Last updated: Mar 20, 2008

Dont let little workout side effects like blisters and sore muscles keep you on the couch. Instead, channel your inner country doctor and try one of these do-it-yourself treatments from Lillian M. Beard, MD, author of Salt in Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies. We did, and they work great. (If the problem continues, of course, see your doctor.)



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Ache #1: Heel blister

The remedy: Carefully apply enough lavender oil (available at health-food stores) to fully cover the blister without popping it; this will help it deflate and dry out faster. Reapply every few hours for three to five days or until the blister heals completely.

Why it works: Lavender is a proven anti-inflammatory that can speed the healing of skin irritations. Bonus benefit: The aroma is incredibly soothing.


Ache #2: Sore muscle

The remedy: Saturate a cloth with apple cider vinegar and wrap it around the muscle for 20 minutes; the pain should disappear within a few hours. Reapply every three to four hours for continued relief until the pain is gone for good.

Why it works: Apple cider vinegar is a muscle reliever; it helps to draw lactic acid (the stuff that causes soreness) out of your muscles after exercise.


Ache #3: Athletes foot

The remedy: Drop a few freshly minced cloves of garlic into a cotton sock, and then wear the sock overnight. (Just be sure to wash your feet in the morning with something that has a more pleasant scent!) Repeat the treatment nightly until the fungus disappears, usually within 7 to 10 days.

Why it works: Garlic kills all sorts of fungi—including the one that causes athletes foot.


Ache #4: Heat rash

The remedy: Mix regular oatmeal (not instant) or cornstarch with water to make a thick paste. Apply to irritated skin, let it dry, and leave it on until it flakes off on its own (the residue will continue to work). Reapply only if it starts to itch again (otherwise you risk overdrying the area).

Why it works: Both oatmeal and cornstarch help reduce irritation and swelling, and provide itch relief.