Today I’m going to talk about one of my most favorite new things in the whole wide world.
No, not my shoes again.
Epsom salt. Not to be confused with those other bath salts that make you freak out and chew someone’s face off, these have quite the opposite effect. Rather than turning me into a raving lunatic, an Epsom salt bath has the power to turn me into a happy, relaxed, pile of Jell-o. Whereas the wonders of it have been known by millions since probably forever, I am once again behind the times and only just learned about Epsom salt baths last week from one of my fave running bloggers, Neon is my Color, who posted about how wonderful they are on her Facebook page. Because I think she’s wicked smart and cool, I decided to do some research.
First and foremost, the name is misleading. Epsom salt is not actually salt at all, but rather a magnesium and sulfate mineral compound. Pretty solid reason why it is located near the band aids at the pharmacy and not with the food. Both magnesium and sulfates can be easily absorbed into your skin and what better way to do this than in bath form? Studies have shown that sulfates are great for flushing the body of toxins and improve nutrient absorption, while some of the magical benefits of the magnesium include reduced inflammation, and helping muscle and nerve function. Apparently Epsom salt baths can relieve a long list of issues from muscle pain, to migraines, and even constipation, all while making you super relaxed. Not that I would know anything about being constipated, but all the rest of those things sounded wonderful to my tired, sore runner’s body.
I visited my local Rite Aid to pick some up and because I’m such a high roller and aromatherapy is my jam, I shelled out the extra dollar for the lavender scent. Prepping an Epsom salt bath is simple and inexpensive. Here’s what you need:
- Epsom salt.
- Hot water.
- A tub.
That’s it. As a rule you aren’t supposed to use other soaps in an Epsom salt bath because it interferes with the process. I filled my bathtub with the hottest water I could stand, added a couple cups of the salt and soaked for 15 minutes.
At least I think it was 15 minutes. I might have fallen asleep for a little bit.
I’m kind of an insomniac and most nights I don’t get tired until after midnight which is just great when I have to wake up early for my long run. I took my bath at 10pm and I was out pretty much the second my head hit the pillow at around 10:45pm. I don’t think I moved at all the entire night. When I woke up in the morning I felt a little like I had been drugged, but in a very good way. I was SO RELAXED.
Why did it take me 36 years to know about these!?
Since then I’ve taken it upon myself to be a walking advertisement for Epsom salt baths. I even talked my skeptical husband into taking one and afterward he promptly fell asleep sitting up on the couch and then woke up a short time later totally confused about where he was. I win.
As I can see, there is only one con to be mentioned:
I probably shouldn’t take a salt bath the night before I have to do something important or wake up especially early for any reason. On Monday I set my alarm a half hour earlier than normal because I had planned on a 7 miler before work. I guess the alarm went off at 5:45 am, but I didn’t actually hear it until around 7:30 (!?!?) and I’m supposed to leave the house at 7:45 if I want to get Betty to daycare and me to work on time.
I think if I hadn’t taken the bath the night before, I probably would have handled the situation very differently (read: totally lost my mind). But I didn’t. And everyone was on time, I got my run in on my lunch break, and I learned a valuable lesson.
Have you ever taken an Epsom salt bath? Did you LOVE it? If you haven’t, don’t you really want to now!?
Happy Thursday, everyone! I know I’m excited…I’M OFF TOMORROW and taking the whole day to do absolutely nothing. It’s been a very long time since I could do that!