Prior to quarantine, I had a professional massage every 3-4 weeks. March 13 was my last massage appointment so I’ve been creative with ways to keep my body relaxed.
This year gave us new challenges, we have fewer outside resources and more stress from the unknown.
In addition to my daily routine of exercise, hydration, and meditation I try to add one or two things that help my muscles relax.
I have a warm bath with Epsom salts 2-3 times a week. This is no substitute for a mineral soak at the Korean Spa but it helps me wind down at the end of the day.
I use my heated neck pillow almost daily, the warm weight keeps my neck and shoulders more relaxed. Sometimes I use it when I’m sitting at my desk and it helps prevent my shoulders from creeping up towards my ears.
I learned about the RoFlex PRO from my Run Club and I love it for self massage of my arms and legs. There’s a bit of a learning curve but once you figure out how it works best for your body, it’s a handy tool to keep around. I’m on my computer more these days and my forearms have felt the change, this tool has helped!
Even when getting regular massage, nothing beats a good session with a foam roller. This is a good comprehensive video to help you get started.
It may be awhile before personal services resume so we decided to invest in a TheraGun. I find it super effective and worth the money, especially if you have a partner to use it on the hard to reach areas. It provides targeted, deep pressure, almost as good as a human!
I look forward to having a professional massage when it’s safe but until then, I’ll keep up my self care routine at home.
You want nice skin but you also care about the planet, how can you balance your concerns?
Several large companies have recently made commitments to cut back on post consumer waste by using recycled plastic, refillable bottles, and less outer packaging. This is a huge step in the right direction!
Some small tips can go a long way when it comes to environmental impact from personal care products:
Looks for items with the least amount of packaging. Excessive wrapping can look pretty and make it feel like you are getting a “gift” but most of it ends up in the landfill.
Shop locally. Not only do you support your neighbors and community, but you lessen the environmental impact of shipping and packing materials.
Use up all the products you have. If a cream is too rich for your face, use it on your body. Don’t throw away perfectly good products!
Streamline your routine to 2-3 products per season. Rotate your products as necessary when a bottle is empty. 5-6 open products run the risk of expiring before you can use them all.
Recycle your empty packages! This may seem obvious but if there’s no recycling bin in the bathroom it’s an easy one to miss.
Donate unused items. Skin care can be an impulse buy and return policies can be strict. Check with your local homeless shelter, many of them welcome donations of unused (or gently used) personal care products.
The basics of anti-aging skin care have been proven: retinol, vitamin c and sunscreen every day. But what about exercise?
The New York Times examines a Canadian study that shows regular exercise changes the actual structure of the skin, not just the appearance.
“They found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.”
Sounds amazing, let’s all get to the gym!
Here are a few tips to get the most skin benefits from your workout:
- Drink an extra 8oz. of water for every hour of exercise.
- Remove your makeup before you workout.
- If you are prone to acne on your chest and back, wear sweat wicking fabrics and shower as soon as possible after your workout.
- Wear water resistant SPF AND a hat if you workout outdoors. UVA rays are present whenever there is sunlight.
Pick an exercise you enjoy. There are so many options when it comes to moving your body; if it makes you happy your stress level will decrease and your complexion will benefit!