Sweating it out at the gym isn’t the only way to promote health and well-being during the New Year. Essential oils can be just as important in garnering positive results as a healthy diet and lifestyle, and I wanted to teach you a few ways you can use essential oils for exercise support in order to achieve those goals.
3 Reasons to Use Essential Oils for Exercise Support
Essential oils can give us a foot up in fitness by aiding and supporting our body before, during, and after a workout. They can ease pain, make breathing easier, give you energy, and even promote mental clarity when you need focus.
There are three main ways essential oils can support your exercise routine.
Essential Oils for Exercise Support – Boosting Immunity
So, immunity may not be the first thing you think of when wanting to up your fitness game, but I assure you that it should be!
How many of you have started a workout routine only to catch a cold soon after? This used to be me every time I tried to include an exercise routine into my day. I would hit the gym, workout to my heart’s content, and before I knew it I’d be down for the count for the next week.
If you’re in the same boat you may be wondering why this happens. Simply put, it’s because your immune system isn’t in very good condition and can easily be overwhelmed by the energy your body burns during exercise. Not only that, exercise gets your blood and lymph moving which helps the body remove stagnant wastes. This sudden loosening of accumulated junk in your system causes the liver to overwork itself. Your adrenals may also be responding by upping your cortisol levels which can cause you to feel burnt out and stressed after an intense workout.
Basically, when you start a more intense exercise routine than your body is used to, your immune system takes a hit and becomes suppressed for a short time period afterward. Any germs that have been lurking around the gym or even just that cold your child brought home from school now has a very good chance of putting down some roots into your system. This is why there have been instances of people having to restart Insanity or P90X several times due to catching a cold EVERY TIME they try it.
Essential Oils for Boosting Immunity
Aside from taking your fitness down a notch to a more manageable level, upping your hydration, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest (especially during recovery), you can use essential oils to help give your body a bit more immunity support.
I’ve written before about the best essential oils for boosting immunity but I’ll give you a few examples of immunostimulant essential oils.
• Cinnamon bark
• Tea tree
These essential oils support and strengthen the immune response by directly inhibiting the threatening germs or by stimulating the immune system. Tea tree and thyme are especially effective against a wide variety of environmental bacteria and viruses you may encounter while working out.
You can also make your own thieves blend essential oil which you can then use in various forms like a spray for disinfecting surfaces, in a foaming hand soap recipe, a gargle, a hand sanitizer, and many others. The oils in this blend help kill and dislodge germs while at the same time stimulate your immune system.
If possible, diffuse immune boosting essential oils during your workout or use them to disinfect surfaces and your hands to help prevent colds and flu after exercise.
Essential Oils fort Exercise Support – Performance
Essential oils can also help boost your performance during a workout in ways you may not realize.
Essential Oils for Performance
Some of my favorite uses for essential oils in my fitness routine support include:
• Elevate Confidence and Self-Esteem – when you first begin your fitness journey you may not feel especially motivated or feel very good about yourself. Use essential oils like bergamot (do not apply bergamot topically unless it is bergapten free), cedarwood, cypress, fennel, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, orange, pine, and rosemary to help increase confidence and performance.
• Energy Boosting – up your energy levels by using basil, geranium, ginger, lemon, and peppermint. Peppermint oil is particular has been extensively studied for its performance boosting abilities. Lemongrass essential oil is also known to increase thermogenesis which helps your body burn more calories and increase the effectiveness of your workout.
• Improved Lung Capacity – using essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, cypress, and myrtle help open up the lungs and increase lung capacity which helps feed muscles with oxygen during a workout.
• Inflammation – reducing inflammation will help prevent injury, increase recovery rate, and reduce pain associated with strained achy muscles. Some of the best essential oils for inflammation include ginger, turmeric, frankincense, myrrh, German chamomile, helichrysum, and lavender.
• Recovery – supporting your body’s recovery is super important for a healthy and fruitful fitness routine. My favorite oils for boosting recovery, rest, and sleep include lavender, cedarwood, wintergreen, peppermint, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, eucalyptus, and marjoram.
These oils can be diffused, made into a spray, or made into a diluted roll on that can be applied topically. To make a roll-on, add 10-12 drops total of the desired essential oils from the lists above to a roll on bottle and fill to the shoulder with carrier oil.
Here are a few roll-on recipe examples:
Sore Muscle Roll-on Recipe
• 1 drop black pepper
• 2 drops ginger
• 2 drops peppermint
• 2 drops wintergreen
• 5 drops eucalyptus
Confidence Roll-on Recipe
• 5 drops orange
• 1 drops jasmine
• 4 drops bergamot (bergapten free)
Performance Boost Roll-on Recipe
• 4 drops eucalyptus globulus
• 4 drops eucalyptus radiata
• 4 drops peppermint
Essential Oils for Exercise Support – Soothing Muscle Soreness
The last key component in your fitness support journey is to use essential oils that soothe achy, tired, or injured muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. I’ve already dedicated an entire post on using essential oils for pain relief and written about the BEST workout spray I’ve ever made, but I will share with you a few tried and true oils that are great for post-workout recovery.
Essential oils for Muscle Soreness
Some of the best essential oils to use for sore or injured soft tissues in the body include:
• Birch (only use 2 drops max per 10ml of carrier oil)
• Black pepper
• Cayenne (use with caution for obvious reasons)
• German chamomile
These oils should be limited to 3 drops max per oil (aside from birch) with a 12 drops max of total drops per 10ml roll-on bottle.
Birch is one of the most pain relieving and soothing essential oils out there so if you can find it get it! If you can’t then wintergreen has the same active constituent (aka methyl salicylate) though to a lower degree.
Applying these oils well diluted via a roll-on before a workout on tight muscles will help loosen then and prevent injury. Applying it after a workout will help ease any muscle soreness.
For more helpful tips on health and weight loss check out the articles below:
Energizing and Detoxifying Charcoal Lemonade
Liver Cleanse Recipe and How to do a Liver Flush
Detoxifying Essential Oils and How to Use Them
20 Ways to Reduce Post-Workout Sore Muscles, Aches, and Pains
10 Herbs for Fitness, Strength, and Endurance
3 ESSENTIAL STEPS YOU NEED TO BOOST METABOLISM
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