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The Best Kept Secret For Fitness: CBD and Indoor Exercise

07/07/2021 13 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
07/07/2021 13 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal


Indoor Exercise and Fitness Goals

Technically, indoor exercise can take place in all kinds of enclosed spaces - from local gyms or community centres to your humble bedroom floor (after a quick tidy-up, of course). Due to its convenience, privacy, and accessibility, the at-home fitness sector is currently winning the race. Today, many thousands of people take matters into their own hands by using self-directed wellness strategies that complement their unique needs. 

If you’re keen to stay ahead of the game and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 Statista report, almost 200,000 people actively use wellbeing and fitness apps each week - and that’s just in the UK, never mind the world!

A Word On Fitness Goals

Most likely, you’ve encountered the infamous ‘fitness goals’ hashtag on social media. This phrase is often found alongside photographs of youthful and chiselled bodies framed by the borders of gym mirrors. You may have even also seen it in viral before-and-after posts that focus on drastic physical transformations. While some of this content may serve a motivational purpose, it often represents a very narrow concept of what it means to be fit and healthy. 

By comparison, you might worry that your goals are too small and insignificant, but don’t feel ‘out of the running’ just yet. Here at VAAY, we believe that fitness should be a natural and holistic process that involves your ambition, perspective, performance, and broader wellbeing - not just your appearance. Understandably, no amount of exercise can compensate for a healthy, balanced diet, adequate hydration and a winning mindset.

With this being said, let’s look at three core factors that might motivate your indoor exercise:

Physical Activity for Stress Relief and Happiness

Sometimes, stress is unavoidable. But did you know that frequent exercise may help you to relax, both physiologically and mentally? While all fitness activities trigger the release of cortisol (the stress hormone), exercise also stimulates the natural feel-good chemicals in your body - including pleasurable endorphins, dopamine (the motivation hormone), and serotonin (the happy hormone). Training can sometimes be a gruelling experience, but it’s no secret that physical activity can also serve as a helpful form of stress management

Numerous studies - including this 2015 Iranian report - suggest that regular exercise may:

  • Impact your self-perceived happiness levels (and emotional wellbeing)
  • Influence how you judge your satisfaction levels in daily life
  • Help you to feel healthier, relaxed, and generally more positive

  • The possible relationship between exercise and mood is fascinating - after all, who doesn’t want to feel better when they’re stressed, or sad?

    Exercising to Lose Weight and Burn Fat

    Online search trends indicate that many people want to know how to lose weight at home without exercise. In response, we’ve got a critical reality check: exercise is a vital component that can impact your overall wellbeing and broader weight loss efforts. According to Carla E Cox, some fitness newcomers get discouraged and throw the towel in when they feel unable to lose weight as rapidly as they’d like to. However, she suggests that it may be more helpful to approach exercise with an optimistic ‘this is good for my health and wellbeing’ mentality, rather than treating it as a robotic weight loss tool. 

    While cardiovascular exercise (such as running and cycling) can help you to burn fat during the limited periods when you are working out, gaining muscle elevates your metabolism in the long run (literally!) You can even think of muscles as ‘engines’ that can drive your energy consumption into new territory.

    Gaining Muscle Mass and Strength

    Gaining muscle mass isn’t just for wrestlers and bodybuilders. In fact, one 2016 study indicates that strength training (using weights to influence muscle power and endurance) may increase your bone density, metabolism, and lean mass. It might also help you to regain lost or damaged muscle fibres, and reduce your risk of sustaining certain types of fitness-related injuries. As you can imagine, dietary protein (meat, dairy, soy, or other plant alternatives) plays a significant role in strength training.

    Some people claim that muscle weighs more than fat. Technically, a more accurate way of wording this would be to say that muscle tissue is more densely packed than fat tissue. As a result, it’s not unusual for your weight to increase with muscle gains, even if your physique is getting more toned in the process. You may find it more productive to ignore the number on the scale and focus on being ‘present’ in your body as you gain strength. 

    Hopefully, you can relate to at least one of these popular fitness motivators. Now, let’s answer an important question: what does CBD have to do with all of this?

    What is CBD, and How Might It Relate to Wellness?

