Beyond doing our best to eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay on top of our foam rolling and stretching regimens, there are many incredible alternative holistic methods to speed recovery and heal the mind & body to accelerate results. Here are 5 you can swear by.
1. Cold Water Immersion
Adopting cold water immersion as a daily practice may sound a bit far out for some, but for those that are trying to improve their current level of health and fitness, its benefits have proven it undoubtedly worthwhile.
Upon stepping into a cold shower, lake or waterfall, the increased circulation we experience due to the cold water reduces inflammation; and the constriction of blood vessels begins speeding up tissue repair.Once you step out of the cold, blood-flow returns to normal, bringing fresh nutrients to inflamed areas and giving you a fantastic endorphin rush.
Overall, it helps with a lot more than muscle soreness. It is touted for its abilities to boost metabolism, aid in weight-loss and strengthen the immune system so illness doesn’t interrupt your goal-getting.
Another option is to try contrast showers, by switching from hot to cold every 5 minutes. If you want to go to bed, end it on a hot note. If you want to wake up and feel revitalized, end it on the cold!
On the opposite end of the hydrotherapy spectrum, enriching your evening hot bath with Epsom salts (or any mineral bath salts that include Magnesium) can be both highly relaxing and equally beneficial to anyone physically active.
This mineral is best absorbed through the skin as you take a bath, and is known for its abilities to quicken muscle recovery, aid in the absorption of vitamins & minerals in the body and help regulate nerve & muscle function (which I’m sure you can imagine may be important when it comes to the steps necessary to improve fitness).
Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt is a favorite of mine as it contains Magnesium as well as Calcium and Zinc, which additionally help to detoxify the body and exfoliate the skin; not awful perks!
Plus the Lavender inside acts as the perfect boost to your healing mission, lessening muscle & joint pain, helping to balance the mind by reducing stress & anxiety and by promoting great sleep.*
Without it, the consequences of sleep deprivation range from fatigue and increased hunger as our hormones are thrown out of whack, to lack of focus and willpower.
There are several aromatherapy essential oils that that help relieve stress and promote quality sleep. Lavender, Bergamot, Jasmine, Sweet Majoram, Chamomile and Sandalwood are a few effective personal favorites.
Invest in an aromatherapy diffuser. The PureSpa Essential Oil Diffuser pictured above is available here for cheap.
Of course having a massage therapist for a roommate is optimal, but self-massage is just as effective if not better at times.
The calves can be a chronically tight muscle for most of us. Slowly kneading the calves at night in bed or in a hot bath can be one of the most effective ways to work out knots and loosen up tight areas.
Massage arms, legs, and get tough-to-reach spots like the upper back and tight hips with a tennis ball.
This Kneipp Beautiful Shape Body Oil is a wonderful option for massage.*
The smell is so irresistible that I welcome and cherish my evening massages (and not just because they feel great, because I’m sure you know if you’ve ever tried; they also take some work)!
Beyond enticing you to massage your body forever just for the pure smell of this stuff, this body oil contains sandalwood which can have a sedative effect, inducing relaxation, calmness and a renewed inner vision.
And the grapeseed oil inside helps to increase circulation and speed tissue repair as well.
The challenge of improving your lifestyle is a mind game just as much as it is a physical game.
You take the advantage the second you become skillfully able to focus all your attention on your goals. Whether that be getting to your workout or staying actively engaged throughout.
Your body does what your mind tells it to.
It’s easy to get distracted during workouts, but as a consequence we lose our ability to exercise with proper breathing, tempo, and form; all vital keys in getting the most out of out workouts.
Practicing meditation not only allows us to muffle the sounds of the outside world and distractions of the mind so that we can perform better, but it’s well known to reduce stress, lower depression and help you sleep better too.
*Not an ad. I have not been compensated for recommending any products mentioned. All opinions in this article are my own and I only recommend products I’ve tried & loved myself. The Kneipp team was kind enough to send me these with no expectation of anything return, and these products have just happened to become staples in my self-care regimen.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I do hope you get some use out of these methods that have been so valuable for me.
If you have any questions, suggestions or thangs you’d like to know, don’t forget to drop a line in the comments down below!