The after effects of a good workout are not always pleasant. Fatigue and soreness can plague you for a few days following a particularly intense exercise session. However, a post-workout massage can speed up the recovery process.
4 Benefits of Post-Workout Massage
1. Pain Relief
That pain you feel after a workout is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Clinical studies have shown that post-workout massage can lessen the effects of DOMS.
2. Quicker Recovery
Massage doesn’t just mask the pain, it actually helps your muscles repair themselves. Exercise and weightlifting tightens and tones your muscles, while massage keeps them pliable and limber.
3. Keeps Blood Circulating
Aerobic exercise is a great way to improve your circulation, which helps with brain function, reduces the risk of diabetes and actually helps muscles recover.
Massage also increases circulation, so a post-workout massage will keep the blood flowing for a longer time.
4. Lifts your Mood
Have you ever noticed that, despite feeling completely exhausted from a good workout, you sometimes also feel happy, almost euphoric? That’s because exercise releases tons of endorphins, which can improve your mood.
Massage releases endorphins as well, particularly dopamine and serotonin. These positively influence your ability to feel joy and enthusiasm while combating depression and anxiety.
Tips to Receive the Best Post-Workout Massage
1. Stretch after Exercising
Contrary to popular belief, massage therapy does not break up the lactic acid caused by exercising. However, stretching does. Take five to 10 minutes to stretch after each workout to keep your muscles flexible and eliminate some lactic acid.
When you enter your massage session, your muscles will already be warmed up and ready to be worked.
2. Choose the Right Modality
With so many different modalities available, it can be difficult to decide which type of massage to get. The following are among the most popular:
- Deep tissue massage: targets the deepest layers of your muscles, where soreness begins. You may experience a bit of discomfort during this type of massage since it uses a high pressure level.
- Trigger point therapy: focuses specifically on your tightest muscle groups to loosen and limber them. You may experience a bit of discomfort during this type of massage since it uses a high pressure level.
- Swedish massage: basic form of massage therapy that involves moderate pressure, great for mild muscle soreness.
In general, Swedish massage is a good first choice since it involves basic massage strokes and a medium pressure level.
3. Drink Plenty of Water Afterwards
Both exercise and massage therapy can dehydrate your muscles and tissue. It’s crucial to drink water after your workout, and then drink plenty more water after your massage session to keep your body hydrated.
Once you start receiving post-workout massages, you’ll wish you started sooner!