5 Ways to Relax Post-Workout AND Post-Work
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Did you just defeat a killer workout regimen? Score!
Did you just get defeated by a killer day at work? Looks like a goose egg for the score….
Either way, you’re looking to unwind and recharge your mind, body, and soul.
Get the latest SML Team’s tips on how to do just that.
1) Treat yourself to not just any bathsoak. Add epson salts to your fragrant bubble bath. Sore, tired muscles can benefit from this natural mineral bath, also known as magnesium sulfate, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.
2) Amp up your dreary, boring bathtub…not just your bath. Your actual tub. Think vibrating spa pillows with suction cups and a padded instant bubble creator like this one from Homedics. You’ll instantly associate the textures and sounds with a spa, which will make you feel more relaxed by “tricking” your mind.
NOTE: Make sure your tub works with the suction cups since they require a completely flat surface, not a speckled or textured pattern.
3)Walking. We always say walking is a great exercise in itself, but walking is even more important if you’ve just done a strenuous workout. You have to do the “cool down” so your muscles can release the lactic acid that builds up. (This is the “burn”!) You can break down lactic acid by continuing to do light aerobics (such as walking) after your workout. The longer you cool down, the faster you will recover from soreness. If you choose to rest completely instead of “actively recovering” with light exercise, you’ll probably be sore longer. So, put on your FREE SML pedometer and get to walking with our Walk-Fit Program ! If you log your steps, you’ll get free stuff!
4) Have a Drink. That is…Chocolate Milk! Not hit the bottle! (Although if you’re of age, wine can help transition from work to home. This is really only mental though, and we are NOT saying drink to relax. You’ll end up packing on calories and gaining weight if you do.) Instead, hit the chocolate milk up! Researcher Jason Karp, M.S. of Indiana University tested chocolate milk vs. Endurox R4 recovery drink vs. a regular sports drink. The chocolate milk has a magic 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, is cheap, and tastes good!
5) Lastly, get a massage. If you can reach the spot on your body, just give yourself one. If you’re lucky enough to con a loved one to do it for you, even better. There are two responses you can feel with massage: the mechanical and relaxation. The relaxation response is a state in which your heart and breathing rate slow, your blood pressure goes down, your production of stress hormones (like cortisol) decreases, and your muscles relax. Mechanical responses are similar. We’re sure you knew massage was awesome, but now you know why! Try a massager like this one. (Another Homedics product…maybe we should start saving up for a new-found addiction.)