Reward your muscles after you train with a nice relaxing bath. Check out these tips to relieve sore and aching muscles.
POV: You just got done training your ass off, sparring, taking, and giving beatings. You say goodbye to all your teammates and as soon as you turn to walk out the door, you already feel your muscles scream from soreness. How do you deal with this?
How To Deal with Muscle Soreness After Training
As a person who does multiple forms of training and exercise, I know the feeling of being sore all too well. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve trained multiple sports in one day (or even now being in my 30s and trying to do it all like I’m 23 again) and felt like I could barely walk after leaving the gym. So, to combat this, I have a bath/shower/stretching regiment that will help you deal with those after training sore muscles.
Like my facial routine, there are levels to my baths, so I have a simple, a relaxing, and a luxurious queen/king/ruler bath for sore muscles depending on how you’re feeling. Also, in case you don’t have a bathtub (aka my life in China…I longed for a bathtub over there), there are some ways you can get the benefits of relieving sore muscles without soaking yourself in a bathtub. So, stay tuned.
Stretching to Help with Soreness
I know I said I was going to talk about a bath to relieve muscles. But the process of relaxing those muscles starts with a good stretch. I won’t lie. I’m not the best at stretching… which is probably why I’ve experienced a few injuries that could have been avoided if my flexibility was up. But now that I’m older but still somewhat youthful and spry (thanks jiu-jitsu and Zumba), I try to stretch a bit after class or if I’m watching tv and not doing anything else. If you feel sore directly after class, a pre-bath stretch can help loosen you up before you bathe. Because your body is more malleable after a hard training session, it will be easier to loosen up after class and before you get into the bath.
Making a Simple Soreness Bath:
So, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t really like baths and just want the benefit of relieving your sore muscles with a soak, then a basic Epsom salt bath is for you.
Why Should You Use Epsom Salts?
Epsom salts help relax your muscles and relieves pain in your body in addition to many other awesome benefits. Epsom salts can have some effects on the body so make sure you talk to a medical professional or test it before you submerge yourself in a full bath.
How to make a Simple Epsom Salt Bath
For the simple bath I would fill up my bathtub with very warm water (or hot water if you skin is made of Teflon like me) and then add about half (1/2) a cup of Epsom salts to the bath then mix with your hand. Get in and soak for about 15-20 minutes (I usually go longer like 30 minutes or more).
Adding a Relaxing Benefit to Your Bath:
Although Epsom salt baths already give you a relaxing feeling, you can do that same, simple bath with lavender essential oil or lavender leaves.
How Lavender Can Help You
Lavender helps to relax you. If you want a great night sleep after your soak, lavender helps a lot with that. In addition, using lavender essential oil has other benefits like hair growth and treating acne. Lavender oil is best in my opinion, but I have used lavender leaves in the past. It’s an awesome esthetic but a pain in the ass to clean up after. There are also Epsom salts that have lavender in them, so you don’t have to do the extra step of buying lavender essential oil to add to the bath.
How to Make a Luxurious Bath
Now you know I got to be extra with this bath. I am taking a bath for the benefits of relieving my sore muscles, but I always have to add a bath bomb, some bubbles, etc. With my Epsom salts, I add some lavender, a bath bomb that has relaxing benefits like extra lavender inside, and some bubbles (usually a bubble bar from lush but I have some other types too). Around my tub, I’ll add some candles on the opposite side of my head, so I don’t burn my hair. If I’m feeling REALLY extra, I’ll put on a face mask just to get that extra extraness.
With all of this, I’ll also play some music usually something from my femininity playlist or the Are & Be playlist from Spotify. Man… I don’t what to tell you but after that bath my body feels like cooked spaghetti. I usually follow the bath up with a quick shower just because I was stewing in my own soup for 30 minutes to an hour. I then get out, wash off my face and do the rest of my facial routine, lotion up and then go to bed. Those nights are the nights that I sleep the best.
How to get the Epsom Salt Benefits Without a Bath
If you’ve read this far and are thinking, “well this all sounds nice, but I don’t have a bathtub. Thanks for being selfish and not thinking about us, Jess” just hold on. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have a bathtub after my first 8 months in China (During my master’s program I was one of the lucky few in my residence to have a bathtub). So, after training, there would be a few ways I would still get the Epsom salt benefits after training.
1. Making a bath scrub
To make a beneficial bath scrub, I would mix olive oil and some Epsom salts together to soften my skin. Any olive oil (preferably Extra Virgin) works to help moisturize your skin and you would still get the benefits of the Epsom salts with the added benefit of exfoliating your skin.
2. Creating an Epsom Salt Steam Bath
Another thing you can do is create a steam bath by throwing some Epsom salts on the floor of your shower before you get in and activating them with some hot water. If you don’t like to take hell showers like me, you can start off by setting the shower to be super-hot before you step in and lowering the temperature before you burn your skin off. The steam will have all the minerals that can help with your muscle soreness through entering the pores of your skin.
3. Soaked Epsom Salt Washcloth
If you really want to get down into those aches and pains from training and exercise, you can get a washcloth and soak it in an Epsom salt mixture, and directly focus that washcloth on the part of your body that is sore. You might have to stand there for a little while if you have multiple sore areas and sides, but it will be totally worth it in the end.
In addition to all these uses for Epsom Salt without a bath, you can also use shower steamers to create a relaxing, scented experience while you bathe.
Bonus Tip: A Great Night Sleep
After you’ve stretched after class and you’ve gotten a good soak or steam in, the best thing to ensure that your body is going to feel a lot better in the morning is a great night sleep. I know this might be hard if you’re binging through a Netflix series, scrolling through your social media, or getting caught in the pages of a great book, but getting yourself 7-8 hours of sleep per night helps the muscle fibers that tore while you worked out repair faster. This then makes you stronger and more likely to get up the next day to do more exercise as well as a bunch of other benefits that will help you lead a healthier life.
If you’re the kind of person who really feels the effects of training the day after, you’re a person who is just starting out in training and your muscles aren’t used to the movements yet, or you overdid it and your body is punishing you for punishing it, taking a nice bath in combination with other things will help you feel recovered and ready to keep pushing into your next training session.
What are your methods in recovering sore muscles? Let’s discuss on Instagram.