I love doing a variety of physical activities. Unfortunately, some of them are hindered by the fact that I have weak body. Once I go over the half hour mark, I start to pay attention to my joints and muscles. As soon as I feel that tell-tale ache, I stop and wind down. Continuing on at this point would just make my body feel worse the next day.
I am not the type of person to push myself until it burns. There is already enough mental and emotional stress in my life that I do not need to add physical stress to it. I exercise to clear my mind and enjoy the fact that I am not sitting at a desk.
For the past year, I have been trying to find a way to ease the strain on my knees. Before and after stretching, frequent knee exercises at the desk, eating food to promote muscle strength … the list goes on.
About 2 months ago, I unearthed a bottle of sweet almond oil in my nightstand. It was pushed to the back of the drawer due to lack of use. I originally got the oil for long massages to knead the deeper layers of muscles. Nowadays, I use heating oils/ointments, like tiger balm, to treat muscle soreness because I need something quicker.
Figuring I had no better use for it, I started to apply the sweet almond oil to my knees and wrists after playing racquetball. It is one of my favorite forms of exercise. Thanks to the nature of the court, I can do this by myself instead of having to find a partner to work out with me. It’s a fun way to practice my hand-eye coordination and agility. The elation of being able to reach the ball before it bounces twice is amazing. However, the constant pivots and dashes resulted in a kind of wobble you experience when you step off a boat – except I was nowhere near a body of water. My wrists also protested the fast motions (both were sore because I challenged myself to learn to play with either hand).
To my surprise, I barely noticed any problem with my knees after just two sessions! Each knee got about a 2 minute massage and the wrists probably got about 1 minute. With such a small amount of time devoted to massaging in the oil, I thought I was only benefiting from the nice aroma.
A quick search online helped me remember the reason I got the oil in the first place. Sweet almond oil is a cheap option in regards to massage oil and the skin absorbs it very easily. To make sure it wasn’t a placebo effect, one day I decided to skip the post-workout massage. The next morning, I struggled to get my legs stretched enough to begin the new day. Needless to say, sweet almond oil now has a permanent spot in my duffel bag.
What do you do to alleviate sore muscles?