Health and Fitness Essentials to Improve Your Workouts
As we enter the cooler months of the year, it’s important to still stay active. Staying active has a huge impact that goes beyond improving your physical health and physique. A daily sweat sesh can also be an amazing mood booster and great for your mental health.
If you are looking for some workout and exercise inspiration, we’ve put together some health and fitness essentials for pre and post workouts to revamp your fitness routines, improve your workouts and recovery, and inspire you to move each day.
Pre-WorkoutNatural Pre-Workout Energy Shot
Before going to the gym or working out, it may be useful to take an energy boosting supplement. Energy supplements can help give you both the energy and motivation to physically get to the gym or workout, as well as providing the energy you need to perform and sustain your workouts for as long as possible.
Back in my hardcore gym days, I would drink copious amounts of energy drinks and pre-workout powders that were full of sugars, additives, thickeners and a whole lot of caffeine that was beyond what my adrenals could handle, leaving me with a massive ‘crash’ after workouts. This is why I believe it’s important to take an energy supplement that is as natural as possible. I personally love Eden Healthfoods Energy Shot PreWorkout as it contains an energy blend that is 100% natural and made from organic herbs and superfoods to provide focus, stamina, strength and energy whilst you workout, and all without the crash.
All essential oils hold both warming and cooling properly. Essentials can be a great addition to workouts as well as recovery, as they help to soothe certain areas of the body when applied topically. Below are some essential oils that you can bring into your fitness routines, as well as ideas on how to use them.
- Always use a carrier oil with your essential oils such as fractionated coconut oil
- Use warming oils such as cinnamon bark, clove, frankincense and wintergreen when preparing to exercise. Warming oils are also great for recovery and massage
- Cooling oils such as basil, peppermint and cardamom are all useful for a cool down, and are also great for massage
- Use uplifting oils to inspire, motivate and for vitality before or during a workout when you are feeling emotionally or physically sluggish. Some uplifting oils are spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, sweet orange, or lemon
- Respiratory support and the ability to take clear full breaths during exercise is important. During yoga and pilates, breathing is a huge component. Inhale, exhale. Essential oils for respiratory support are Eucalyptus, cardamom, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint
- Essential oils for massaging the muscles post-workout and for recovery are frankincense, ginger, lemongrass, peppermint, marjoram, rosemary, vetiver, wintergreen, ylang ylang, clove, cinnamon bark, and eucalyptus
- The best oils for pre-workout, intra-workout, post workout and recovery are bergamot, cassava, clove, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, myrrh, sandalwood, spearmint, tangerine, wild orange
- Pop some essential oils into your diffuser to place into your at home yoga, pilates or fitness room
- You can create your own foot soak for workout muscle recovery with some hot water, a cup of epsom salts, 1/2 cup bicarb soda, and then a few drops of essential oil of your choice. I love to add peppermint, lavender, rosemary, lemon or clove
An intra-workout supplement can provide massive performance benefits. Eden Healthfoods High Octane IntraWorkout Intensifier provides energy, increases endurance and enhances focus during workouts without the caffeine and is made using organic and wildcrafted whole herbs and superfoods.
Working out and exercise means sweat. And trust me, you don't want to be distracted by your own B.O (and niether does anyone else) when you are workout out. This means that you need a strong deodorant to prevent odour from happening in the first place. Unfortunately a lot of mainstream deodorants contain aluminium and other parabens and toxic ingredients that are designed to block the sweating process and works as an 'antiperspirant' to stop sweating. These ingredients no one should have seeping into their skin (our skin is our largest organ), this is why it’s important to us that we stock only natural deodorants that are chemical-free.
You can shop our natural deodorant range here, including roll-on, stick, paste, and spray deodorant. One of my favourite deodorants of all time is Schdmit’s Rose + Vanilla Deodorant Stick because the smell is just divine! I also opt for deodorant pastes too as I personally feel they last longer.
We all know how important protein is for the body - it’s made up of amino acids, also known as the 'building blocks' of muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. Protein also helps the body metabolise its energy stores for energy, helping to reduce body fat. Protein powders have become increasingly popular over the years
You can consume protein powders during or post-workout.
Many protein powders on the market can contain hidden sugar, additives, preservatives, flavourings and dyes. For many years I was training at the gym twice a day, and consuming a lot of protein powders that were making me feel inflamed and upsetting my digestive system. I would be bloated straight after drinking the protein drinks, and it took me awhile to figure out it was because of the type of protein drinks that I was consuming, and the many nasty ingredients that they contained. Along the way, I also discovered that I was intolerant to whey protein (no pun intended). There are many different types of protein powders such as whey, soy, and brown rice protein, so be sure to check for ingredients and trial a protein powder that works best for you and your body as not all protein powders were created equally and not all are good for you. Bottom line: If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then you probably shouldn’t be consuming it.
Some of my favourite protein powders are Tropeaka Lean Protein, Eden Health Foods Super Lean Protein, and Amazonia Raw Protein Slim & Tone.
