Relaxation on the Cheap

There are many ways to relax without spending a ton of money. Several things with just a minimal investment can be done at home. Also, for those who have access to online services like Groupon and Living Social, check out the location and you can get great deals.

There are many ways to relax without spending a ton of money.

Home and the Gym
Saunas

Saunas are great places to recover after a workout. There are two kinds: heat saunas and steam saunas. Both are good for recovery, despite the fact that proponents of each claim they are superior to the other. They can use for:
• sports injuries
• chronic fatigue syndrome
• fibromyalgia
• arthritis
• increasing flexibility
• increasing metabolism
• promoting skin health by opening pours
• increasing blood flow
• detoxing of stress and toxin elimination
• normalizing blood pressure

It is recommended that each session last between 15 to 30 minutes. Bringing your inhaler if you need one is a good idea. Drink water before, during, and after. I like both kinds of saunas. There is something therapeutic to sweat after a workout. But one caution is to limit the time in the sauna, making sure it is clean and wearing a towel for hygiene.

Hydromassage

Many gyms offer this inexpensive massage. It is a bed where the person stays fully clothed and the machine does the work, using a water shower inside to create a massage. Machines can be automatic or monitored by the user.

Foam Rolling, Tennis Ball, and Rollers

There are many types of rollers––from the soft foam to the killer hard ones with bristles on them. They roll out like a rolling pin across your muscles. Be prepared to find places within your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and hips that are extremely uncomfortable when you roll. But if you persevere, you will conquer those tight areas. The Stick and tennis balls are good tools for rolling out the body. It is like a relative that is hard to deal with but is speaking the truth!

Hot Cold Packs

For these little gems, I would recommend a pack that has the water beads or the Bed Buddy because they are great hot or cold. You can also make your own with rice, corn, beans, and beads. My one recommendation is that if you are transferring your pack from cold to hot, wait until it has unfrozen completely and watch your pack or buddy every 20 seconds so it is not overheating in the microwave.

Compression Devices

Air-Relax uses the most advanced digitally controlled air-pressure system to provide dynamic compression to limbs compromised by poor circulation.
Compression devices were once only for the exclusive use of patients with serious muscular and circulatory disorders––such as lymphedema, venous insufficiency, and peripheral artery disease–– and only available by prescription. Today, recovery pumps and compression sleeves are used by sports teams, universities, physical therapists, and professional athletes to treat their injuries and enhance their training. Most athletes are interested in reducing their recovery time following intense exercise or sporting events. Compression devices can run from $300 to $1,500 so it might be cheaper to go to the local gym or chiropractor.

Salt Caves

Salt caves are great places that first started in Europe but have become popular in the U.S. as an inexpensive way to relax. They range from $12 to $40 per session and are great for respiratory disorders, allergy, asthma and the general muscle ache and pains of age and overuse. The wellness aspect of the salt cave relies on halotherapy, which is the act of inhaling the salt-infused air that is pumped into the cave from a halo generator. As you breathe, minerals (like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iodine, bromine, copper, selenium, and iron) contained in the purest version of salt are absorbed by both the skin and your air passageways, which can help clear pollens, viruses, toxins, and other pollutants from the body. The negatively charged ionized salt and trace minerals that are present in the cave’s atmosphere are said to naturally draw toxins and impurities out of the body, reduce inflammation, and improve respiratory ailments like asthma by clearing the lungs.

The skin is meant to be purified, as it directly absorbs the vapors. Halotherapy is also known to help relieve skin conditions, stress, high blood pressure, respiratory infections, hangovers, and allergies. Salt is a natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial, which is why the benefits that the cave promotes are not a huge shock to those informed about the healing powers of salt.

Your session starts with you removing your shoes and wearing flip-flops in the cave. You sit on an anti-gravity chair and put on headphones. The relaxing music generally makes you fall asleep and a blanket is provided if you desire because you can get cold in the cave. After the session, it is important to drink lots of water; and strenuous exercise is not recommended due to the fact that your body is dehydrated.

Foot Spa and Hand Wax Treatment

I remember as a kid my great uncle had weekly foot spas and paraffin treatments for his arthritis. Now, these machines are available to everyone. You can enjoy a water foot spa or paraffin treatment with a machine that usually runs from $20 to $30. The wax, if kept clean, can be used multiple times, even when you relax and watch your favorite sitcom. For the extremely frugal, you can use a double boiler to heat up water or put in the wax, using glad bags to protect the hands and feet after treatment. After 30 minutes, put the clean wax back and you are all set.

Life is stressful and it does not cost a lot of money to treat yourself. Even a cooling towel that will stay cool is a great way to relax and ease that part of your aching body after a long day. Many health and wellness expos will even give you one free. Yoga offers the move of legging up a wall so blood can flow from your legs to your head. For a variation, it even works putting them up on a chair or couch. So relax and enjoy life. It is possible to relax on the cheap.

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Christina Chapan

Christina Chapan

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children ( Fit 4 Fun!) and those adults and children with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also a certified elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing.
Christina Chapan

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