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Caring for one’s health, well-being, and overall fitness requires several factors. Aside from nutrition, exercise plays an integral part in protecting the body against ailments, strengthening the bones and muscles, keeping bodily systems functional, and maintaining a healthy weight.
How Massages Complement Your Workout Routine
Hence, doctors and health experts strongly recommend regular exercise to give the body adequate care.
However, many people struggle to stay on track with their fitness journey and follow through with their workout routines. After an intense workout, people often have to deal with tired, strained muscles, painful joints, and depleted energy.
The recovery period may vary from one person to another, and some can bounce back more quickly than others.
In this sense, fully recovering from the impact of intense workouts directly influences the success of a person’s journey. Working out with a well-conditioned body free of any pain or ailments helps a person maximize each session and enjoy the experience.
Therefore, it’s essential to look for ways to aid the post-workout recovery process and help the body cope with the impact of intense physical activities.
Many fitness enthusiasts aid post-workout recovery by getting massages in between sessions. Body massage is widely popular because of its many health benefits, and it’s also an enjoyable experience for people of all ages.
Various massage therapies are available, and these services are easily accessible in many health clinics. If you’d like to explore different massage services, click here to see some examples.
A trained therapist applies varying pressure levels to different body areas during a massage session. Additionally, they use many techniques to stimulate the muscles and promote blood circulation that would help ease pain, fatigue, and stress.
Many consider massage therapy highly beneficial to post-workout recovery because of its ability to relieve the body of pain, tiredness, and tension.
If you’d like to know more about how massages can complement your workout routine, here are some points you may find helpful:
1. Boosts Recovery
Massage therapy can help your body recover from the exertion and tiredness of working out. Aside from these, some types of massages can also help you recover from common workout injuries such as sprains and muscle strains.
To boost recovery, your massage therapist will work on reducing the tension in sprained areas, which will improve blood flow to damaged muscles. Also, the massage will help realign strained muscles and joints.
Moreover, massage therapy is believed to help speed up muscle regeneration as it helps the body dispose of excess toxins that accumulate in injured areas. Cleansing the body of toxins allows the muscles to recover quickly, and this is why many fitness enthusiasts believe in the importance of getting massages in between workouts.
One example of massage therapy that boosts recovery is deep tissue massage. This type of massage provides immediate relief from delayed soreness after a workout and promotes relaxation to reduce tiredness in the body.
The therapist will start with soothing strokes during a deep tissue massage session to warm up the muscles. Then, they will use finger pressure to release tension in specific areas. The massage involves the whole body, and you can choose to be naked or wear a bottom undergarment during the session.
2. Relieves Aches And Pains
Depending on the intensity, some workouts may cause aches and pains. Many exercises require fast, repetitive movements and may include stretching and lifting.
These movements cause strain to the muscles, which can develop into pain after some time. Without treatment or relief, feeling aches and pains in your body may derail your workout routine and be detrimental to your fitness journey in the long term.
If you want to get a message that can help alleviate muscle pain, there are several options you can choose from. One example would be sports massage, an excellent choice for those who experience pain due to repetitive use injury to a muscle.
Sports massage can be done on one specific spot or the whole body, depending on the client’s requirements. You can also opt to get a sports massage right after each workout session, as it’s known to help prevent delayed muscle soreness later on.
Another great option for muscle pain relief is trigger point massage. In this type of massage, the therapist uses different tools such as fascia balls, foam rollers, and massage guns to work on specific areas with tight muscles that influence how the body experiences pain.
The pain is reduced by applying targeted pressure and promoting blood circulation in these particular areas. Trigger point massage usually involves the whole body, though your therapist will focus on specific areas to address the pain.
Suppose you’re experiencing minor pain in certain parts of your body hours or days after working out. In that case, you can also consider massage treatments that use specialized analgesic gels designed to treat sprains and sore muscles.
This kind of treatment provides fast and long-lasting relief, which is ideal if you want to resume working out soon without the pain or discomfort.
3. Eases Muscle Tension
Stress can cause muscles to contract, which translates into the pain in specific body areas. Some of the spots most prone to muscle tension are the back, shoulders, and calves.
Apart from the discomfort muscle tension brings, it can also limit one’s flexibility and mobility, hindering having an enjoyable and productive workout session.
To ease muscle tension, fitness experts advise those who are training to start with a good warmup routine that would help increase the body temperature and boost the blood flow to the muscles to prepare the body for intense activities.
Then, it would be best to wrap up the workout with cool-down exercises that let the body gradually restore the blood pressure and temperature to normal levels.
However, the effects of warmup and cool-down exercises may vary depending on the person, and some may feel the impact of intense exercise more than others. In this case, getting a massage could help relax the muscles and reduce the tension.
Massages allow the muscles to expand in a relaxed state, while the stroking movements on the skin’s surface help promote blood circulation.
