Most times of the year, I schedule a workout 5 days a week. This gives me 3 or 4 days of strength training and 1 or 2 days of conditioning. Including a warm-up and cool-down, my workout takes just over one hour.
If I can find an hour everyday to workout, I can certainly find under an hour to go through some recovery techniques.
One recovery method previously discussed is foam rolling. Today, I’ll talk about my other favorite technique – taking an Epsom Salt bath.
Epsom salt consists of magnesium sulfate, a combination of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.
The planets water and soils used to contain far more magnesium, but due to overpopulation and unsustainable farming practices, the Earth’s stores have been greatly depleted. This in turn means that we are not consuming nearly as much magnesium as we once did.
Low magnesium levels can cause weakness, cramps, arrhythmias, anxiety, tremors, confusion, depression, hypertension, and seizures. Countless times I have seen clients eliminate foot cramps or difficulty sleeping by simply raising their magnesium levels.
Another cause of these symptoms is our high consumption of dairy and calcium fortified products. Magnesium and calcium work together in the body. Calcium causes muscles to contract while magnesium allows them to relax. Consuming massive amounts of calcium, without properly balancing magnesium levels accordingly, can contribute to tension, muscle tightness, and electrolyte imbalances.
Some choose to consume powdered or tablet forms of supplemental magnesium. Although this is effective for raising magnesium levels, oral bioavailability of magnesium varies greatly and high doses may have a laxative effect.
For this reason, on workout days, I spend a minimum of 15 minutes in a hot bath, with 1 cup of Epsom salt, before bed.
This is the perfect way to relax at the end of a long day. The hot water and magnesium relaxes the muscles while the still nature of the water and peaceful setting can greatly calm the mind.
Epsom salt is inexpensive and causes no dangerous side effects. The worst that may happen with soaking too long, or using excessive amounts of Epsom salt, would be lethargy or a heavy feeling in the limbs.
I have noticed that since I start incorporating this workout technique years ago, I recover from workouts sooner and fall asleep much faster.
Next time you’re at the store, spend a few dollars on a bag of Epsom salt and take a 15-minute bath that day. Let me know if your results are as worthwhile as mine!