Previously on the blog, He and She Fitness talked about a healthy approach to fitness goals. To make your fitness journey even more rewarding, how about adding regular massage therapy to your list? Getting a post-workout massage can help keep your routine more sustainable and really turn it into a lifelong commitment. Check out this list of benefits of massages after a workout that you don’t want to miss out on.
Eases sore muscles
If you’ve been working hard at the gym, you're probably familiar with muscle soreness. It’s a natural part of the process and you might need to amp up the exercise if you’re already comfortable with your routine. Soft tissue massages target the muscles and joints which normally experience tension after vigorous training. It also releases endorphins, adding to the natural high that you get from working out.
Relieves lactic acid
You may have also heard the phrase ‘lactic acid build-up’ being thrown around in the gym. WebMD describes this as the depletion of oxygen in the blood which is needed to create energy. When that happens, lactic acid can accumulate and you may feel cramps, fatigue, and overall discomfort. Massage therapy can help reduce the amount of lactate in the body because kneading muscles can improve blood circulation and oxygen flow.
Some people can’t fully straighten their leg due to tight hamstrings. There are also those who can’t perform proper pushups because their arms and shoulders are still stiff. In other words, tight muscles can compromise exercise, so a massage can stretch out those target areas. It initiates careful joint movement to improve range of motion.
Most injuries during workouts are caused by improper technique or misalignment. Often, poor posture occurs as a result of chronic pain. For instance, slouching result in mean back pain. Getting a massage can release tension-filled areas of the body and make you more aware of your body's correct alignment.
The aforementioned points all contribute to a boost in overall post-workout recovery. Many athletes swear by massage therapy as a way to improve their game because of the delayed onset of muscle soreness and added range of motion. The body normally doesn’t feel the effects of an intense workout after a day or two, and getting a therapist to soothe the pain can be very restorative. Flexibility work also ensures that proper techniques are being followed for an injury-free workout.
Enhances muscle tone
Massages can also make your muscles more defined through the improved blood flow. LiveStrong explains that the ‘pumping technique’ helps provide nutrients to damaged tissues which are used to repair them. It's almost similar to the effect of protein shakes, except that massages feel infinitely more relaxing.
Strengthens immune system
There are some claims that massages can boost the immune system. The American Massage Therapy Association is conducting research on its effects on the immune response. Preliminary results show that it does help patients combat colds and the flu with a regular massage therapy. This is important for keeping your fitness journey on track. If you don’t get sick, you won’t have to miss a workout.
Puts the mind at ease
Lastly, massages aren’t just good for the body. They’re good for the mind, too. Forbes points out that even short massages are highly effective stress reducers which can help the body in a number of ways. For starters, stress can affect your motivation to do any physical activity. It can also cause you to overeat, undoing all your previous hard work. Stick to your routine and use regular massages as a way to destress. By doing this, you’ll have more chances of achieving your fitness goals in the long run.
He and She Fitness also acknowledges the value of finding a workout partner. A massage buddy can serve as a source of emotional support, especially if that person is your spouse. FoxyBingo suggests learning to massage with your partner as a way to develop a deeper connection. Exercise and massage are both physical activities that will require you to trust the other person you’re doing it with. Learning to do it together will help improve communication and even intimacy for some people.
Together, you can reap the benefits of getting a massage after you exercise. Plus, you’ll even save more money since masseur/masseuse services don’t come cheap.