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Fitness and Massage: A Match Made in Heaven

Fitness and massage have long been natural companions. The practice of integrating the two into your training may allow you to more easily reach your wellness and performance goals. Regular massage sessions won't just help you relax. They can help you feel more physically and psychologically fit.

Anytime you exercise or engage in intense physical activity, you are tightening and tensing your muscles. The purpose, of course, is to build stronger muscles and increase overall muscle mass, but working out damages muscles. It is damaged muscle fibers that make you feel sore or ache after exercising. If you've recently experienced an increase in soreness, or are looking to take your training up a level, you may benefit greatly from seeing a licensed massage therapist.

Having a massage may seem like just a luxury, but massage helps your body recover from physical exertion in a variety of ways. It helps to relieve the stiffness and pain caused by working with weights, running, climbing or doing high-intensity movements. The process of massaging muscles works to smooth out knots and tension. It decreases inflammation which allows for better blood flow and in return increases circulation.

Massage also aids in increasing the range of motion. It restores pliability and flexibility by loosening fibers within the muscles that allow them to work as they should with less effort. Other benefits of massage are a lower heart rate and a reduced feeling of stress. Massage naturally increases dopamine and serotonin levels while decreasing cortisol, which reduces tension and anxiety and improves focus.

Depending upon what individual budgets will allow, weekly massages are ideal for acute injuries or post events; maintenance massage weekly/bi weekly is great gearing up for an event. Self-massage techniques and asking your partner to massage your back and shoulders are excellent substitutes for in between visits. To be considered consistent, it is best to have a professional massage a minimum of at least twice a month.

Going to receive a massage immediately following an event can help you more quickly recoup from your workout, but sometimes massage can leave you feeling sore. Some fitness experts suggest having massages on days that you aren't training or allowing a day or so between your workout session and the massage. If you are having a massage prior to an event or competition it is recommended that you have it four or five days ahead in order to give your body time to recover from the massage.

Including regular massages as part of your training or exercise routine will help you achieve a better performance and maintain wellness. It will help you recover faster and will help prevent sports-related injuries.

Interested in learning more? Browse our website to see the types of massage we offer, and contact our Austin massage therapists today!