Massage and Exercise
With its warmer temperatures and long days, summer is an ideal time for exercising. In addition to its physical benefits, exercise can also make significant contributions to a person’s psychological and emotional well being, making it an important part of achieving and maintaining health. Massage, with its relaxing and soothing benefits and its ability to release muscle tension, can supplement any exercise program for greater effectiveness, comfort and enjoyment.
Regular exercise strengthens your body and improves your mood. Exercise also reduces stress in several ways. It helps decrease physical tension and mental stress including anxiety and depression. Taking a brisk walk, riding a bike or working out for even half an hour can balance your mood, change your day around and help you sleep better. Engaging in physical activity outside during the day also gives you exposure to light and fresh air, both of which can do wonders to boost your spirits, especially in the cooler, darker months. The Mayo Clinic supports exercise as a stress reducer, saying that focusing on the task of exercising can result in a calmer, clearer mind.
You may find it easier and less painful to exercise and stretch appropriately if you receive massage. Try scheduling a massage for the hours after you exercise, or schedule massage more regularly, and see if you feel a difference.
For serious athletes, a specialized mode of massage called sports massage, has been developed. While not used much by most of the exercising public, sports massage, which is generally given right before an athletic competition, can enhance physical performance and reduce injuries.
Whatever your exercise program, keep in mind these contributions massage can make and consider adding massage to complement your fitness regimen.
- relieve areas of chronic tension
- increase your sense of energy
- help prevent injury by lengthening muscle fibers and increasing circulation to muscles
- reduce soreness from overexertion
- reduce swelling and build-up of irritating waste products in your tissues
- help heal injuries by improving the flow of oxygen and nutrients to recovering tissues
- improve the circulation around joints and promote joint mobility