Friday nights used to be all about going out.
I’d plan my outfit over the week, bring it into work with me on Friday morning, ready. My make up bag already in my desk drawer, along with cheap fancy jewellery (no point in the fancy stuff in case you lose it), hairspray and all the bands and grips needed for my updo.
As soon as work was done, it was into the ladies loos, to tart up. Make up, outfit, hair. Then it was out on the town with the girls. And probably a silly AM return home.
Fast forward a few years and my idea of a great Friday night is far, far different. I’m not 100% convinced it’s all age. I think some of it’s experience. Once you’ve been to a bar, not had to fight a rugby scrum of punters to get served it kind of opens your eyes. Now I’m far more likely to be out on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Leave the weekend to those who enjoy the queue at the bar.
My Fridays now more often involve a late training session at the gym, maybe a sweaty spin class if I’m feeling bouncy, and then it’s home to food, and more importantly recovery.
Having moved into powerlifting, I’m lifting weights 4 times a week, with cardio (running or spin class) three times a week. One day off – and that itself is a challenge. I don’t want to rest. I genuinely love lifting, and want to do more, but once those aches kick in, I know I need to stop.
Forget computer. Body says no.
And that’s where my Friday night soak comes in. I’ve one or two tricks to making those aches vanish. One is ZMA – it’s a blend of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Two before bed, and you’ll sleep like the dead. But magnesium is a tricky one to absorb and really makes a difference, so my second trick is a bath with some in to get it into my body quicker (and with better absorption).
Magnesium flakes or epsom salts are perfect for this. There’s a genuine reason that Radox has almost always existed! Absorption through the skin is quicker and easier, and those DOMS aches (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that builds up during the week evaporates into a cloud of sweet scented steam.
So when Kneipp asked me to try their bath crystals, I was more than happy to leap into the bath. They sent me two to try. Their Joint and Muscle Mineral Bath Crystals, and their Balancing Lavender Mineral Bath Crystals.
Arnica has long been touted as a remedy for bruising, aches and pains. But research on it is sketchy, and after digging, the most comprehensive paper I can find disputes it’s efficacy. And please let’s not even discuss homeopathy. It’s not a scientifically proven thing, it doesn’t work, please see Ben Goldacre’s work on the subject.
I was also a little disappointed to see no magnesium on the ingredients, only sodium chloride (normal salt to you and I). It’s true, my body would probably be lacking in salt, but whilst it smelt lovely and turned the water a gorgeous colour, I’m not so sure about how well it would fix aches and pains. For me, it was nice, but the addition of magnesium salts made all the difference.
However, before this review sounds too negative, the Balancing crystals had one definitely plus. Lavender. Again, I had to add magnesium to soften my aches, but the lavender made these bath salts heavenly. If you struggle to sleep, these in your bath. More than once I found myself almost napping in the bath. So it was a gentle slide from the bath, into pyjamas and soft cotton sheets for a deep, deep restful sleep.
You see that’s trick number three. Sleep. Sleep helps your body recover from training and so I need to get as much as I can. So weekends are my opportunity to grab as much sleep as I can, and the lavender has been helping me nod off that little bit quicker.
So, while you’re out on your date night out, or partying with the girls… I’ll be soaking, and snoozing.