I am a HUGE proponent of baths. Bubbles, candles, an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, maybe a glass of wine if the mood so strikes–I go all in on a relaxing night in the tub. And while the relaxation alone is a great reason to slide in, there are some big health benefits to bath time. The best way to take advantage of this is with my one special ingredient–epsom salt.
So epsom salt–what is it exactly? This handy ingredient is more officially known as magnesium sulfate and has been used for years as a natural remedy for cuts, colds, and muscle aches. I’ve used it in baths for ages, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when my husband had to go to the doctor for an infection and they prescribed soaking it in epsom salt that I started to dig into the research on the endless benefits of this easy to find, affordable product.
As a personal trainer, this is my secret to keeping muscle soreness at bay and maintaining my intense schedule at the gym. Studies have shown that epsom salt reduces inflammation, improves circulation, relieves muscle cramps (ladies, this applies to ALL kinds of muscle cramps if you catch my drift), and ultimately reduces overall stress. With these benefits in mind, I recommend that my clients who struggle with muscle soreness, arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, and just plain stressful lives (is there anyone who doesn’t fall into that category??) shoot for a minimum of one, 20 minute epsom salt bath a week.
So how do you reap these benefits? Easy.
Step One: Draw a hot bath (ideally as hot as you can stand to sit in because the heat is also great for relaxing muscles and reducing inflammation).
Step Two: While the tub is filling, take one or 2 cups of your favorite epsom salt and add it under the running water to help it dissolve. You can use any kind you like, but I’m linking my favorite Dr. Teal’s brand because it has added essential oils that help set the calming mood that I want from this experience. Your mileage may vary, but in testing out several brands, this one is what I keep coming back to.
Step Three: Get those clothes off, slide in to the water, and let the relaxation and healing begin!
Some of you might find it hard to take the time to sit in a bath for 20 minutes, but I truly view this as an essential–just like I set aside time for workouts and meal prep, setting the time for a weekly wind down in the tub creates a sense of clarity and renewed energy that leads me through the week and improves my performance in other aspects of life. Try it out and let me know how it goes!