Take Your Fitness to the Next Level: Add Massage!
Fitness is next to Godliness - or at least it's close. As a culture, we are becoming increasingly more conscious of the necessity of regular exercise in order to lead a healthy, balanced life. In a city like Vancouver, you’re hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t actively take measures to get outside or get to the gym at least once a week. This is all well and good but sometimes we push ourselves a little too hard during a workout.
It’s not uncommon to hear someone finish a workout only to exclaim, “I’m going to be sore for days after this.” We spend a lot of time doing weight training or cardio but often neglect the very important factor of muscle recovery. After strenuous exercise, our muscles are crying out for hydration and relaxation - they need to heal in order to become stronger versions of themselves. This is why it’s quite rational to consider integrating massage into your fitness routine.
Massage is proven to aid muscle recovery time and loosen stiff joints with little to no effort on your behalf. Researchers put eleven young healthy men through a high intensity workout to see the effects of massage on their muscles. The massage was given right after the workout and affected two specific genes in the muscle cells. The first gene is one that decreases inflammation caused by strenuous activity. The second gene turned up the production of mitochondria in the muscles which use oxygen and energy from good to generate energy for cells to consume. Massage helps all of these processes along.
By speeding up muscle recovery and bringing hydration to the muscles by applying pressure directly on the skin and muscles, massage can reduce the time it takes for muscles to recover and restore energy for your next workout. In addition, massage is often cited as a means to improve sleep and circulation, all of which contribute to more effective exercise sessions and a renewed sense of energy throughout the body. Luxury massage chairs are now equipped with dynamic and intense automatic modes like “Relax” and “Restore” programs that integrate kneading, tapping, knocking, and rolling massage techniques to produce maximal relief and restoration.
If you want to take your fitness routine to the next level, consider integrating daily or weekly massage into your regime. There is nothing to lose and only improvements to gain!