While many people seek massage for its relaxing benefits, it can also prove useful for bodybuilders, athletes, and other physically active men and women. To learn more about massage therapy and the benefits it offers after working out, keep reading.
When you work out – particularly 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 torn muscle fibers. The good news is that DOMS tends to go away without having any lasting effects, but the bad news is that 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 inherit 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 causes trauma to the muscles and tissue. In order to repair the damage, blood must transport key nutrients to the respective area. If you suffer from poor circulation, your damaged muscles and tissue may not receive these nutrients, or they may not receive them in enough time. Massage therapy works to stimulate blood flow, improving muscle function while reducing downtime in the process.
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