We're alllll about the essential oils right now — they're one of our favorite holistic, naturopathic remedies. And while there are some studies asserting the scientific efficacy of these heavenly scented drops, we'd appreciate the bit of mood-boosting aromatherapy regardless.
However, there are a few specific oils you can use both before and after your workout to enhance your sweat sesh and aid in your post-workout recovery. Here are some of our favorite oils and blends to inhale, dab, and enjoy before and after we exercise — stow these in your gym bag and get to work!
Let's get physical — and scented. Before you hit the weight rack or Spin bike, you're going to want a burst of energy, and aromatherapy can help! For this, we'd recommend energizing citrus and lemongrass.
- Grapefruit, Lemon, Tangerine, or Orange. Citrus oils can help you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and energized — perfect for kicking off a powerful sweat sesh.
- Lemongrass. You'll see this oil again later in our next list, but one thing lemongrass is known for is its energizing properties. Inhale a bit of lemongrass combined with any of your other favorite citrus oils for an invigorating boost.
Cool down and eradicate excess cortisol — you'll help your body come down from the physical stress and begin to restore (and getting rid of that surplus of cortisol can help reduce the chance of retaining belly fat!). If you've ever worked out at Equinox, you already know the power of a cold eucalyptus towel . . . and maybe your local yoga studio offers cold lavender towels for your third eye during Savasana. There's a reason for that!
- Peppermint. This fresh-scented oil has great healing properties on the body — add a drop to water to reap its calming benefits or rub it into your muscles for a bit of topical relief when you're cooling down from a hard gym session.
- Lavender. Combat the stress and begin your relaxing cooldown practice by adding some lavender aromatherapy to your stretching session. By cooling down with aromatherapy, you'll stave off unwanted weight gain from cortisol.
- Eucalyptus. Short of breath? This can help. Eucalyptus is also known for alleviating aches and pains. Another great post-workout use? Add a little bit of oil to a cool, wet washcloth and press it to your face to alleviate redness.
- Lemongrass. Remember this one? This zesty and fragrant essential oil is also known to relieve muscle pain. Dr. Josh Axe recommends rubbing it directly into your muscles.
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