We all know working out is important for our health, both mentally and physically. But if you’re like me, sometimes (or maybe often) you encounter a lack of motivation and drive to exercise.
In fact, anyone who exercises regularly will at some stage face challenges. These might be physical, mental or simply timing.
It could be a challenge just trying to fit exercise into a busy routine.
You might have low energy and not feel like working out.
Muscle fatigue, injury, or general inflammation could be interfering with your exercise routine.
Thankfully, aromatherapy and essential oils can help in many ways. They offer a low impact, non-invasive way to address many of these workout challenges.
Not only can they help before you workout, but they can help after too. Here we’ll take a look at how you can use them to support your exercise routine.
Using Essential Oils To Boost Energy & Get You Exercising
The first step is often the hardest. It might be just putting on your shoes, setting up the equipment or stepping out the door.
Before starting your workout, use uplifting, stimulating and activating oils to support your body and mind. These will boost your energy and get you started.
Oils to choose from for a pre-workout energy boost:
The added benefit of most of these oils is they help breathing and circulation. They also prepare the muscles for prolonged activity.
3 ways to use them:
- Choose a combination of any 3 oils above and add one drop of each to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Rub it into your chest, breathe deeply, pull on your gear and get going!
- Apply the essential oils to a cloth, handkerchief or cotton ball and tuck it into your sports bra.
- Make up a blend of up to 3 of the oils in a larger quantity and store for use. Use the blend in either of the methods above. Or take the top off, hold it under your nose and take 5-6 deep breaths. Exhale slowly.
Not only will the smells get you out the door, as you exercise and your body heats up, the oils will evaporate. This will keep your energy levels up throughout the workout.
Using Essential Oils After Exercise
After exercise your muscles can be fatigued and experiencing some level of inflammation. Essential oils can now help with muscle recovery and injuries. They can offset the severity of post workout aches and pains as well as shorten recovery periods.
There are different application methods you can use. Choosing the right one will depend on the type of injury or discomfort and where it is. Massage oils and bath salts containing essential oils are two great options.
In choosing which oils to use, consider the therapeutic qualities of individual oils. Select the most appropriate from the list below along with the best method for application.
- Anti-inflammatory essential oils – German Chamomile, Geranium, Helichrysum, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Rose
- Muscle relaxing essential oils – Lavender, Marjoram, Rosemary
- Heat treatment essential oils – Black Pepper, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Juniper, Peppermint, Thyme
- Regenerating essential oils – Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemongrass, Orange, Rosewood, Geranium, Cedarwood
Post Workout Massage Oil Rub
A post workout rub with massage oil has physical and emotional benefits. Not only can it help with speed of recovery but it can also keep your energy levels up post workout.
Massage oils are easy to make and can be customized to whatever you need. It’s a good idea to have some made up and ready to go. That way they will always be ready to use after you exercise with no preparation required. You can also take them with you to the gym, park or playing fields.
Make up several blends to treat different needs. If your muscles are tired, try the regenerating oils. If you have a painful strain or injury, use anti-inflammatory oils.
Here’s how to make a massage oil:
- Choose a single oil or combination from the list above depending on what you are treating.
- Measure out 1.7 ounces of light carrier oil (almond, jojoba, coconut or grapeseed oil).
- Add between 30-36 drops of essential oil to the carrier. So if using 3 oils, 10-12 drops of each.
- Combine the oils well by tipping the bottle up and down about 10 times.
To use the massage oil:
Rub it onto whatever part of your body needs it! You can use it all over if you like or focus on specific areas that need treatment.
A suggestion is to do your post workout rub following a warm shower. While the skin is damp and the pores are open, the massage oil will be easy to apply and the essential oils readily absorbed.
Soak Away Muscle Pain
Soaking in Epsom salts blended with essential oils can bring great relief to sore, tired muscles too. The magnesium in Epsom salts helps with muscle recovery along with the oils.
Here’s how to do it:
- Choose from the regenerating or relaxing oils above.
- Add 6 drops of essential oils to 1 cup of Epsom salts then toss into the bath and mix well to dissolve the salts. Don’t add the essential oils directly to the bath, they will just float on top. You want them dispersed through the water so they can get to work on your muscles.
- Soak for 15-20 minutes.
Another option is to let your sore feet soak in a bath of Epsom salts and essential oils.
Essential oils have a lot to offer when it comes to supporting your exercise routine. Use them before to boost energy levels and get you motivated. After working out, use them to help with recovery and injury.