Whether you're an athlete or just a regular person who likes to get out and move, then chances are you know that exercise can make your body feel great. But did you know that aromatherapy can also help?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using scents from plants to improve health, mood, and well-being. It's been used for centuries in many different cultures, but it wasn't until recently that people started to realize how beneficial scent can be for athletes.
Aromatherapy Benefit in Sport & Exercise
Here are five ways that aromatherapy can help sports and exercise:
1. It helps improve recovery time
Your body needs time to recover after exercise, whether you've had a tough workout or just ran a few miles on the treadmill. Aromatherapy offers some excellent benefits when it comes to helping your body recover after exercise:
It reduces inflammation by soothing muscles and joints. This is especially helpful if you're an avid runner or cyclist who suffers from sore legs or feet after long rides or runs.
It increases blood circulation by increasing blood flow to your muscles and reducing muscle tension and soreness. This means your energy levels are boosted after each session instead of dwindling as they would otherwise.
It encourages better sleep patterns so that your body can repair itself and repair any damage caused by exercise.
2. Helps improve breathing
As we've discussed, aromatherapy is all about the smells. And it turns out that smell can greatly impact your body, especially when it comes to breathing.
Aromatherapy can help with breathing difficulties: If you or someone you know has trouble breathing, then aromatherapy may help. The American Lung Association says that inhaling certain scents can help relax the muscles in your airways and make it easier for you to get air into your lungs. This could improve things like asthma symptoms or sleep apnea (a condition where someone stops breathing during sleep)
Aromatherapy can help with asthma symptoms: There's evidence that people who suffer from asthma experience fewer attacks when exposed to certain scents—like eucalyptus oil or lavender flowers—soothe their airways and ease their wheezing episodes.
3. Helps reduce pain
Do you know what's not fun? Pain.
Whether you're struggling to complete a workout because of an injury or just experiencing muscle soreness after a hard workout, aromatherapy can help. Aromatherapy can benefit sports by helping reduce pain and inflammation by promoting relaxation and improving circulation. It may also increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps with healing injuries.
Some essential oils are known for their ability to relieve pain, including peppermint and clary sage oil. Peppermint has been found in several studies to improve athletes' performance by reducing muscle tension and spasms related to exercise-related fatigue.
Clary sage is thought to work similarly by relaxing tense muscles while relieving stress and anxiety—which can contribute directly or indirectly (via increased sweating) toward muscle tension and spasms caused by workout intensity.
These two oils can be used alone or combined with other essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus (both of which are known for their analgesic properties).
4. It helps ease sore muscles
If you have sore muscles after exercising or playing a sport, this can be very helpful. The active ingredients in essential oils work directly on muscle tissue by relaxing tight muscles and stimulating blood flow which speeds up the healing process in the body.
Some of the best essential oils for helping relieve sore muscles include lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil. You could also use an ointment containing these essential oils, which would be applied directly to the affected areas.
5. It helps with focus and concentration
Focus and concentration are both important factors in sports. If you can't focus, your performance will suffer. Some athletes use aromatherapy to help them focus more on the game or match they're playing.
Aromatherapy uses certain scents and oils to help improve moods and reduce stress levels. Some studies suggest that it can even increase the amount of oxygen in your blood by dilating blood vessels, which could be beneficial for athletes who need an extra boost in energy levels.
Aromatherapy oils also have calming effects on people, so using them before a big game may make you feel less nervous than usual—which is good news if nerves have been holding back your performance!
There are several ways aromatherapy can help with focus:
Choose an oil based on what kind of effect you want (eucalyptus helps relieve stress; rosemary perks up mental alertness).
Rub some onto pulse points such as wrists or behind ears just before competing. The scent will linger for about 30 minutes after application. Still, it won't interfere with other activities, such as eating before competing, because there's no need to breathe deeply into the nose area where most inhalation occurs during exercise.
Essential Oils for Sports & Exercise
There are many different types of essential oils that can be used while exercising or playing sports, including:
Peppermint Oil - Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on muscles when applied topically, making it great for relieving muscle soreness after exercise. It also has antispasmodic properties and can help relieve muscles' cramping and tightness. It is also very effective at reducing inflammation and pain caused by injuries.
Lavender Oil - Lavender oil is known for its relaxing effects, which makes it perfect for use before or after exercise. It's also a natural analgesic (pain reliever), which means that it can reduce muscle aches and pains caused by exercise.
Rosemary Oil - Rosemary oil is an excellent choice for athletes because it has stimulating properties that help to improve circulation, remove lactic acid build-up, and promote muscle recovery after exercise. Rosemary is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for treating muscle soreness.
Helichrysum Oil - Helichrysum is good for treating bruising and swelling after an injury or intense workout session.
Rosemary oil - Rosemary is known for its antioxidant properties, which may help protect your body from free radicals released during exercise.
Cypress Oil - Cypress is often used in aromatherapy because it can help reduce stress levels by stimulating the brain's production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It can also reduce inflammation in muscles and joints, which makes it useful for athletes who suffer from overuse injuries like tennis elbow or a runner's knee.
Ginger Oil - Ginger is another great choice for relieving muscle soreness after exercise because it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce muscle pain and swelling following strenuous activity. Ginger can also promote circulation, which helps with quicker recovery after exercise as well as reducing cramping.
If you have never tried aromatherapy before, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. From calming workouts to relieving soreness and helping you stay hydrated, there are many ways it can enhance your sports and exercise.
Trust us—you won't regret incorporating these essential oils into your routine!