by Jenny Thornton
Various muscles are involved when you are working out, and the number depends on the kinds of exercises that you are doing. It is a common thing for muscles to get damaged from exercise, although most of the time it is not recognized unless there is a pain. As one exercises, the muscles become depleted of oxygen and nutrients. There is the accumulation of waste products, electrolyte imbalance, increase in heart rate, and nervous system fatigue. To relieve the body of all this post workout stress, a massage is highly recommended.
Massage therapy is very important after every exercise and it involves two types of responses. One is a reflex response where the nerves respond to the stimulation after a massage and the second one is a mechanical response which is a result of movement and pressure. Both of which assists in muscle repair and rejuvenation.
For a fitness person or one who works outs regularly, the best massage is the sports massage or
the deep tissue massage. The sports massage involves a fast paced massage, wth stretching and other techniques depending on the type of exercises you do. The deep tissue massage works on particular muscle group. Heavy pressure is applied to the layers of muscles and in particular the deep muscles. Both types of massage are designed to get into the tension and knots in the muscles and at times it can leave you feeling a little sore.
The benefits of having a post- workout massage includes:
- It improves the cardiovascular system as it dilates the blood vessels which help promote effective blood circulation. As you get massaged, it encourages the venous blood flow back to the heart and it delivers nutrients and fresh oxygen to the tissues and also promotes removal of toxins and waste products from the body.
- With increased blood circulation, there is relief of muscle tension and reduction of muscle soreness hence shortening the recovery time after exercise. The relaxed muscles experiences a greater flexibility and motion for better performance. Flexibility is also maintained when the muscle fibers are stretched during massage as the collagen scar tissues and many adhesions in the tissues, fascia and muscles are straightened out.
- Massage also reduces the inflammation of muscles, and promotes new growth of mitochondria, which are energy producing units in the cells. They use the broken down food products and oxygen to generate the energy needed by the cells relieving pain and building muscle for a quick recovery process.
- Massage works on the mind as it helps reduce anxiety and tension while promoting relaxation by activating the parasymthetic nervous system. As you are massaged, there is an increase of dopamine and serotonin levels and a reduction in cortisol levels which is linked to stress, hence it provides the ability for one to focus.
- Massage promotes better sleep patterns by improving the quality and quantity of sleep. Massage releases tension in the muscles and promotes a deeper and longer sleep, which is an important part of the recovery process.
Therefore, it is best to invest in regular massage therapy if you are a fitness enthusiast, so as to enable all body systems to function at an optimum level. Invest in your health. Have a massage!