    While at-home fitness often occurs behind closed doors, CBD (cannabidiol) is front-and-centre in the contemporary wellness community. So, what exactly is this supplement? CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabis compound (or ‘cannabinoid’) that manufacturers typically source from a subspecies of cannabis known as hemp. It’s available in three main extracts that offer different chemical profiles:

  • Full-spectrum CBD (a natural mixture of CBD, THC, fragrant terpenes, and potential antioxidants)
  • Broad-spectrum CBD (a mildly distilled extract that does not contain any THC)
  • CBD isolate (a highly distilled concentrate of CBD compounds alone)

  • Chances are, you’ve already heard of CBD oil - a popular combination of CBD extract and plant-based carrier oils (such as MCT and hemp seed oil). You can also consume cannabidiol through a wide variety of other products, which we’ll discuss shortly. 

    Is CBD Safe and Legal?

    There is no shortage of potentially dangerous supplements in the fitness market - from steroid-laced protein powders to controversial “curve boosters” such as apetamin. So, how does CBD fare in this landscape? 

    According to experts at international anti-doping agencies and World Health Organisation (WHO), premium cannabidiol is a relatively safe and well-tolerated substance. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that CBD has any addictive or harmful properties. Some CBD products naturally contain THC (a cannabinoid that may produce psychotropic effects if you consume it in excess). In countries such as Germany and Great Britain, CBD is legal as long as it comes from licenced hemp crops and contains no more than 0.2% THC per product. 

    If you’re interested in using CBD for your exercise routine, a sensible first step is to check the laws where you live. It’s also vital to consult your doctor before you attempt to incorporate CBD into your lifestyle, especially if you’re:

  • Pregnant or nursing (in which case, cannabidiol is probably not suitable for you)
  • Dealing with an underlying medical condition
  • On medication

  • What is CBD ‘Good’ For?

    Depending on your situation, CBD might check all of the legal and ethical boxes, but does it align with your personal wellness goals? Many CBD users openly associate their cannabidiol consumption with self-perceived improvements in wellbeing. Famous anecdotes suggest that CBD might potentially impact some common discomforts. But what do scientists say about the possibilities of using CBD for pain symptoms, mood disorders, and more?

    It’s important to note that CBD cannot “cure” or “treat” any health conditions. However, scientists continue to explore the clinical and therapeutic potential of cannabidiol - so there may be some exciting breakthrough studies on the horizon. 

    According to preliminary evidence, some potential benefits of CBD may include reducing some symptoms of anxiety, depression, inflammation, and insomnia. It might also influence the transmission of cell signals in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is your body’s natural way of regulating mood, appetite, metabolism, pain symptoms, and other essential rest and repair functions. Sounds intriguing, right?

    Popular CBD Products and How to Consume Them

    Currently, CBD products tend to be available in two main categories: food supplements, and hemp-based skincare. You can take CBD oil ‘sublingually’ by placing one or two CBD drops under your tongue and holding them there for up to 60 seconds. Likewise, you can use CBD diffuser pens to inhale cannabidiol vapour reasonably directly. These methods may be the quickest way to allow any potential CBD absorption to take place. 

    For a more sporty and process-led approach, you may wish to try:

    CBD Edibles (Botanical Foods and Drinks)

    From straightforward capsules to sweet CBD gummies, edibles are an opportunity to ingest cannabidiol via your digestive system. You may need to allow up to 90 minutes for any possible CBD effects to appear. Some people suggest that it might be best to consume CBD capsules with your main meal of the day, but it all depends on what works for you. Some other hemp-based edibles include botanically-infused chocolates and beverages such as CBD coffee. 

    If CBD is legal where you live, and you’re mindful of dosage, you may even be able to make your own edibles by adding CBD oil to smoothies and even home baking.

    CBD Topicals

    Why not introduce CBD to your skin by using hemp-based cosmetics and toiletries? While the world of CBD beauty products is ever-expanding, there are also plenty of formulas inspired by fitness, self-care, and holistic wellbeing. It may take up to an hour for any potential CBD absorption to occur with the topical method. As always, it’s wise to do a quick patch test before incorporating any new skin products into your routine. 

    If you’re dealing with localised symptoms of pain or discomfort (such as a sore back), massaging these regions with CBD skincare products may help to appease some of your tension in a more targeted way. 

    Now that you’re up-to-speed on all things cannabidiol, let’s tackle our central question: Is CBD the best-kept secret for fitness? In the rest of this text, we’ll explore CBD and indoor exercise in context. Be sure to read until the end, as we’re also sharing some exclusive tips on how to exercise at home (and enjoy it)!

