Lots of us have been making an effort to get back into a routine with the gym following our Christmas and New Year indulgences, or at least trying to find the time to fit exercise into our morning routine at home.
Not only can it seem painful to make yourself get out of bed when it's oh so tempting to press 'snooze' on your alarm, roll over and go back to sleep, or force yourself to do a workout before you get too comfy on the sofa after a long day at work, but it can be a literal pain too.
If you've had a bit of a break from exercise recently, your poor muscles won't know what's hit them when you start working out regularly again. The saying might go 'no pain, no gain', but it can be tough to keep going when you're plagued by aches and twinges, even on your rest days from the gym.
Image credit: PRImageFactory via iStock
It's important to remember that those little niggles are a sign that your muscles are beginning to tone up and that all of your efforts are actually doing your body the good you'd hoped for. And it's a good excuse - not that you should ever really need one - to treat yourself to a soothing pampering session.
Pamper your aching muscles
If you're lucky enough to have someone around who's willing to massage your aching muscles for you, that would be absolutely ideal. But you can easily relieve a little of the tension yourself too to leave your muscles feeling looser and more relaxed.
Start by running yourself a hot bath and adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Lavender is the one that's well-known for helping with relaxation, but feel free to add whatever you find the most soothing.
Let yourself lie back and relax those aching muscles for a little while, before washing yourself all over with one of our handmade Soap Bars. Use your bath water to work up as much of a lather as you can and massage the soap thoroughly into your skin before rinsing to keep the blood flowing and relieve those aches.
Next, repeat this thorough massaging by using one of our beautifully scented Body Scrubs. They're made from naturally exfoliating salt and bamboo, so as you work them into your skin, you'll be unclogging your pores and getting rid of any dead skin, while loosening up your tired muscles at the same time.
Make your soak extra calming
You deserve a little treat for getting back into your exercise routine - it's not easy in January when it's cold and dark pretty much all of the time, so make your bath something to really look forward to in your day.
Image credit: CentrallTAlliance via iStock
Take a good book or magazine in there with you and a hot drink - or a glass of wine if you're celebrating a particular milestone at the gym and have factored it into your healthy eating plan for the week.
Let yourself keep adding water from the hot tap to the tub when it starts to feel a little lukewarm to prolong your much-deserved relaxation time for as long as possible, and light a scented candle to fill the room with a soothing fragrance.
Our Citrus & Lavender Candle in a Glass, for example, will sit nicely on your bathroom cabinet and will fill the room with a beautifully refreshing yet calming fragrance that's perfect for relaxing you, yet leaving you feeling reinvigorated during your post-gym soak.