While many people seek massage for its relaxing benefits, it can also prove useful as a post-workout remedy – whether you exercise moderately or if you do heavy-duty bodybuilding, or work out at any level along the spectrum. To learn more about massage therapy and the benefits it offers after working out, keep reading.
When you work out – particularly with strength training exercises – your muscles become inflamed. This is a direct response to the stress the muscles undertake while working out. Massage therapy has been proven to reduce inflammation associated with exercise.
“What massage seems to do is … it reduces the inflammatory response as a function of the damage you incurred while you’re exercising,” said Simon Melov, a molecular biologist at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Improves Muscle Recovery
It’s not uncommon for people to experience sore, aching muscles after they work out. Known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), this condition is the direct result of micro tearing in muscle fibers. While DOMS tends to go away without having any lasting effects, it often takes up to 48 hours. You can expedite this recovery process, however, by seeking massage therapy after working out.
Protects Against Injury
You might be surprised to learn that massage therapy can help protect against injury. It’s not something that most people want to think about, but there’s an inherent risk of injury each time you exercise. Lifting weights, for instance, could result in a pulled muscle, whereas running may cause shin splints. While there’s no fool-proof way to completely prevent all types of injuries from occurring, you can reduce your risk by seeking massage therapy after a workout. A professional massage therapist will manipulate the muscles and surrounding tissue, conditioning them so they are less susceptible to injury.
Seeking massage therapy after a workout will improve blood circulation throughout the body. Why is this important? Well, high-intensity exercises can cause trauma to the muscles and tissue. The repair process requires increased blood to be transported to the affected areas, and with it, the vital nutrients which are carried through the bloodstream to support healing. The more fresh oxygenated blood can be supplied to the tissues, the more efficiently any damaged muscles and tissue can recover. Massage therapy works to stimulate blood flow, improving muscle function while reducing downtime in the process.
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