Fitness Swellness: Epsom salt baths

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Taking an Epsom salt bath is one of those things I know I should do after a long run, but don’t. I have had a bag or two in my bathroom cupboard for ages, and yet I just never am motivated to — I just don’t take baths, and then the times I’d like to try the Epsom salt bath, well, it usually would call for a major bathroom cleaning first, and so it just doesn’t happen then.

But I may be converted after visiting Body Blitz the day after running Around the Bay. One of the pools in the circuit is an Epsom salt bath and I felt better on Tuesday (and could it have helped my iffy ankle feel better, too?).

What are Epsom salts and how do they help with muscles soreness? Epsom salt is magnesium sulphite and this mineral can be absorbed through the skin, and it can help relieve muscle soreness as it helps to flush lactic acid from your muscles, explains Carene Coulter, the spa director at Body Blitz. She adds that the warm water you bathe in also helps tight muscles to relax. While you can use an Epsom salt bath at any time to help relieve or prevent muscle soreness, she recommends them before going to bed the day of your workout.

Other benefits of Epsom salts? You can mix a pinch of salts with your everyday cleanser to gently exfoliate your skin for glowing skin. Ache-y feet? A foot bath with Epsom salts will soothe them, and the anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce swelling.

And I might need to start traveling with some Epsom salts in my carry-on: traveling can take its toll on the body (dehydration, exhaustion, and jet lag) and these salts have a sedative effect, so you can relax your body and get the restful sleep you need when away from home.

To do an Epsom salt bath at home, Coulter suggests drawing a warm bath and adding two cups of Epsom salts and allowing them to dissolve. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. “Then take a nice, cool shower to remove any salt residue, close the pores and stimulate circulation.”

1 Comment April 10, 2014

Travel Swellness: Taking off to Texas Hill Country

Enchanted Rock

This week’s adventures take me to Texas! Yes, I was just in Texas a couple of weeks ago, but that was Brenham and its surrounding areas. This week, I’ll be in Fredericksburg in Texas Hill Country doing things like hiking Enchanted Rock. As usual, I’ll post my article once published, because you know you’ll want to read more about the destination and go after getting a peek of it from my Instagrams, right? Right!

(And don’t worry, I’ll still keep my eyes peeled for Riggins.)

Texas forever.

(Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Leave a Comment April 7, 2014

Fitness Swellness:Jabra Sport Wireless+

Jabra Sport Wireless Plus

You know when you’re running and you accidentally yank out your earphones? Or when the wire catches onto someone’s purse when you’re sprinting on by them downtown? I hate when that happens. It takes you out of your zone, and then you’re busy fumbling with getting them back on instead of focusing on your run.

So I was super keen to test out the Sport Wireless+ earphones Jabra sent me. I kept forgetting to use them at first, and then I’d remember right before heading out for a run, but would think ”I don’t have time to figure out how to set it up.”

It turns out they’re simple to connect–you just need to enable and connect them via Bluetooth (something even technologically challenged me was able to do).

I used them on a handful of short runs, and enjoyed the freedom of not having the fussy wire to deal with. Plus skipping songs, and pausing the workout is simple, just a tap on button on the right earphone. It also has a built-in FM radio, but I usually run with Songza or my iPod on shuffle as I use Nike+ Running so I never tried the radio. The sound quality is good, and they fit comfortably (and btw, they come with a variety of eargels so you’ll likely find one that fits well for you!).

I decided to use them for running Around the Bay (where I ran a personal best on Sunday!) even though I knew it was risky given I’d never done a long run with the earphones. I did bring an extra set of earphones, just in case. And I’m glad I did as not even one-third into the race I got a warning of low battery. I checked my iPhone, which had 71 percent. I got two more low-battery warnings and then all I had was silence and not the sweet sounds of NKOTB in my ears.

So, turns out you need to charge these earphones. Oops. (see above, where I say I’m not technologically inclined?). I didn’t realize they have a battery and I hadn’t noticed the charge cord in the packaging so I assumed incorrectly it ran off the power of my iPhone and the Bluetooth somehow

Love the earphones (I feel more streamlined without having a messy wire to deal with during runs) but I would refrain from using them in the very long runs. Jabra says the earphones will provide 4 hours of battery life, but I’ll just stick to using them on my runs of up to a half-marathon or so to be safe.

1 Comment April 4, 2014

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