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Essential Oils for Runners

Have you tried essential oils? Unsure of which oils to try? Or just don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! Let’s dive in!

Essential oils are, simply, oil from the plant they are extracted from. Plants have a variety of healing properties so when you extract the oil or the “essence” of the plant, you capture its beneficial properties which can be used for physical wellness. Runners put their bodies through enormous stress, especially when competing and preparing for a marathon or just a long run. Oils are a little extra TLC that your body craves after a strenuous workout. Here are some of the best oils to incorporate into your post-run and wellness routine:

Essential Oils

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a multitude of uses and can be diffused, inhaled, and even ingested. Diffuse up to 10 drops of peppermint oil and combine postures from our 5 Best Yoga Moves for Runners blogopens a new window work on your breathing and flow. By inhaling the oil and connecting to your breath, you expand lung and respiratory function which will lead to better runs.

Peppermint is known to increase alertness and concentration, so try adding a few drops directly into your shoes for a little energy boost next time you’re feeling fatigued. My favorite is to take a few drops mixed with a carrier oil, such as grapeseed oil, and rub it between my palms. The friction adds a little heat, once your hands feel warm, open them and place your palms near your face to breathe in the scent. This will open your sinuses, clear your head, stimulate your mind, and relieve a headache.

Peppermint oil can also be applied topically, with a carrier oil, for those sore achy muscles. I usually prefer to add a few drops to something heavier, like coconut oil, and then massage the aches and pains away.

Nervous for your race? You can find peppermint oil in a capsule and ingest it for indigestion, gas, or nausea. The bonus of ingesting it, you will also have fresh breath!

Orange Oil

Another great oil you can ingest is orange oil. If you like a little flavor in your water this can be a great addition to it. Orange oil is also known to have antidepressant properties so it’s a great choice for a pick-me-up when you need to boost your mood. Make sure you DO NOT smell directly from the bottle, as you risk damaging your nasal passages. Instead, try adding a few drops to a cloth and inhale, this method prevents vapors directly entering the nose. Orange oil is a great option to diffuse in the house to lift spirits, relieve anxiety, and create a positive atmosphere with its pleasant aroma. Combined with a carrier oil, massage the oil into any injury to reduce pain and inflammation.

Essential Oil Diffuser

Lavender Oil

Have you recently maxed out your body on a long run? When it comes to strenuous training, which happens often when you’re an athlete, it is important to find ways to lower your stress levels. Lavender oil is one of the most common essential oils and is predominantly used to calm the nervous system, however, it can be stimulating if used in excess. For instant stress relief, try diffusing up to 10 drops in your diffuser, or apply to palms topically with a carrier oil, then breath in with your eyes closed and let the stress melt away. Another favorite is to add a few drops to the bath, personally, I also add 2 cups of Epsom salts to my baths, aiding in muscle relief and relaxation at the same time. It is especially healing to combine lavender with coconut oil, as the carrier oil, and give your tired muscles a little extra soothing.

Blister from your new kicks? Apply lavender oil directly on the blister and leave uncovered to aid in healing. Try applying morning and night, or twice a day.

Oregano Oil

Adding oregano oil may have you smelling like a pizza, but the benefits of this oil outweigh the inconvenience if you don’t like the odor. But who doesn’t love pizza?! Oregano oil is known to be antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. If you are feeling under the weather, you can apply a few drops to the bottoms of your feet before bed to boost your immunity. To promote a healthy respiratory system and immune support, oregano oil is available in pill form and unlike peppermint oil, you will have stinky breath for a bit.

Suffering from athlete’s foot or toenail fungus? Apply oregano oil with a carrier oil to fight bacteria, fungal infections, and inflammation. Always be sure to dilute the potent oil with a carrier as you can burn skin from direct contact when the oil is directly from the bottle.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is very similar to orange oil in its’ benefits and uses. It is commonly used to help with nausea, stimulate the immune system, and lift your mood. Do you enjoy lemon water? Try adding a few drops to hot water for a soothing treat. Lemon oil can also be used in treating athlete’s foot, especially if you aren’t a fan of oregano. To reap the benefits of this oil, diffuse it in your space or even add it to your bath if you want to reinvigorate yourself!

Lemon Essential Oils

Frankincense Oil

As with most of the oils on this list, Frankincense helps reduce inflammation and eases anxious feelings. When diffused it encourages better breathing and clears nasal passages making it great for allergies or a cold. Dilute frankincense with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil and massage your sore muscles, this will encourage circulation and offers pain relief to inflamed tendons and muscles. Another option is to add 5-10 drops onto a wet cloth, wet with hot water first, and wrap an injured area allowing the oil to gently absorb and promote healing. Because of its sedative smell, you can add frankincense to your bath to soak the stress away and relieve achy joints.

This is not a comprehensive list of all oils and benefits, but it is a step towards some great essential oil basics to keep in your medicine cabinet. Please be aware that if you have pets at home you want to limit the use of essential oils near them as some oils can be toxic to animals. As always, check with your doctor and/or health professional if you have a serious ailment. This is not intended to substitute for medical advice so please seek treatment if necessary.

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