A massage is a great, relaxing way to unwind, making most people think of it as a leisure activity, but massages might actually be a beneficial addition to your fitness routine.
Post- exercise soreness can be anywhere from uncomfortable to debilitating, and for a long time, professionals advised ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory meds to curb some of the pain, and to just suffer through the rest. Now, massage is emerging as the most effective way to relieve muscle soreness.
Muscle become sore when you work out because overloading them causes the little, tiny fibers to tear apart, essentially injuring them. The exact cause of pain is still up for debate: traditional thinking is that the muscle tears cause a release of lactic acid which causes the burning sensation, but new research is finding that it may be the tears themselves that are the source of the pain. Either way, it hurts.
A British study showed that massaging the used muscles immediately after a workout decreased sorness and increased jumping ability at 48 and 72 hours of recovery.
So not only do massages feel incredible after an especially tiring workout, they may help you recover faster and decrease soreness, as well. Sounds like a win, win to me!
In Good Health,
Kelly Turner is a Seattle area ACE Certified Personal Trainer, health and fitness writer and editor of the fitness website, PhysiqueSpeak.com. To contact Kelly with any questions, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.