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If you’ve chosen to do an intense fitness program like 80 Day Obsession you will to need to take extra care of your body. Pushing your self hard in your workouts means your body needs additional help to recover. These self care for fitness ideas will keep your muscles from being sore and burning out before you reach your goals.
What is Self Care
According to an article on PsychCentral, “self care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Self care includes things like exercise, meditation, eating well and getting enough rest.
Self Care for Fitness
Self care for fitness includes any activities that help your body recover from the workouts you’re putting it through.
In 80 Day Obsession you’ll hear trainer Autumn Calabrese say over & over again “Self care, self care, self care!” If the cast mentions they are sore she asks them, “Are you doing your self care?”
Here are 5 ideas to practice self care for fitness to help reduce muscle soreness and burnout. For best results find a balance that works for you and practice them all.
In today’s go, go, go world it can be so hard to get the proper amount of rest. But the truth is our bodies need sleep and downtime. Our muscles build and recover only when we are at rest.
“Most of us don’t get enough sleep which can have devastating effects on recovery, and thus impede training progress.” says exercise physiologist and strength coach Jonathan Mike,Ph.D. in a Beachbody Blog article on the importance of recovery after a workout.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night, about 7-8 hours. Taking time to rest during the day is also a good idea. Whether that means catching a quick nap or just unplugging for awhile to rest and do nothing.
2. Foam Roll
Foam rolling is a great way to ease sore muscles. It’s essentially a form of self massage.
According to this Beachbody Blog article about the benefits of foam rolling , it is believed to reduce thickening, adhesion, and tension of the fascia [connective tissue] and muscle, and can potentially reduce fatigue, improve recovery, and enhance range of motion. The article suggests doing at least 10-20 minutes of foam rolling every day.
You can purchase a foam roller on Amazon like the one I have. I’ve used the 80 Day Obsession Roll & Release video many times and can tell you it really works to ease muscle soreness.
Getting a massage can ease muscle soreness and speed up recovery. According to Deep Recovery, sports massage increases blood flow throughout the body bringing oxygen & nutrients, improves connective tissue healing which promotes muscle elasticity and improves muscle flexibility which reduces and prevents injury.
You can visit a spa or chiropractic office for a massage. Or swap massages with a spouse or friend.
Lifting weights, especially heavy lifting, shortens muscles. You should never skip the stretching and cool down portion at the end of your workout. It’s there for a reason.
But sometimes those 3-5 minute post workout stretches aren’t enough. In order to really stretch back out those muscles you’ve been working you may need to do some extra stretching.
Stretching not only helps your muscles feel better but it leads to increased flexibility, which may reduce your risk of injuries according to the Beachbody Blog.
Many of the fitness programs on Beachbody On Demand include a separate stretch video. They are a great choice when your muscles are feeling tight, achy and on the edge of burnout. I’ve done quite a few and have always felt a thousand times better after getting my stretch on.
Relaxing in a warm Epsom salt bath can help heal muscle fatigue and soreness. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate. Although the articles I read say the research is unclear, it is thought that the magnesium in the epsom salt dissolves in warm bath water and is absorbed by the body. Magnesium is known to reduce inflammation and aid in muscle recovery.
Soaking sore muscles in a warm bath with or without epsom salt will help relax and ease muscle tension.
I love to relax in a bath with Dr. Teal’s Eucalyptus Spearmint Epsom Salt. I go all out by lighting candles and enjoying some mint tea. I watch a favorite show on my iPad, like American Housewife or Modern Family. Apply a face mask and sit back and relax.
Bonus: according to Healthline, research shows taking a warm bath before bed will help you sleep better too (see #1).
Self care is not selfish, it’s essential. Self care for fitness is especially important when you’re pushing your body to it’s max. You need to take extra care of yourself to prevent injury and ensure you reach your goals.
How do you practice self care?