    The Potential Benefits of CBD-Inspired Fitness

    CBD, Yoga, and More

    Due to its immense popularity, yoga needs no introduction - especially if you’re a “yogi” (someone who regularly practices this ancient mind-body-spirit ritual). Discounting some of its more intense and acrobatic variations, yoga tends to be a gentle strengthening exercise that combines elements of balance, power, and flexibility. Typically, it also includes cultivating an intimate mental sense of peace, compassion and affirmation in a quiet and contemplative space (even your bedroom floor will do). 

    According to the National Health Service (NHS), taking part in yoga regularly may help to reduce some symptoms of pain, stress, and mood disorders. However, you’re not alone if you’ve ever found it extremely difficult to ‘tune out’ of daily worries and be present during yoga. So, can CBD help you feel more calm and centred?

    Is Cannabidiol a Good Yoga Partner?

    A recent literature review by Esther M Blessing and others suggests that CBD may hold some intriguing potential when it comes to stress and anxiety symptoms. While it’s by no means a “cure” or “treatment” for anxiety, CBD might impact some of the emotional and physiological signs of stress. These common symptoms may include shallow breathing, painful muscle tension, and feelings of fatigue and general overwhelmed-ness. As you can imagine, these struggles don’t exactly ‘mesh well’ with yoga, and they can make it harder to feel at ease as you stretch and meditate. 

    Emerging research also suggests that CBD might possibly impact:

  • Your sense of wakefulness (how awake, alert, and receptive you feel)
  • Your natural brain excitation (and how you handle distractions)
  • Some behavioural symptoms of anxiety (such as restlessness and irritability)
  • The smoothness of your regular muscle movements

  • VAAY Tip: Before your next yoga session, why not try rubbing some CBD Active and Sports Gel into the parts of your body where stress tends to accumulate (for example, your neck and shoulders)? The cooling and warming menthol may help you feel more aware of the sensations in your body, while the CBD extract might just help you get a head start on relaxation.

    CBD and Indoor Cycling

    Whether you participate in spin classes or prefer to go at your own pace, cycling can be an excellent form of cardio and an opportunity to build muscle (particularly in your legs and lower back). If you have a stationary bike, you can take your fitness by the handlebars by adjusting the resistance and broader machine settings to suit your goals. While indoor cycling doesn’t involve the same kinds of jolting movements as running on a treadmill, it can still be hard on your joints. 

    Choosing a low-resistance workout may help to take some pressure off your ankles, knees, and hips, but this might also make your exercises less impactful. While you should never push yourself to the point of pain or injury, gaining fitness involves tolerating minor discomforts -  especially if your goal is to lose weight or gain strength.

    CBD for Joint Pain Symptoms: What Does the Evidence Say?

    According to a US study involving 200 adults with knee and hip pain, nearly 25% of participants said they found CBD helpful within their broader pain management strategy. Furthermore, almost 70% of these individuals began using CBD oils and topicals at the recommendation of friends. This research suggests that many people are talking about the possibilities of using cannabidiol for symptoms of joint pain within their social circles.

    A 2017 animal study indicated that CBD might influence the natural processes of joint inflammation and blood flow that our bodies regulate. Here, researchers suggested that rodents that had been given CBD could bear more weight on their injured joints compared to rodents that had not consumed CBD. Within this experiment, CBD consumption was associated with a decrease in some inflammation markers and reduced pain symptoms. 

    While a great deal more research is required, CBD’s is an intriguing scientific journey so far.

    Incorporating CBD and Aerobic Exercises

    Aerobic exercises are often high-energy and rhythmic routines that incorporate many different aspects of fitness - including muscle strength, cardiovascular wellbeing, and your overall range of motion. If you’ve ever attended an aerobics class in-person or online, you’ll know that these sessions often involve energetic music and a leader who provides motivational instructions. 

    While this type of exercise is intense, it can also be a lot of fun - particularly if you’re in a group. However, overly-enthusiastic movements can quickly come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Did you know that pulled muscles are the most common sports injury that people sustain during aerobics? Let’s explore how CBD might affect your muscle recovery.

    You’ve Pulled a Muscle: Can CBD Help You Feel Better?

    What happens when you pull a muscle (or ‘strain’ it)? In a nutshell, a strain is a type of injury that can happen when muscle tissues are stretched or torn beyond their limits. If you’ve ever pulled a muscle, you’ll be familiar with the uncomfortable burning sensation and decreased range of motion that this problem can trigger. While eating well, staying hydrated, and resting are the minimum requirements for natural muscle recovery to occur, you may want to invest more in your post-workout self-care routine. Can CBD help your muscles feel better?

