With the holiday season just around the corner and those New Year’s resolutions looming ahead, many of us are making the commitment to take better care of our bodies. For me, yoga is what I enjoy most, for others it’s swimming, running, or weight training. We are fortunate to have a tremendous choice of when and where we exercise. Fitness videos allow us to exercise in the privacy or our homes, while fitness centers, walking clubs, and church-sponsored classes offer us companionship and motivation to keep at a regular program. No matter what your fitness choice is, aromatherapy can be a part of it.
Before You Begin
As you are all aware, you need to check with your physician to make sure that you do not have any underlying health issues that you have to consider when you choose a fitness program. With your doctor’s guidance, you can feel confident that you are off to a safe start. And to make your start not only more healthy but more enjoyable as well, try some of these recipes.
Bath – Put 2 drops of Chamomile, 3 drops of Rosemary, 3 drops of Lavender, and 4 drops of Lemon into a warm bath. After you get out of the bath, make sure you take plenty of time to stretch thoroughly.
Shower – No time for a bath before you work out, then try using any three of the following essential oils: Cedar, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange, or Rosemary. Add one drop of each of the selected oils to a warm, wet washcloth. Rub large muscle areas, then shower as usual.
During Your Workout
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Your body needs extra fluids and your muscles, bones, and joints use the water as lubricants so that they can work to their maximum potential. Increased water intake helps you get the most from your workout. Some essential oils are particularly effective for increasing the respiratory system, and others improve your circulation. Make a body splash that meets your needs.
Respiratory Body Spray – Put 10 drops EACH of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary into 8 ounces of water. Spritz your body to rejuvenate your respiratory system. This blend is particularly effective for high impact aerobic work and cardiovascular exercise.
Circulatory Body Spray – Put 10 drops EACH of Geranium, Palma Rosa, and Rosemary into 8 ounces of water. Spritz your body to rejuvenate your circulatory system. This blend is particularly effective for weight lifting and body building exercise programs.
Antiseptic Spray – To keep your locker area clean and free from germs, put 7 drops each of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, and Tea Tree into 8 ounces of water. Place the blend into a spray bottle and spritz the locker room floor, showers, or other locations that may harbor germs. You can also spray your body to put a shield of protection around yourself.
Reward Your Efforts
Congratulations, you did it. Be proud of your efforts and give yourself a big pat on the back. Also take time to reward your efforts by using these blends.
Massage – Put 12 drops EACH of Lavender and Lemon and 9 drops EACH of Peppermint and Rosemary into 2 ounces of lotion. It feels great if you can warm the lotion before you apply it. Massage your body while you enjoy this muscle-relaxing blend.
Calming Bath – Treat yourself to a calming bath to relax yourself and help you sleep. Put 5 drops EACH of Orange, Lavender, and Chamomile into your bath. Don’t forget some soothing music and maybe even a candle and a glass of wine.
Invigorating Bath – If you have to get moving after your exercise program, treat yourself to an invigorating bath to put some pep in your step. Put 5 drops EACH of Lemon, Rosemary, and Cedar into your bath.
If You Overdo It
If you pushed yourself too hard and you have some muscle strain, put 10 drops EACH of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary into 2 ounces of lotion and massage your muscles several times during the next few days until the discomfort is reduced.
Bath – Put 2 drops EACH of Lemon and Lavender and 3 drops of Marjoram into your bath and soak for as long as possible. Use the “over-exercised” muscle blend in the previous paragraph after your bath.