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Recovery, Movement and Cannabinoids

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Movement is essential to overall health and happiness.

There is a sitting epidemic. This go-round we are discussing the benefits of doing more than standing. We’re taking a look at how to better support yourself after raising your heart rate, breaking a sweat, and putting a strain on your body. There are many benefits of exercise. This week the British Journal of Sports Medicine published findings from the University of Cambridge saying “that 11 minutes a day (75 minutes a week) of moderate-intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk – would be sufficient to lower the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and a number of cancers.” Exercise has been proven to improve mood, help lower risks of stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and support a healthy metabolic condition. Whether you are moving to improve your strength, manage stress and health conditions, or manage a healthy weight, how you treat your body before and after movement matters.

Why do we get sore?

No matter how healthy you are, working out can cause delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS happens from microscopic damage and tears to muscle fibers and their surrounding connective tissues (that’s why they call it “getting ripped”!). These tissues become inflamed and the body works quickly to repair them, which causes soreness, stiffness, and tenderness, making it harder to get back and at ‘em in the next few days. This happens most commonly when you use your muscles in an unfamiliar way, like starting a new routine or turning up the intensity of a workout.

Before moving basics

Some traditional ways of preventing this intense discomfort start before you workout. Making sure you're properly hydrated (no, sugary drinks don't count!) stretching, warming up, and starting slow can be a huge help. Also, keep at it! It’s been proven the more you exercise overtime the less sore you will be.

After movement support

Other traditional methods to decrease soreness include hot and cold therapy. A 2013 study found that applying wet heat like a warm damp towel, wet heating pack, or taking a warm bath was more productive at reducing pain than dry heat alone. If you’re opting for a bath, add in Epsom Salt, as it has been linked to reducing both muscle pain and inflammation. If you’re still feeling sore after some heat opt to switch it up for some cold therapy, as it's been shown to also help reduce swelling in muscles, nerves, and joints. Reach for an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies and alternate holding it on and off directly where it hurts.

How can cannabinoids help?

A recent study in the International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health concluded that athletes who consumed CBD post-workout were able to recover faster and reported significantly less muscle soreness the following days after exercising. As CBD is known to work as an anti-inflammatory and promote better sleep, it's no surprise that more and more athletes are reaching for it daily to help them get moving better and faster. Many athletes are also adding in CBDA to their routine. CBDA is the precursor to CBD, aka RAW CBD and has been found to be potentially even more helpful for workout recovery, and sleeplessness due to aches, as well as reducing inflammation after physical recovery. CBDA is absorbed up to 11 times better than CBD, which can help athletes (and you) consume lower doses. A good night’s sleep is one of the most important ingredients in a good recovery routine. While we sleep our body is able to repair those torn muscle fibers, helping you feel less sore the next day.

The topical difference

Beyond consuming CBD, it can also be a big help when applied topically to sore muscular skeletal tissue in the form of salves, balms, and lotions. When applied topically CBD interacts with receptors in our skin, acting as a stimulating relaxant (stimulating the tissue to help it relax) to reduce inflammation and tension without breaking the blood brain barrier. This a way for people who are hesitant to try CBD to feel its benefits without having to consume it.

Overall it is important to get off the couch and get moving. Whether you’re looking to turn up the intensity or get started, recovering faster can make your new adventure easier and more enjoyable.

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