This week I am posting on my friend Lauryn’s site about natural ways to reduce stress, so the natural ways theme has been on my mind even more so than usual. Why use something synthetic to ease pain when your body can thrive from functional, natural behaviors and products?
As I get ready to walk the 3 Day for breast cancer in September, I have started thinking ahead about a plan for muscle fatigue. After all, walking 20 miles three days in a row sure is bound to leave us all feeling fatigued! Whether you are walking the 3 Day, running a marathon, or just beginning an exercise regimen, there are some simple pointers for getting rid of sore muscles the natural way, so you do not end up in pain and you do not need to buy medicine or other unnecessary chemicals. Here is a plan of action, based on natural ways to get rid of sore muscles:
Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D. Research shows a definitive link between vitamin D levels and muscle efficiency. It is best to get it through a balanced diet, because sometimes taking a vitamin D2 supplement can decrease levels of vitamin D3 in the body.
Check your sneakers. Have a professional at a running store check your stride and measure your feet. If you are not wearing the right footwear your alignment can be thrown off, thus creating pain in the legs, neck and back. My friend Trina shares her tips on how to find the perfect sneaker here.
Get a massage, or at the very least, massage the area yourself.Massage is one of the best ways to improve blood flow and alleviate muscle soreness after exercise. Massage is so effective that it can even improve vascular function in people who have not exercised.
Don’t waste time sitting in ice water. Contrary to popular opinion, dunking in a tub of ice water after exercise may not be as effective as previously thought. And for those of us who have dunked in ice water know that it is, well, particularly painful, especially in those first few moments of shock to the system. So the theory no pain, no gain, may not hold true after all.
Drink the water instead. Good hydration is vital to helping muscles contact and relax properly. So inadequate fluid intake can be a likely cause of muscle fatigue and cramping, as well as those Charlie Horse cramps in your calves that wake you up in the middle of the night. Hydrating properly can aid in muscle performance and muscle recovery.
Drink watermelon juice too. That’s right. Watermelon juice is gaining quite the good reputation, according to new research, for being able to relieve post-exercise muscle soreness.
Use esssential oils. Of course I would include this tip! Instead of those nasty smelling chemical-filled muscle rubs, use all the natural stuff instead. Some of the most commonly used oil for soothing sore muscles include Angelica, Basil, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Deep Relief and PanAway. Some people also recommend Peppermint as a mild analgesic. Depending on which oils you use, they can be diluted with a carrier oil such as castor oil or jojoba oil and massage into muscles. PanAway cand Deep Relief can be used neat, meaning without a carrier oil. They can also be used in combination with one another. Here are a few commonly used combinations:
- Add 1 part PanAway, Peppermint and Basil to 4 parts carrier oil
- Add 1 part PanAway and Angelica to 4 parts carrier oil
- Add 1 part Basil, Black Pepper and Cardamom to 5 parts carrier oil
For more information about healing with essential oils, head on over to YoungLiving.com. You will not be disappointed.
And always remember to stretch. Stretching not just for warming up, it is an important remedy for tight muscles too. Stretch before and after exercise, especially new exercises or ones that you have not done in a while.
Say goodbye to sore muscles!
Please note that essential oils are not evaluated by the FDA and therefore are not regulated to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. There are affiliate links in this post.