Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Sundays are good for the soul and you deserve the laziest of Sundays today after you've spent all month embracing challenging workouts, surviving homeschooling and keeping your head above water during a global pandemic! Although stretching is built into all of our Barre classes, sometimes you can feel a bit stiff after taking on some of the new challenges so here are 4 workout recovery ideas for a self-care Sunday!
1. Run yourself a hot bath with Epsom Salts (candlelit if you're feeling extra boujee).
Heading into a spa is like a calming feast for your senses. The lights are dimmed and the warmth of candles adds pockets of light in cosy corners, there's gentle music floating through each room and it smells like a NEOM emporium. You feel instantly relaxed and you leave walking on air. It's time to recreate that magic at home with a candlelit bath! Not only does the soothing effect of the water help to relieve physical, emotional and mental stress it also helps the blood flow more easily to your muscles, bringing more oxygen with it which helps with relaxation and recovery. Adding some Epsom Salts (unfortunately table salt doesn't have quite the same effect!) to your bath helps to reduce inflammation and aids muscle and nerve function. Plus there’s nothing like a little timeout to read your favourite book in the tub!
2. Treat yourself to some gentle stretching in front of your latest series.
Firstly if you're in need of some binge-watch inspo then I couldn't recommend Married At First Sight Australia enough. It's nail-biting drama and full of cover-your-eyes shockers! Ideally, your stretching session would happen after the bath while you're still feeling nice and toasty! A gentle, stretchy flow will help improve blood circulation, increasing blood flow to your muscles and reducing tension. It also feels fab and will release more of those endorphins that we know and love!
3. Grab a foam roller and get rolling the tension away!
A self-care habit that would be great to bring into your weekly workout routine is foam rolling. Taking 10 minutes after your workout to use a foam roller will help reduce any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). When you exercise your muscles go through a process of breakdown and repair and this can sometimes cause the feeling of tightness. Essentially the tightness is when the fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds all your muscles) starts to thicken and shorten because it wants to protect your muscles from further breakdown and repair. When the fibres and fascia contract a lot they form trigger points/muscle soreness that needs to be released before it causes restrictions to the range of movement and potential injury. Foam rolling is basically the application of pressure on these points to free up the fascia. If you're brand new to foam rolling, here's a great 'how to' video and if you haven't got one at home, you can buy one here. Also worth a quick mention that foam rolling is a great thing to do if you have to sit for long periods of time for work and will really help with any tension you feel creeping into your back!
4. Start to wind down for bed earlier than normal and see if you can get a full 7-9 hours in.
Having a wind-down routine is something that I've just started trying to stick to. Normally I fall asleep on the sofa and slope off to bed with no energy for an evening skincare routine so I've started putting the breaks on the endless Instagram scrolling and double screening in front of MAFS at around 9pm to take my make-up off, spend 10 minutes trying to get to grips with some at-home gua sha-ing (essentially foam rolling but for your face!) and then get into bed with a book and get nice and snoozy. Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night will help us get into a deep sleep which is where we want to be for muscle recovery. When you're in deep sleep (roughly 40% of your nightly sleep) your blood pressure drops and your breathing becomes deeper and slower. With your brain resting, the blood supply to your muscles increases taking extra oxygen and nutrients with it which helps their healing and growth!
I hope you have cosy and restful Sundays ❤️