A good training regime is about more than just getting your gear on and going for a run, hitting the gym, or finding balance in downward-facing dog. It’s about making sure you are getting the right nutrition to give your body the right fuel, and enough sleep to let it recover. This month we look at the benefits of incorporating massage into your training schedule and how it can help your body prepare and recover from the rigours of exercise.
Sports massage used to be thought of as something that only elite athletes needed to do. No longer. Sports massage can help repair the damage muscles endure during exercise, it can restore a restricted range of motion, and can help with chronic pain and injuries. In fact, the benefits of sports massage are numerous:
1. Relieves pain
Whether chronic or due to a more recent injury, sports massage can reduce pain. It does this by stretching and releasing tight muscles around an injured or tender area, improving blood flow, blood and lymph fluid circulation which in turn improve oxygenation of the muscles and improved energy. Pain is reduced through the release of the body’s natural painkiller, endorphins. Chronic muscular strain is improved by relieving trigger points within muscles and loosening fascia (this is the tissue that connects and joins the various muscles in your body) that can cause pain, returning your flexibility to what it used to be.
2. Improves range of motion
Sports masseurs are also trained in orthopaedic assessment. This gives them a holistic understanding of how and why motion may be restricted and will work with your body to release tight muscles and fascia in any particular area, bringing greater motion back to the affected area.
3. Prepares you for exercise
Sports massage does not only work post-exercise but can also better set you up for a training session. It does this by correcting muscle imbalances created when one muscle becomes shorter and/or tighter, forcing the surrounding muscles to compensate and putting greater strain on them, which could lead to pain and even injury. Releasing those tighter muscles will restore balance to your body evening out the stresses and strains that exercise can have and reducing the likelihood of strain or injury.
4. Aids recovery
Exercise releases lactic acid and results in small tears to your muscle fibres as well as a build-up of toxins – this is what causes that familiar ache for a couple of days after exercising. A sports massage will help to speed up that recovery by working deep into muscles and tissue leading to stretched, flexible, and healthy muscles.
A combination of regular exercise and sports massage will ensure your body is healthy and able to cope with the rigours of whatever exercise regime you choose. For more information or to book a sports massage, get in touch with us at Valkyrie Personal Training and Massage by calling 07973 483314 – we will have you back in your trainers in no time!