When exercising or training for a sporting event or achievement, make sure you remember that what you do during your rest periods is as important as the training itself. You might be training towards a sporting challenge,competition or achievement, or you may simply be enjoying the benefits of exercise, such as improved health and fitness, and the social camaraderie.Whatever the reason why you put on your trainers, preparation and recovery are vital to your health and wellbeing.
Stretching is a key part of preparing for exercise, warming up your muscles to prevent injury. Likewise, nutrition is a key component of successful training and it can impact your workout positively or negatively. Massage and looking after your body in between exercise will also help you to stay healthy, injury free and at peak condition.
Sports massage has been used since as early as 2500 BC, according to Chinese writing. The practice was used to prevent injury and is still used today.Professional masseurs will discuss the type of exercise that you’re doing and if applicable, what you’re training for. They’ll also need to know if you have any current or previous injuries, or if you experience any pain or discomfort during your training. They will then discuss massage options with you, as well as exercises that you can do yourself in between treatments.
What are the benefits of massage when exercising ?
As we’ve already discussed, there are many factors that can affect your performance. Massage can improve flexibility, reduce pain and flush lactic acid from your body, all helping you to perform faster, harder and stronger.
Cold, inflexible muscles are more likely to be injured. Sports massage can prevent muscles from becoming overused, which can cause soreness. Regular treatments can also treat inflammation that is caused by overuse, which if left untreated, can lead to injury. Importantly, targeting problem areas regularly can prevent soft-tissue injuries like sprains and stress injuries from reoccurring.
Lighter sports massages can help you to relax, through the repetitive nature of the movements, especially if they’re enjoyed at a spa or leisure centre. This can take some of the stress of your training away, especially if you are looking to smash a personal best or reach a new target.
Having a massage immediately after a race can help to reduce soreness and stiffness in the days following the event, by flushing out lactic acid. This will help to minimise the risk of cramping as well.
Depending on what you’re training for and what you’re looking for in a sports massage, there are different types of treatments available. Deep tissue massages are better for recovery, as they can be used to target specific areas,perhaps an injury or niggle that you’ve picked up during training or the race itself. Pre-event massages should be lighter, to help energise your muscles,improve flexibility and help you to focus on your goal.
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