It’s usually recommended that you don’t immediately exercise after a massage. However, people often feel limber and spry after receiving bodywork, which makes them think they can head straight to the gym. In this blog, Elements of Rockville Centre discusses how long you should wait before engaging in physical activity.
When Can I Exercise after a Massage?
It’s usually recommended that you wait approximately 24 hours to exercise after a massage. There are numerous reasons for this.
Many people think that the reason you’re supposed to drink water after massage therapy is that it speeds up the body’s metabolism and flushes toxins into the bloodstream. The idea is that the water helps the kidneys process metabolic waste to excrete it from your body more quickly. There’s no real scientific evidence to support this.
However, massage does vigorously work your muscles and increase circulation, which tends to make your body use water at a faster rate. For this reason, you have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated. Drink your water and give your body some type to catch up before you sweat out even more fluid in the gym.
A little bit of delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is a completely normal after effect of massage. Your licensed massage therapist manipulates and works your muscles. You won’t always experience DOMS, but it’s common.
Immediately hitting the gym to exercise after a massage may compound that DOMS, leaving you much achier than usual.
Note: if you experience any severe, persistent pain after a massage, immediately contact your massage provider. A little bit of soreness is okay; intense pain is not.
An accepted belief among massage therapy experts it that the pressure from massage can make your muscles and connective tissue pliable and “gel-like.” High-intensity exercise can potentially strain your muscle and tissue while they’re in a post-massage state.
What about Light Exercise?
In general, it’s typically okay to do some light exercise, such as walking or jogging, after receiving a massage. If you are uncertain, ask your licensed massage therapist at Elements of Rockville Centre. They will be glad to provide some advice on post-massage aftercare.
Remember that massage is a deeply relaxing experience, and that it’s common to even feel sleepy afterwards. Missing your workout after you’ve had a massage is not the end of the world. Indulge in that blissful post-massage feeling and relax instead.
Rather than going to exercise after a massage, Elements of Rockville Centre recommends getting a massage after you exercise. It helps your body recover and can actually compound some of the positive, stress-busting effects of physical activity.
Disclaimer: Elements of Rockville Centre is not an organization of healthcare professionals. All authoritative claims in this blog have been linked to their sources.