It’s all too easy to feel stiff and sore after an intense workout, especially if you’ve pushed your body to the max.
If you’re trying to work out regularly, then this can be a frustrating part of getting fit and healthy, leaving you with aches and pains for days after your workout. It can even make you more reluctant to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the first place.
Luckily, there are some simple solutions to helping your body — and mind — relax after an intense workout. Read on for five top tips on how to perfect your post-workout relaxation.
Recommended reading: How To Optimize Your Post-Workout Routine
Treat yourself to a post-workout massage
Who doesn’t love a massage?
Well, the good news is that a post-workout massage could be exactly what you need to unwind after that intense training session.
Massages can help to release any tension and tightness in your muscles that has built up from your workout, relaxing your body. As well as this, it helps to flush lactic acid buildup out of your muscle fiber, which reduces your recovery time between workouts — great news if you’ve got a strict training regime for a competition mapped out.
Massage is also great for relaxing your mind as well as your body; it can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improving the quality of your sleep. And getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to staying energized and refreshed during your workouts — giving your body the chance to repair muscles and refuel energy levels during the night.
Run yourself a warm bath
Running yourself a warm bath is ideal for repairing your body and relaxing your mind after an intense workout.
Full immersion in hot water is exactly what your muscles need if you’ve been punishing them and pushing yourself to the max. That’s because it improves your circulation, getting some much-needed blood flow to your sore tissues, as well as taking all of the tension out of your muscles and just melting it away. Is there anything that a hot bath can’t fix?
Many people also find a warm bath super relaxing too, so if you want to soothe your spirit after getting pumped up during a spin class, then you turn on those taps and get that bath running. Although it’s best not to bathe immediately, because it can leave you feeling hot and bothered rather than relaxed.
Top tip: add a few drops of essential oils like lavender to your bath water to add an extra layer of calm and relaxation to your tub. Lavender is renowned for its soothing, sleep-aiding properties. Sounds dreamy (literally) — just make sure you don’t fall asleep in the tub!
Invest in some CBD oil
The use of CBD oil by athletes for workout recovery is just another potential benefit to add to CBD’s long list of benefits, from aiding sleep to losing weight.
CBD oil (derived from the chemical cannabidiol) has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it’s perfect for helping you to recover and relax after an intense workout. In particular, it’s great for rubbing onto sore, inflamed muscles to help them heal. It’s easy enough to buy from online stores, and these days it can come in the form of infused balms, roll-on sticks, and creams that will help you to target specific sore areas.
As well as easing muscle inflammation and promoting muscle regeneration, CBD has the added benefit of aiding sleep (which is why it is used by so many people to help with sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep deprivation). The right amount of sleep and a regulated sleeping pattern will help you to feel more relaxed post-workout, and more refreshed for when you need to get back into the gym again!
Spend time in the sauna
If your local fitness centre or health spa has a gym, head there ASAP after your high-intensity workout and spend some quality time in the sauna.
Saunas have magical healing properties — just ask the Scandinavians, who are obsessed, and with good reason. The dry heat of the sauna is perfect for relieving muscle tension in the days after an intense workout, as well as drawing the toxins out of your body.
Saunas can also help your muscle to get rid of lactic acid, and can even help you burn fat — just by sitting there!
Learn the art of meditation
If you’re looking for a way to relax your body and quieten your mind after an intense workout, then try meditation. Meditation has been used for centuries to help ease feelings of stress and anxiety, and promote a feeling of balance and calm.
As well as clearing your mind, it can also benefit your body: meditation can relieve tension, lower your heart rate, reduce any post-workout pain, and help you to sleep better.
If you’re new to the world of meditating, there are a few easy meditation exercises you can follow that will get you started. Trust us, you’ll be feeling relaxed in no time at all.
As you can see, there are all sorts of ways that you can relax your mind and body after an intense workout. The trick is to find the methods that work for you — it might be that you turn into a sauna fanatic, or meditation becomes your new passion. Why not experiment and find out?