Natural Relief for Sporting Lifestyles

natural relief

In a perfect world, our commitment to more active and sporting lifestyles would reap nothing but rewards. However, while doing wonders for our general well-being, our workouts, walks, runs and cycles may expose us to a range of aches and pains. If you are diligent about your daily exercise routine, then chances are you’ve experienced your fair share of strains and sprains, stiffness and soreness – which can be chronically uncomfortable and become debilitating. It’s a reminder that whether we are out at the gym or sitting for hours in front of a computer screen, the health of our musculoskeletal system is an essential part of our wellness.

Biokineticist Kevin Oliver says, “One of the main concerns that we see in our practice with people who are living active lifestyles, is time constraints. People are under pressure to fit in their exercise or sports routine with busy work, family and social life. One of my top tips is for people to take 10 minutes before they start their workout to do some preparation work that will involve some fascial release.  Fascia tissue occurs throughout the body, stabilising all muscles and tendons, ligaments and bones in the body. You can invest in fascial mobility tools such as a roller to warm up areas that you are going to use in your upcoming exercise routine. You can also include quick active mobility drills that prepare the neuro-muscular system for activity. This might include leg swings if you are going to be running, or arm swings and rotations if you’re going to be playing golf. It helps to get professional advice to work out an efficient routine that is tailored to the exercise that is going to follow. A post-workout routine is also important. This would involve some passive stretches just to counteract any of the potential shortening of the muscle tissues which are linked to your joints. These simple, targeted routines will help to keep the body mobile and ready for action.”

Understanding inflammation in sports injuries

As a defensive mechanism helping to boost immunity and kick start tissue repair, inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or trauma. Most sports injuries including sprains, strains, fractures, and tendonitis involve inflammation, and addressing it is often a crucial aspect of pain relief and healing. Inflammation is characterised by swelling, pain, heat, redness, and loss of function. Managing inflammation is essential to avoid a prolonged or chronic inflammatory state, to reduce pain and restore functionality. Conventional treatments may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid medications. However, many people pursuing healthy lifestyles prefer natural and holistic solutions that are free from side-effects.

Kevin says, “Inflammation is a natural response to the stresses that we put our bodies through. Preparation and strengthening routines can help to improve the resilience of the body and reduce incidents of inflammation. Ensuring that you have sufficient mobility and stability to undertake your chosen physical activities is crucial. You also must consider whether inflammation is local or systemic. To mitigate against systemic inflammation, you have to take into account hydration and nutrition. Reducing and avoiding refined sugars and alcohol improves the management of inflammation. To treat local inflammation after exercise, you want to look at solutions such as ice baths and topical remedies that can be applied to the specific area. The main reason to reduce inflammation is often to ensure you don’t miss out on your next workout, but remember that inflammation is an immune response to promote healing, and you don’t want to skip out on getting sufficient rest after workouts that have been stressful to the body. So give your body time to do its healing work, especially if you want to avoid using anti-inflammatory medications. There needs to be some time-out from intensive exercise, and you can include active recovery such as a day when you do some gentle walking or swimming rather than a workout. This will ensure that you are adequately recovered and ready to take on your next exercise session.”

Nature’s anti-inflammatories

Doryce Sher, founder of Aromatic Apothecary (who is both a qualified pharmacist and aromatherapist) says, “Luckily, Nature is bountiful when it comes to plants with anti-inflammatory properties. Essential oils such as peppermint, rosemary, ginger and eucalyptus are just some of the highly effective ingredients in aromatherapy anti-inflammatory solutions. The other beauty of nature’s anti-inflammatory ingredients is that they offer both warming and cooling properties.  Conventionally, we have treated muscle, ligament, and joint inflammation with ice packs, which is effective in reducing the dilation of injured tissues. However, alternating warming and cooling provides an additional healing boost, as warming helps to increase circulation bringing fresh, oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the injury site.”

With no shortage of options when it comes to effective anti-inflammatory essential oils, Aromatic Apothecary focuses on fast-acting formulations in easy-to-use formats that fit the modern, on-the-go lifestyle. Their Sport range includes roll-on, spray-on and rub-in products that can be frequently applied on-the-go and which provide quick relief throughout the busy day. Doryce says, “Aromatic Apothecary SPORT Roll-on Relief is gel-based, and the roll-on applicator not only delivers active ingredients that are quickly absorbed into the sore muscle or joint, but it’s also a mini-massage. Aromatic Apothecary SPORT Spray on Relief delivers a water-based solution that’s ideal for larger, sore areas, such as an entire foot or shoulder. No massage is necessary and there are no sticky or oily hands.  Aromatic Apothecary SPORT Rub in Relief is an easily absorbed cream that needs just a brief rub into sore muscles and joints for targeted relief.”

sports relief trio

What’s important in pursuing an active lifestyle is that one is mindful about the care of the musculoskeletal system. One not only wants to avoid serious injury that disrupts the exercise routine, but the persistent aches and pains that degrade well-being. It’s worth while to find time for gentle stretching before and after workouts, to get relief from inflammation using effective, natural products and to take that rest day when the body needs it.

sporting lifestyles

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