Happy National Drink Wine Day! No, I’m not kidding! According to www.nationaldrinkwineday.org, February 18th has been designated as a day to share the love and health benefits of wine.
It would be a disservice to not celebrate this fine, heart-healthy holiday by enjoying a glass (or two!) of one of my favorite reds so CHEERS!
Actually it fits in nicely into my evening, which has turned into a little self-care spa night. My track speed workout last night left me exhausted. (My legs were so sore and fatigued this morning that I wore my Pro Compression socks to work!) I was feeling extra drained when I set off for a few miles this afternoon. Recognizing this made me back off my pace to keep the run as easy as possible.
Upon my return home, after some strength and core training, the lure of hot, steamy water to soak my weary body in seduced me into hopping in the tub for a few minutes. BLISS.
I’ve loved every form of hydro-therapy for as long as I can remember… baths, Jacuzzi’s, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, mineral hot springs, soaking pools…
I know that there is a ton of information, science, and studies to support how beneficial ice baths are for athletes. But I cannot deny how much better I feel after a traditional hot bath as opposed to an ice bath. Not to mention that I absolutely hate being cold and ice baths are like torture!
While ice baths get a lot of attention, I would point out that a hot bath has many therapeutic benefits too. They promote the deep relaxation of muscles which can relieve cramping, help create elasticity of muscle, and provide relief from tension headaches. Soaking can improve circulation, help you sweat out toxins, and help you find a peaceful state of mind.
I would recommend that if you are at all concerned about the safety of a bath, hot or otherwise, you consult your physician.
Personally, the hotter the better. Often times I add Epsom salts or other magical potion to help reduce inflammation and essential oil for fragrance to deepen my state of relaxation. (I highly recommend lavender. It is one of my favorite scents of all time and fantastic for mental wellbeing!) I’ll soak for 20-30 minutes, allowing the water to naturally cool so that I almost start to chill before I exit, and then dress warm and relax for a while before returning to normal activities. Better yet, head to bed!
Sure, baths aren’t for everyone, but I wouldn’t overlook them as a regular part of your self-care practices. And if you have a hot tub, can we be friends?