    According to a 2020 study, CBD may potentially impact some forms of muscle-specific inflammation, post-workout soreness, and some of the natural processes that help your body to adapt to exercise. The mechanisms that might influence these possible effects are currently unknown, but researchers continue to explore CBD and its viability in the sports and leisure industry.

    How to Exercise at Home: Four Quick Fitness Tips

    While CBD might offer some dynamic potential benefits for indoor exercise, it’s important to remember that there is no ‘quick fix’ for fitness. You’ve got to put the miles in to achieve the results. As we near the finish line, let’s review some straightforward tips that can help to set you up for a winning streak.

    Make a Fitness Plan

    A fitness plan can serve as a great launching pad that helps you turn your desires and intentions into action steps. While exercise is a crucial component to wellness, it’s also important to reflect on other factors such as your nutrition, sleep, mental wellbeing, and work-life balance. To get the ball rolling, why not consider:

  • Arranging a consultation with a certified personal trainer, coach, or nutritionist
  • Scheduling workout sessions and moments of self-care in your diary
  • Downloading a fitness app that can help you structure a plan around your goals
  • Starting a fitness journal to log your feelings and progress

  • If you need an extra ‘push’, you may even want to share your fitness plan with a friend or workout buddy who can act as an accountability partner (i.e. someone who will hold you to your word).

    Explore Online Fitness Classes

    According to experts at Allied Market Research, the virtual fitness industry may be worth over £42 billion by 2027! Suffice it to say, the sector is booming. There has never been a better time to access online wellbeing resources. However, it’s best to survey the landscape before diving in head-first. Suppose you’re interested in weight training, bodybuilding, or strength training. In that case, it’s vital to do some additional research to ensure that you understand the correct form and posture before tackling serious weights and machinery.

    To make the most of virtual fitness resources, you may want to:

  • Explore YouTube workout videos (they’re free!)
  • Enrol in a private online fitness course with one-on-one coaching
  • Join an online fitness community on social media

    Consider Using Affordable Home Workout Equipment

    While a private gym may be a trendy new addition to your house, it doesn’t guarantee a healthier lifestyle. These facilities may look impressive, but they can quickly become a false economy if they’re not put to frequent use. Furthermore, heavy-duty workout gear may not be a practical option if you’re on a tight budget or have limited floor space.

    However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. You’ll be pleased to hear that some of the best home workout accessories don’t come with complicated instruction manuals. They are light, portable, and easy to store. 

    Here are some valuable and underrated pieces to consider adding to your fitness arsenal:

  • A well-cushioned floor mat (essential for yoga and pilates)
  • Resistance bands (an easy way to engage your muscles in strength training)
  • A jump rope (best for using on the ground floor or in the garden)

  • Get Motivated (and Reward Yourself)

    Committing to any fitness journey requires consistency and motivation - even if you already consider yourself a sporty or ambitious person. We all have days when we struggle to get moving, or perhaps when we’re so overwhelmed with broader commitments that we lose touch with our personal wellbeing goals. In times like these, it’s vital to know where you stand. 

    Have you ever wondered how to get motivated to work out at home? Here are some tips:

  • Create a vision board (with pictures and quotes that inspire you)
  • Make a playlist of energetic songs
  • Watch a motivational video
  • Change into your workout clothes (even if you don’t feel like exercising)
  • Plan something that you can enjoy after you’ve completed your workout

  • VAAY tip: Why not reward yourself after exercising with a sumptuous soak or therapeutic massage? For a cannabidiol-infused twist, our Lavender CBD Bath Bombs and CBD Massage Oil might be the perfect combination for your cool-down ritual.


    Regular physical activity is scientifically proven to decrease your risk of developing specific health issues and promote your wellbeing as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Some studies suggest that CBD may potentially impact symptoms of joint and muscle pain. It might also affect signs of inflammation and anxiety - possibly including both the physical and the emotional markers of stress and tension.

    So, whether you’re inspired to cultivate more happiness and relaxation, lose weight, or gain muscle mass, exercising can positively impact your daily life. Due to its convenience, accessibility, and privacy, indoor or at-home exercise has become incredibly popular. Can the breakthrough hemp compound, CBD, bring some competitive edge to your fitness routine?

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