The Best Natural Post-Workout Recovery Aides
Discover my top 5 recommendations for healing soreness and replenishing your body naturally.
We know we have to work out. It helps us get out of the blues and allows us to have that extra special crunchy sushi roll on Friday night. It allows our bodies to feel stronger, healthier, and more svelte. Exercise gives us stamina, acts as a meditative resource, and fans the flame of self-worth. The more we exercise, the more our bodies grow accustomed to it, allowing the cycle of exercising more often to come easier.
But just like any sort of natural stress we put on our bodies, we must come back to homeostasis somehow. And as much as exercising is fantastic (and mandatory) for our overall well-being, there are certain effects from over-exertion that can sometimes be uncomfortable
Sore quadriceps after that insane mountain hike. Sore biceps from that boxing class you took. Sore hips and back after agreeing to that dance class with your partner.
As much as movement and muscle building workouts promote better health, they also require recovery.
After you work-out, your muscles’ soreness is usually due to a build-up of something called lactic acid. This is generally caused by more rigorous forms of exercise, and is simply a result of pushing yourself beyond the oxygen-fueling levels your body allows for stamina and intense movement. Once you pass the point of breathing normally and start to shake, breathe heavily, and perspire intensely, know you’re probably going to suffer from soreness, or a buildup of that lactic acid.
The good news is there are plenty of natural ways to help break down this acid so your muscles can recover easier and you can feel less pain.
Here are a few you can try now:
Stretch. Easy peasy, soft and squeez-y. Well, not literally, but stretching allows oxygen and blood flow to reach deeper areas of the cells and muscles, giving them a chance to move out the lactic acid build-up. Be sure to stretch post workout, as your muscles need to be warmed up.
Magnesium. Magnesium allows the body to further relax and detox, allowing the liver to easier regulate glucose levels, and process toxins to move them out of the body. Not to mention, Magnesium helps you sleep better and helps move your bowels - it never hurts to be more regular!
Warm bath/soak. Using epsom salts, draw a warm bath and allow the hot water and minerals to soften the skin and muscles. This helps the body to physically relax, allows adequate blood flow to numerous parts of the body to aid in breaking down lactic acid, and overall makes you feel calm.
Massage. This is one of the most crucial steps in helping to promote healthy muscle strength and maintain proper movement in the body. The more we train our muscles, the more they grow and often “stiffen,” which can affect things like flexibility and lead to more tight areas in the body. Massage not only helps to break down lactic acid, it greatly helps restore the body’s natural ability to relax, recover, and helps to strengthen the immune system. And it feels great!
Homeopathy and herbs. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries of humankind has been the power of energetics and herbal remedies. In work-out recovery, I recommend Arnica and CBD, in particular. Arnica acts as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to promote cellular regrowth and movement to areas that have been injured or stressed.
Taking both internal homeopathic Arnica and the topical form is the best way to receive its healing benefits. CBD (or cannabidiol) is the extract from the cannabis plant that has similar properties to Arnica in that it promotes relaxation, healing, is an anti-inflammatory, helps regulate normal cellular function. I recommend Pure Hemp Botanicals for their quality and efficacy.
As a physician, the most effective topical salve I have found to work with is the Sports Recovery Balm, and the Muscle and Joint Balm, by Innate. The product is vegan, and works almost immediately. For best post work-out recovery, I suggest taking an epsom salt bath then applying the Sports Recovery Balm all over the body.
Check out the Innate Recovery Balms Here
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