One of the most important components of a fitness program that often gets the least amount of attention is recovery. When you work out you are putting stress on your body so you need to make sure you are allowing your body to fully recover. Recent research shows that deep tissue Massage for Workout Recovery (after an intense workout) actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy. Deep-tissue massage increases the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage. Increasing mitochondria can improve endurance performance by increasing the rate that muscles can utilize oxygen.
Massage for Workout Recovery
is the most effective way to facilitate fascial healing, optimize performance, and help alleviate many problems associated with chronic pain caused by receptive motion and the wear and tear of an active life. Stretching and foam rolling are very beneficial for recovery, but in the case of muscle knots, stretching alone is not enough. When stretching a muscle with knots, you are only stretching the healthy muscle tissue. A well-trained massage therapist can effectively apply pressure to break up and relieve muscle knots or trigger points. Releasing those “stuck places” will make your body feel better, be more flexible, and perform more efficiently.
Foam rolling is another way to promote fascial healing and muscle recovery. It is a self-myofascial release technique that is easy to do at home. Foam rollers are stiff foam logs that are about six inches in diameter, and come in various lengths. They are simple, effective tools that can help relieve muscle soreness and other soft tissue pain. You can use them to break up scar tissue and painful adhesions that develop after years of workouts.
Along with massage, foam rolling and stretching, it is important to do all you can for adequate recovery. This includes sufficient sleep, proper hydration, and re-fueling after a workout. Just as with exercise, if you commit to doing these things regularly, you will experience the benefits and be more likely to avoid injury. Schedule your massage now, you’ll rest easier.
By Kathy Casey