A Guest Post by Hannah, owner of Base Body NZ Fitness Centre
Magnesium you little Gem!
Did you know that magnesium is an Essential Mineral? There are over 200 bodily functions that require sufficient amounts of Magnesium.
So your body really needs Mg (Hi I'm Essential - kind of a big deal), but it doesn't create it itself. This means you need to ingest it through a varied diet or you need to supplement.
Now I can tell you I eat pretty well, but I can also tell, from my outrageous chocolate cravings, that I have been deficient in Magnesium in the past. So, for well over 12 months now, I have been using Salt & Oil SO Mg Magnesium Spray.
The first time I used this spray I got a little excited and sprayed it all over my back and got so itchy I had to have a shower. But I learnt my lesson - my body was deficient in magnesium and that means it reacted more to it. I can now spray it directly onto my skin and I don't have to jump in the shower 2 minutes later. And I did learn a little trick which is to spray it on the arches of my feet. No itching, ever!
I started using this spray to help with my sleep and for muscle recovery. My days a year ago were HECTIC! 5am wake ups, working mornings at BASE then throughout the day in my second job, then back to BASE for night time classes.
I was surviving, 100% not thriving and SLEEP is my JAM. With a couple of toddlers thrown in there too, life was very real, and I needed more sleep. After a full day I needed to wind down ASAP, so I could get into bed and straight to sleep, to be ready for the next day on that racing track of life I was living. So using Magnesium spray was my first option to get myself in a calm and relaxed state to get off to sleep.
These days I don't have to use it every night for sleep, as my life has slowed down, thank goodness! But I do up my usage of my Magnesium Spray when I have been training a little harder, faster or longer, in order to help with recovery.
It's great as a recovery tool because, as a liquid, it's absorbed directly into the body and can help with the recovery of my muscles FAST!** My body loves it when I rub some magnesium oil into my aching muscles after a hard day's training. Plus, bonus - I no longer crave chocolate which is a great sign that I'm getting enough magnesium. And I sleep like a baby. A baby that sleeps through the night that is!
Here is one of Hannah's top tips for muscle relaxation at the start and end of a busy day:
The Bow and Arrow Stretch, which opens out the chest and gives rotation through the thoracic spine. It's quite common to be stiff in this area, and this is a lovely, gentle stretch that shouldn't put pressure on your joints.
It's quite hard to explain with text only, so you could always search for a video on how to perform it. But basically:
Lie on your side with your knees tucked up towards your chest and arms stretched along the floor in front of your face.
Keeping your knees together, on the floor, pull your top arm back past your body, following the movement with your eye gaze.
It would look as though you're pulling a bow and arrow back into the firing position.
Aim to get your uppermost shoulder down to the floor while your lower body stays still.
Make sure you swap over and do the other side!
Hannah is the owner of Base Body, a fitness centre in Whangarei with a lovely, friendly vibe, that offers Reformer Pilates, group fitness and personal training.
I love this quote from their website:
This is BASE, this is US. We are STRONG. We rise TOGETHER. This is a place of ACCEPTANCE, where we EMBRACE each others weaknesses & ENCOURAGE each others STRENGTHS. We are PERFECTLY imperfect. We gather to be our BEST, to do our BEST, where we are, with what we have, in that moment. We know that ultimately all things work TOGETHER to create the GREATEST good, for ourselves, one another and our COMMUNITY. This is BASE, this is US, we are STRONG, KIND & DETERMINED.
** How does Magnesium help your muscles recover?
It helps relax your muscles and prevent them from cramping or spasming.
It helps replenish the red blood cells which were hard at work providing your body with oxygen during your workout.
It is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
As Hannah mentioned, magnesium can help improve your sleep, which is one of the best forms of rest and recovery for your body (and mind).