ingesting CBD – and they come in so many fun flavors!
CBD lotion and other infused skincare products allow the cannabinoids to interact directly with the blood vessels in the skin (after all, the skin is our largest organ!) and enter the bloodstream. Many people also choose to rub CBD-infused skincare products on their hands or feet to experience an immediate relaxing effect and can be especially beneficial when combined with therapeutic massage.
Therapeutic massage is an excellent maintenance method to add to your post-workout routine, or when you have been training hard for an event. A trained massage therapist will be able to incorporate deep tissue techniques to assist your body with detoxifying its tissues and recovering after strenuous activity.
We have all experienced the unfortunate and painful realization when waking up in the morning and feeling a cramp or an aching muscle from a workout the day before that may have gone a little too far. Making regular massage a part of your self care routine can be an incredible boon to your performance as an athlete, no matter if you are a runner, a cyclist, or a long-distance hiker.
You can also utilize some simple massage techniques at home, as well. This can be especially helpful when you can’t get in to see your massage therapist as often as you’d like, or just for daily body maintenance to ensure that your muscles are getting the help they need to regenerate. Self-massage techniques, whether you use a special tool, heat and ice, or just simple pressure, can make all the difference when training for a big event and during the days after you’ve performed.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful, easy way to assist your body with recovery, and they are very portable, so you can bring them anywhere you’re training! Essential oils work with the limbic system, transferring the beneficial properties of plants directly into the brain and bloodstream, and creating an internal environment that’s conducive to healing. Once your internal environment is set up for success, your muscles and tissues will be able to more effectively detoxify and regenerate themselves after a hard workout.
Certain essential oils are also especially helpful for supporting the physical body as well as the mental and emotional state of the user. Peppermint and eucalyptus work to “wake up” the body and promote healthy blood flow. They are also very helpful to utilize for pain relief, and when applied to the skin with a carrier oil, can make an incredible difference in muscle aches and pains.
Lavender is a fantastic essential oil to use when you need to clear your head and focus, as it immediately reduces stress and anxiety, clearing the mental clutter and making it possible to be present with whatever you are working on in the moment. Tea tree oil is an all-around “first aid kit” essential oil, and can be used to disinfect and protect your feet, hands, and skin from bacteria, viruses or fungal infections.
Another easy way to assist your body with recovery after an intense workout or event is to enjoy sea salt bath – and if you choose to incorporate essential oils here as well, you multiply the benefits!
Soaking in warm water with sea salt relaxes your musicals, tendons and ligaments, and allows freshly oxygenated blood to flow in and out of every area that may be hurting after a performance. The minerals in the sea salt also aid the body in its detoxification process, cutting down on potential aches and pains from overuse or strenuous activity.
Finally, as we all know, adequate sleep is essential for health – mental, physical and emotional. If you aren’t sleeping well at night, there is no way for your body to have the time and space it needs to heal and restore itself. Incorporating essential oils (especially relaxing ones like lavender or sandalwood) and sea salt baths can assist you with winding down at night and preparing yourself for a night of deep rest and relaxation. You can even give yourself a simple foot massage before bed to really set the mood for restoration and healing!
No matter which of these techniques you choose to incorporate into your routine, your body will thank you. Making sure to take care of your body will allow you to perform your best and do what you love for years to come!