The benefits of getting your dance on
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A killer sweat session is good for the mind, body, and soul, but not without a recovery plan. From taking a fitness class on the MINDBODY app to finishing your daily run, it's so important to not only care for your muscles, but your well-being as a whole.
Whether it's snacking right or making time for that *oh-so-good* stretch, we've got five easy tips to help you successfully recover and get your body back to the workout grind.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but whether you just completed a strenuous bootcamp or rejuvenating yoga class, it’s important to replace the fluids lost during exercise. Make it a goal to consume at least two liters of water per day. Tack on a bottle refill (or two) if your workout had you really sweating.
Pro Tip: Grab a few organic mint leaves, slice up some citrus and add them to your water for a thirst-quenching treat.
Light stretching before and after your workout can help facilitate quick muscle recovery by reducing lactic acid build-up and improving circulation. Stretching is proven to help your range of motion and flexibility in addition to improving your performance in the long run. Try these simple movements, holding each for one minute:
Pro Tip: Take stretching seriously! Commit to making it a part of your workout routine every time.
Foam rolling is a great way to speed up recovery and can ease soreness by breaking up tight knots of tissue and enhancing blood flow. Experiencing discomfort is part of the process, and does your body good—however, if you’re experiencing sharp, unexpected pain, pause and speak with your doctor before continuing.
Pro Tip: Looking to release tension in a targeted spot? Try a roller ball. Rubber, lacrosse-style balls can get into those tight areas where you need centralized, deep tissue relief.
Juices, smoothies and nutritional supplements are all post-workout ways to assist in your body’s recovery. It’s crucial to get a mix of protein and carbs into your system fast, ideally within 20 minutes of completing your workout. Determine what your body needs—maybe it’s watermelon juice’s soothing effect that helps get more oxygen to muscles, or pomegranate juice’s antioxidant-packed ingredients that decrease muscle soreness (specifically in your arms).
Pro Tip: Looking to pick a protein powder that benefits your specific workout plan? True Nutrition offers the ability to customize your powder and flavor through easy-to-use tools and a helpful support staff.
Reach for foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as hemp, flax seeds and chia. Nuts and blueberries are also great sources to help these fatty acids speed up recovery and reduce inflammation. Check out this article for more snack ideas.
Pro Tip: Plan ahead and buy from the bulk section at your local health food store. Create portioned bags with an omega-3 “trail mix” so you can snack healthy on the go.
Athletes are more likely to be exposed to heat, friction, oils and sweat. Used gym mats are a key offender of holding onto oils, which can lead to acne issues. Take good care of your skin by cleansing heat rash and turf burn, washing areas prone to breakouts after every session and moisturizing.
Pro Tip: Keep facial wipes in your gym bag so you can do a quick cleanse before (and after) your workout.
Prevent inflammation in worn-out muscles by booking a 30-minute to 1-hour massage after an intense workout. If you can't swing an afternoon at the spa, circle back to your foam roller and incorporate a foot massager into the mix. Regular foot massages can decrease the risk of injury.
Pro Tip: Rub marjoram essential oil on sensitive spots for added relief and relaxation.
For the final piece to your post-workout puzzle, mix Epsom salt into your hot bath. The salt’s minerals will be quickly absorbed through the skin, alleviating muscle pain and inflammation when combined with hot water. Though it’s not long-lasting relief, this remedy is almost instant.
Pro Tip: Post-bath, rub coconut oil onto damp skin for a soothing, smoothing and moisturizing effect.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!