Check out our natural protein powder range here.
Protein shakers are commonly used by those who are exercising or working out because they provide an easy way to consume protein during a workout, or after working out. You can even shake up your pre-workout or intra-workout. Happy Way Shaker is a super versatile shaker that is easy to bring and carry around, is 100% leak proof, and made from BPA and DEHP-free plastic. You can also store several servings of your nutritional supplements within the shaker (fat burner, protein, vitamins, capsules, or post-workout supplements).Reusable Insulated Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is a non-negotiable, but it’s even more important to stay hydrated while exercising or working out so that you can replace fluids lost through sweating. Whether you’re drinking water, energy drinks, or a special blend of supplements, then having a good quality water bottle during your workouts is very important. If you haven’t switched over to a reusable water bottle yet, then I’d highly recommend. Reusable water bottles are better for the planet (the plastic ones you buy from the store can take many years to decompose), and there is a high chance that having a reusable bottle will motivate you to drink more water, which keeps you healthy and hydrated throughout the day. Plus, they save you money in the long run as you’re not constantly buying single-use plastic bottles.
I love the Cheeki range for reusable water bottles. Cheeki water bottles are both insulated and made from stainless steel, which ensures that liquid will stay cool for up to 24 hours, and hot for up to 12 hours. The bottles are also BPA free, toxin free and eco-friendly.
The Cheeki Tri-Tech Sports Lid also features a rubber handle for easy carrying, and with three adjustable flow settings as well as a leak-proof off setting, which makes it the perfect lid for the gym.
Cleansing towelettes are the perfect addition to any gym or fitness bag. If you love hitting the gym during your lunch hour or before work, but hate feeling like a sweaty mess afterwards, then cleansing towelettes or wipes may be your new bestfriend. Acure Coconut Cleansing Towelettes are gentle wipes that contain nourishing Argan oil among other natural ingredients. They are perfect for on the go, great for make up removal, cleansing of the face and body, and made for travel, the gym and your bag. They are biodegradable too, so better for the environment.
Protein Energy Bars
Protein bars can be a convenient way to incorporate more protein after your workouts. Protein bars can also help fuel a workout, or support muscle repair after exercise. Unfortunately, most protein bars can contain fillers, hidden sugars, and other nasty ingredients, so be sure to check the ingredients to be sure of what you are putting into your body. I love Tropeaka Protein Energy Bars which are packed with a combination of organic protein and energy-boosting superfoods. These protein bars also contain natural sugars as well as digestive enzymes, so it's better for your gut health. The Peanut Butter is my favourite, but they also have other flavours such as choc-mint and chocolate. Check out the Tropeaka full range including sleep infusions, protein powders, protein bars, and supplements here.
Post-Workout & Recovery
The recovery process after a workout and exercise is important, so make sure you take the time for self-care post-workouts, as this is when injuries are likely to occur.Magnesium
Magnesium is so important for recovery after a workout, as it helps the muscles to relax after a workout (which can counteract the role that calcium plays in contracting the muscles). Incorporate magnesium rich foods like nuts, avocado, legumes, dark chocolate, bananas, and dark leafy greens, or you may choose to supplement with a magnesium supplement. One of my favourite products for post-workout recovery is a magnesium spray which can be sprayed on and rubbed into any sore muscles or aches and pains - a great addition to a gym bag to use when needed.
Muscle Soak Epsom Salts
A good soak in a bathtub with Epsom salts can help to alleviate muscle soreness and aches. These Magnesium Sports Recovery Flakes are perfect to add to a bathtub full of water to help ease pain after an intense workout or exercise routine, and will help to replenish a tired body. The addition of menthol also adds to the muscular relaxation and recovery process.
An infrared sauna is one of my favourite things to promote proper muscle recovery. Here’s why:
- Infrared saunas can aid with muscle recovery and helps alleviate muscular pain after exercise and workouts
- An infrared sauna can improve performance and endurance (due to increased blood volume, an effect of the sauna)
- Improves joint pain
- May decrease feelings of fatigue post-workout
It’s important to stay well hydrated as not only will you be sweating during your workouts, but in the sauna too. Keep your electrolytes in balance too by consuming an electrolyte drink or sipping on coconut water. Tropeaka Coconut Water Powder is a great natural hydration option when simply mixed in water or in smoothies, smoothie bowls and drinks, and contains magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium electrolytes.
I talk more about my love of infrared saunas here and how they have benefited me. Shop our infrared sauna range HERE or to learn more about our infrared saunas.
Arnica Muscle Soak
You can also add Weleda Arnica Muscle Soak to your hot bath to help speed up muscle recovery after intense exercise. Your muscles and limbs will appreciate the aromatic and soothing liquid made with Arnica Flowers and Birch Leaf extract, as well as essential oils of Rosemary and Lavender.
AMAZONIA Raw Protein Slim & Tone Chocolate Caramel (500g)
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Kiva Wellness Rise 3 Person Far-Infrared Sauna with Chromotherapy Light
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