Essential Oils for Pre-Workout Energy and Post Workout Muscle Pain
Post-workout muscle pain can be debilitating, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve worked out. If you’re experiencing muscle pain after a workout, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to relieve it. Keep reading.
Essential oils are concentrated plant oils obtained by distillation from plants, flowers, fruit, bark, and other botanicals.
Aromatherapy Uses in Fitness
If you work out daily, you may face physical and emotional problems that disrupt your training regimen. If your training regimen coincides with your everyday employment, poor energy may be a problem.
You may also encounter, muscle fatigue, injury, or general inflammation because of your workouts. Aromatherapy offers a low impact non-invasive method to manage these symptoms and others.
Aromatherapy employs several types of delivery systems. Diffusers, vaporizers, body mists, and incense allow the scents of essential oils to permeate the air imparting their mental and emotional benefits to the user.
A few drops the desired essential oil may be placed on a cloth and allowed to evaporate into the air.
- Lavender, sandalwood, and rose geranium are noted for their calming effects.
- The scents of cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, and rosemary combat low energy.
When using essential oils to treat physical problems, the delivery system needs to be appropriate for the type of injury or discomfort and its location.
Ointments, massage oils and bath salts containing essential oils are a few of the methods used to treat the body aromatherapeutically. As with their scents, essential oils’ therapeutic qualities determine which oils are used to treat physical injury or discomfort.
- For example, eucalyptus oil is cooling, black pepper, ginger oils are warming, and lavender soothes muscle aches.
The concentrated nature of essential oils makes it necessary to dilute them in a carrier substance like oils or water. Carrier oils include seed and nut oils like almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba, grapeseed, shea butter or olive oil to name a few.
Workout Essential Oil Suggestions
Generally speaking, when using essential oils pre-workout, the objectives are to facilitate breathing, circulation and prepare the muscles for prolonged activity.
The following oils may be blended or used alone by combining with water in a spray bottle or a light carrier oil to massage them into the skin and muscles. Always remember to shake your aromatherapy mixture when using water as a carrier. The oils separate from the water and float to the top. Placing most essential oils on the skin directly will burn the skin and they should not be not ingest them.
Improving Respiration and Preparing Muscles for Prolonged Activity
Essential oils that may be used as inhalants to improve respiratory performance and circulation. They may be used individually or mixed together.
- Rosemary Oils
- Hold the bottle several inches away from the nose and take several deep breaths, between five and six breaths, retaining the last breath for one count.
- Exhale slowly. Make the exhale a bit longer than the original inhalation.
Using essential oils in this way supports the respiratory system, improving the quality of breath and increasing blood flow in the body. It also improves mental acuity and sensory perceptions.
In Massage Oil
Eucalyptus, thyme, and rosemary can be added to approximately 1.7 ounces of light carrier oil such as almond, canola, olive, or grapeseed oil in the following amounts, eight drops of eucalyptus oil, ten drops of thyme, and ten drops of rosemary (Caution: epileptics should not use rosemary oil).
Rub the oil on the arms, buttocks, legs, ankles, feet, and lower back before your workout. This blend warms the muscles, improves breathing, and enhances mental focus.
Post-Workout Essential Oil Suggestions
After working out, the muscles are fatigued and most likely experiencing some level of inflammation. Essential oils can offset the severity of post workout aches and pains as well as shorten recovery periods.
Many individuals find comfort by soaking in bath salts infused with essential oils; essential oils may also be applied directly to bathwater as long as it is properly agitated before entering. Other techniques for providing muscular rehabilitation post-workout include using specially formulated massage oils and ointments and then covering the afflicted region to keep it warm.
Shortening Recovery Time and Easing Muscle Discomfort
Several oils known for their warming as well as cooling properties serve well as post workout treatments.
- Lavender, ginger, peppermint, eucalyptus, black pepper, and arnica oils soothe joints and muscles post workout.
- Ginger and black pepper oils have a warming effect.
- Peppermint and eucalyptus have a cooling effect.
- Lavender relaxes the muscles and the mind.
- Arnica oil eases aches, pains, and bruising. (Note: Arnica essential oil is extremely toxic and should never be used. Look for premade extractions, like a tincture, or oil infusion to add to your blends) Arnica ointments and gels are widely available at health food and apothecary stores.
Post Workout Massage Oil Rub
One ounce of carrier oil may be mixed with a combination of eucalyptus, ginger, and peppermint oils. Use ten drops of ginger, ten drops of peppermint, and ten drops of eucalyptus essential oils in the following ratios: ten drops of ginger, ten drops of peppermint, and ten drops of eucalyptus.
A post workout rub works best following a shower while the skin is damp and the pores are open to aid application and absorption of the oils.
Essential oils are potent plant remedies that may be used to treat a variety of ailments. If you want to use them, get the counsel of a certified aromatherapist and educate yourself on the risks and benefits of doing so. Always dilute essential oils before usage, according to an aromatherapist’s prescription, and keep in mind any sensitivities or medical issues you may have. There are a variety of pre-made mixtures available to buy over the counter.