Moreover, massages trigger the release of endorphins that improve one’s mood and help reduce stress. Relaxed muscles recover faster, which means that each massage session restores your body’s wellness and strength to prepare you for another workout.
4. Improves Blood Circulation
Proper blood circulation is essential in maintaining health to its optimal levels. It allows adequate distribution of blood and oxygen to various parts of the body, promoting the proper functioning of organs.
Blood circulation also supports all bodily systems essential in one’s ability to heal wounds and recover from ailments, including the impact of high-intensity training and exercise.
Massage therapy can be significantly beneficial for blood flow and circulation, which contributes to a person’s overall health and wellness.
The strokes and pressure applied through hand movements help improve blood circulation and allow the body to feel more refreshed and energized. The soothing effect of massage therapy also minimizes the impact of stress and pain from workouts.
The best massages for improved blood circulation include Swedish massage, sports massage, and remedial massage. These types are all beneficial for post-workout recovery and relaxation.
Another popular treatment is cupping, which uses heated cups in targeted areas of the body to speed up blood flow to release tensions and knots in the muscles.
During a cupping therapy session, the therapist may use two or more cups to suction certain parts or the whole back. Before placing each cup, the therapist will burn flammable items such as alcohol or herbs inside it and wait for the fire to go out entirely.
Once the fire is gone, the cup will be placed on one spot to suck the skin and hold it in place for around 10 minutes.
Aside from improving blood flow, applying suction cups to specific acupressure points can also provide relief for skin issues, respiratory ailments, or problems with digestion. Hence, it has become one of the most famous ancient alternative medicine techniques still widely used in recent times.
5. Increases Flexibility
A person’s flexibility naturally declines with age, and lack of flexibility influences one’s ability to perform tasks and exercises. Without flexibility, a person may become more prone to pain and injury during workouts because it can limit joint mobility and muscle movement.
Also, straining muscles may lead to soreness that may prevent you from engaging in physical activities for a certain period. These may all have detrimental effects on maintaining your health and fitness for the long term.
Regular massage therapy can help you improve your flexibility. Massages can effectively reduce stiffness in the muscles and ligaments, which allows you to perform more flexible movements.
On the other hand, Thai massage involves assisted stretching, enhancing your flexibility. For instance, you can consider heated muscle treatments such as hot packs or towels. The heat application to some muscled regions allows it to decompress and relax, making it softer and more flexible.
On the other hand, Thai massage involves assisted stretching, which can also enhance your flexibility. During a Thai massage session, your therapist will position certain body parts, such as arms and legs, and stretch them in specific directions to help realign and stretch muscles. These stretches can also aid in releasing muscle pain and soreness in the body.
6. Allows Deep Relaxation
Many people avoid working out near bedtime as the spike in body temperature and energy can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Moreover, some may experience muscle soreness which can intensify a few hours after exercise.
To counter these, you can consider getting a massage right after your workout session as it helps the body regulate temperature and restore blood pressure to normal levels. The strokes and pressure applied to various body parts also help reduce muscle soreness and stress.
If you’re a fan of scented oils and fragrances, you can also consider getting an aromatherapy massage session post-workout.
The relaxing aromatic oils used in this type of massage are widely known to promote deep relaxation, which brings wonderful benefits for both physical and emotional well-being. Thus, an aromatherapy massage session may be ideal if you want to destress after exercising.
Another type of therapy that could help you achieve deep relaxation is hot stone massage. In this treatment, the therapist will use several stones warmed using a specialized heater that guarantees even warmth at a safe level for the skin.
The heat of the stones helps ease muscle pain and tension and enables you to destress and relax after a workout.
7. Fosters Balanced Emotional State
The therapeutic touch that comes with massage therapy also positively impacts one’s emotional state. The soothing massage techniques help elevate serotonin and dopamine levels in the bloodstream.
These are feel-good chemicals that can alleviate stress, anxiety, irritability, and other negative emotions that hamper a person’s ability to feel happy and energized.
Having a balanced emotional state can benefit post-workout recovery and other aspects of your daily life. It will help you regain motivation to continue with your fitness program.
It will also push you to take additional steps to help you achieve your goals, such as eating healthy and making good lifestyle choices.
Lastly, being emotionally healthy would help you improve your relationship with yourself and your people. It will allow you to have a positive mindset and feel your best as you continue your fitness journey.
Getting massages between your workout sessions could greatly help you achieve your health goals and enjoy your fitness journey. Aside from helping you deal with post-workout pain, stress, and discomfort, you’ll also feel more energized and motivated because of the numerous health benefits of massage therapy.
Also, the positive impact of therapeutic massage can affect other essential aspects of your life. It could lead you towards a more fulfilling journey towards health and wellness in the long term.
To ensure safety, you can also consult with your doctor and find out what type of massage would suit your health status and workout best. The effects of massage therapy for post-workout recovery may vary per individual, and it’s best to ask for your doctor’s advice for any health problems or concerns.
Photo by Gustavo Fring
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko