Essential oils can optimise your fitness in a number of different ways and these are my top 5 that help me compete in canicross and keep up with my dogs.
1. So let's start with nutrition first of all as we all know you are what you eat now obviously you need to have a good balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a diet rich in antioxidants don't forget your superfoods like your berries and making smoothies. You can add antioxidant-rich oils to your smoothie I love to add a drop of copaiba or even Smart & Sassy to my smoothies to get the benefit but other options are citrus oils to support the cardiovascular system and good metabolic function. Citrus oils can support your heart in a number of different ways from helping with good cholesterol levels to supporting your blood pressure obviously this is all should be done in accordance with the advice from your doctor. Don’t forget the addition of antioxidant rich supplements such as the Lifelong Vitality pack as they also have a range of essential oils to give you a capsule with extra benefits.
2. Good sleep is absolutely crucial if you are going to train well, sleep is when your body recovers and your brain recovers and you won't get as much benefit out of your training if you are not recovering. You need to make sure that those muscles have time to heal that you've used and that you are well rested as well before a competition. Good old lavender is always a good option either diffusing or applying it topically and Serenity softgels are also one of my favourites to help me sleep.
3. Maintaining a good immune system is absolutely crucial not just because you might be going to the gym and events and coming into contact with people. When we exercise there is actually the risk that it can weaken the immune system and we can become more susceptible so it's really important that we take this into account and good nutrition and a good sleep all contribute.
"Prolonged bouts of exercise and heavy training regiments are associated with depression of immune system functions that can increase the risk of picking up opportunistic infections such as the commom cold and influenza" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26634839
If you are feeling poorly, let yourself recover you won't get the same value out of your training if you are training when you're unwell. Different oils that can support you are On Guard the protective blend, tea tree and good old citrus oils again - particularly lemon - so add that to your daily water. I love this On Guard drink after a wet and muddy canicross!
4. Using essential oils as part of your warm up can be so beneficial you can really get the muscles warming up as someone who feels the cold so badly I have really noticed how effective they are to get that blood circulating and to make sure that your muscles are getting the blood supply they need I tore my biceps femoris a few years ago on a really cold day I'd literally only walked 100m and that was it it went I didn't realise at the time went on to run 11 k but it did take a long time to heal and I wish I'd had oils then to support me. So I am now really paranoid about applying oils to my hamstrings and my body before and regardless of the temperature outside Aromatouch is one of my favourites because of all the oils it has in. This awesome blend supports your muscles, your circulation not to mention pepping you up and soothing you it really is such a great one and so I will mix up a couple of drops with some fractionated coconut oil in a little pot and apply them to my muscles. Other options like marjoram, cypress and siberian fir are good choices too. Post run I like to use something like Deep Blue Rub to just provide that cooling to my muscles to help limit any micro tears that are continuing in our muscles and to soothe and I have been known to put too much on as I've got so many aches and pains and I have had to cover myself in a blanket to keep warm also again good old Aromatouch is also really beneficial post run as well. Other options are peppermint for that effect too.
5. Good airways are absolutely crucial when you're exercising and getting that blood oxygenated to support your muscles is key. Using some great oil such as peppermint or Air blend or cardamom can really make such a massive difference. Air is always my go to and I apply it before I'm going out for a run and will pop it on my chest, throat and my gloves, my arms and my shirts so if you ever see me sniffing my shirt it's not because I'm smelling how sweaty I am it's because I'm smelling Air blend to give me a little bit of a lift as I go to run up a steep hill or sprint finish.
Let me know if you have any questions - I often run Classes on Essential Oils For Fitness so do check out my events to find out the next one.
Information given here is not intended as a substitute for medical or veterinary consultation - the author has no liability nor responsibility with respect to any issues occurring out of use such as damage, loss, injury.
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