Running can be tough on our bodies if we're not taking care of ourselves properly throughout all stages of exercise - from preparation before a run to post-run recovery and everything in between. Essential oils for running can help!
As a runner you must be very concerned about injuries and recovery times. One of the best things about essential oils is that they are an all-natural way to treat many kinds of problems you might be facing on your daily run. Here are some tips on how to use essential oils for runners to achieve better well-being, as well as improve your performance.
What Exactly Are Essential Oils?
If you do not know anything about essential oils, they are naturally produced from plants to protect themselves from illnesses or attacks. Every plant substance is unique, thus different kinds of essential oils are made from the substance are unique in their smell and characteristics.
The production can vary depending on the plant which is used, but typically they are made by either steam distillation or cold-pressing. After the extraction, the essential oils are very concentrated.
How to Use Essential Oils for Running
Essential oils are most commonly used through aromatherapy, but they can also be applied directly to skin and absorbed. Before topical application, it is best to combine with a carrier oil, after which the oils can be applied to the skin.
When inhaling the essential oils they stimulate our limbic system, which is an important part of our body. It is responsible for emotions, long-term memory, and behaviors, which is why essential oils can really improve our emotional well-being. But they are also good with physical injuries and ailments like athlete's foot.
1. Essential oils can relieve pains associated with running
Sometimes when running you can injure yourself, whether it’s because of overtraining or because of not having the proper equipment (like running shoes), essential oils can help you heal more quickly.
For example, if you have sore muscles after your run, or you tend to over exercise, apply peppermint oil and coconut oil to your muscles. You can also use sweet almond oil instead of coconut.
For sprains, you can use helichrysum essential oil to help you with healing by improving your blood flow, but it is generally better to prevent the injury by investing in good quality running shoes.
2. Essential oils promote better sleep and relaxation
Good rest is probably the most important part of an athlete's day, because while we are sleeping our bodies are healing our muscles.
Whether you have difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep during the night, or you do not feel well rested after waking up, essential oils can help you get the necessary sleep you need.
Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and orange are some of the oils that can help you relieve stress and anxiety and allow you to have a peaceful night.
3. Essential oils can help you improve energy levels
Apart from the battling the fatigue through an improved sleep hygiene, essential oils can help to boost your energy even more. Peppermint oil is the best choice for improving you energy levels.
You can add a drop of it into your shoes to stimulate your feet, or you can apply it on your temples and back of the neck before your run. Be sure blend peppermint oil with a carrier oil, like jojoba oil, before applying to skin.
4. Essential oils can improve your overall health
If you are a competitive runner, you must know how devastating it can be if you get sick days before your big race. Even if you are not participating in a race, getting sick can really slow down your progress or even present a setback.
Lemon, tea tree, sandalwood and thyme essential oils can help you improve your immune system and fight off germs and viruses much effectively.
One very helpful oil for runners can be eucalyptus oil, because it boosts your respiratory system and helps fight inflammation. It is a remedy that every runner should always have with them.
Even if you are not a runner, all these oils can help you improve your performance in other fields of your life. For example, if you are a student, peppermint oil can improve your alertness and help you study more efficiently.
DIY Featured Recipe - Essential Oil Blend for Runners
Ready to Race Inhaler
|Using essential oils can be easy. Here is a great way to take your oils with you when you are on the run, literally!
Directions: Add cotton wick to a small bowl, drop essential oils onto the wick. Use tweezers to pick up the wick, then get any oil residual left in the bowl onto the wick. Place the wick in blank inhaler and put on end cap (base). To use, place under nose and inhale the aroma.
Read more about using aromatherapy inhalers.
Summary of Essential Oils for Running
For runners, the most important part of a workout is staying healthy. Staying healthy means avoiding injuries, which are often caused by overuse. While running regularly can strengthen your body, it can also cause strain to muscles and tendons that aren't used to the impact of running on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
Essential oils are an excellent way to speed up recovery from injury or help prevent injury in the first place. For example, frankincense oil has been shown to promote new cell growth while sandalwood oil helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation after strenuous activity.