Cold Saturday mornings on the sidelines, watching kids with bare legs tough it out with the team, tussling for victory. Halftime with running noses and icy hands. Off for a run after work, it’s getting dark and you can see your breath steaming out in front of you, the cold catches in your throat. Warm-up seems the wrong term for a quick pre-run stretch because you certainly aren’t warm. Whatever your involvement with sports and exercise this winter, you’ll be feeling the temperature dropping and so will your muscles. So, perhaps, will your immune system.
Antioxidant Support for Stress and Sport
When we’re exposed to any stress, whether this is emotional or physical, the body is put under pressure, causing more oxidative damage and a greater need for antioxidant support. Stress can be a positive thing in our lives, as is exercise, but knowing how to support the effects of stress on the body can help us stay vital and healthy.
Despite its obvious benefits, most exercise increases free radical activity. This means we are getting more oxidation happening in our bodies after exercise, which can have detrimental effects on muscle recovery, energy levels, and immunity. Antioxidants are key for supporting anyone engaged in strenuous physical activity, but especially so in winter when we are more prone to winter bugs. Plants are our very best antioxidants, none more so that berries, and no berry is superior to the humble New Zealand Blackcurrant when assessing antioxidant activity. Berries are naturally rich in the antioxidant compounds anthocyanins, so look for flavonoid-rich blackcurrants, elderberries, boysenberries and raspberries. Liquid extracts can be especially potent, and, importantly, delicious!
Support for Muscles and Joints
Sports bring their inevitable sprains, strains and injuries. Whatever age you are, bumping shins or pulling calves is part and parcel of physical activity. Specific herbal remedies for topical application have excellent research now backing their thousands of years of use. Having the right creams in the sports kit can make a huge difference to not only how long something takes to heal, but how it feels on the way!
Comfrey was traditionally known as Knitbone, or sometimes Bruisewort, giving a huge clue as to its array of uses to support the healing of tissues, muscles and joints. Modern research points to its ability to support comfort and recovery. Similarly, Arnica is another herbal star for supporting the healing of sprains and injuries. For a small yellow daisy, it packs a whole lot of punch supporting recovery for sprains, strains and bruises. The application of topical creams is a must for sports injuries, as even the act of massage itself helps to improve circulation to the area, improving recovery time.
Packing your winter sports kit with botanical support means you’ll be prepared for keeping your athletes, young and old, in top shape right through the season.
Kiwiherb specialises in 100% natural, premium quality herbal health products. KiwiHerb SprainAway Cream is a premium potency combination of NZ-grown Arnica and Comfrey. In combination, these two herbs provide proven natural support for strained muscles, sprains, stiff joints, bruises and sports injuries. Kiwiherb EchiBerry® with New Zealand Blackcurrants is another great antioxidant support for overall health and sports recovery.