How to Combine Exercise & Massage to Improve Your Health 

Many people use massage to help their bodies recover from tough workouts. But massage can do much more than help people recover from injuries, sore muscles, and overexertion. In fact, regular massage therapy can be preventative and contribute to better overall health, especially when you combine it with regular exercise.

There’s a reason athletes are so consistent with getting sports massages. That being said, everyone can feel the positive effects of massage, whether you’re a professional sports player or you play beer league baseball in the summer months. 

How Do Massage Therapy & Exercise Work Together?

Just like working out, a single massage session provides short-term benefits, but to create long-term health benefits, you have to make it a habit. When you create a routine that includes exercise and massage, you help your body in two main ways: 

  • Keeping Muscles, Fascia & Cardiovascular Systems Healthy 

It’s no surprise that massage and exercise both impact the health of your body’s muscles. Getting a massage before a workout can help you loosen up and prepare your body for intense action, while getting a massage after a tough week of exercise will help you deal with stiff and sore muscles.

Fascia is the connective tissue within your body. When your fascia is healthy, it moves easily, but without regular exercise, it becomes stiff and can cause pain, bad posture, and other health issues. If you haven’t worked out in a while, it’s a great idea to head in for a myofascial release treatment.

Massage also improves blood flow to the different parts of your body, which helps aid in healing throughout the body while strengthening your cardiovascular system.

  • Preventing Illness & Injury 

Whether you play football, baseball, or ball hockey, being sick or injured can quickly ruin a season. Regular massage therapy and acupuncture are part of a routine that’s aimed at whole body health. Not only will these practices prepare your body for activity and prevent strain or injury, but they can also strengthen your body’s immune system. 

What Type of Massage Treatment Should I Have After Exercise? 

  • Deep tissue massage (also known as therapeutic massage) goes deeper than the surface tissue to target deep muscle tension
  • Hot stone massage is a form of deep tissue massage that uses heated volcanic rocks to help further release tight muscles 
  • Sports massage is popular among athletes because it has all the effects of a deep tissue massage, but with specific attention paid to treating and preventing typical athlete injuries and strains

When to Exercise Before or After a Workout

Working out before a massage is fine. The treatment will typically help you release any strains or tension you built up during exercise. However, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours after a massage before exercising, especially for deep tissue massages. 

Stretching 

You might not be lifting weights, but massage is like a mild form of exercise because of the manipulation of your muscles. Like stretching before and after a workout, stretching before and after your massage can help you gain more benefits and help you recover faster afterward. A hot Epsom salt bath can also help ease any soreness after a massage, and be sure to drink plenty of water!

Find a Registered Massage Therapist in Edmonton 

We’re open seven days a week and have free parking at both of our west and south Edmonton massage clinic locations. We offer massage therapy services in Edmonton, AB, that range from deep tissue sports massages to relaxation massages.

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