If you’re a regular exerciser, you know the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, rest, and strength training to your overall health and workout recovery. Even if you’re not a regular exerciser, someone you know probably annoys the crap out of you talking about it (guilty as charged). But did you know you should be adding massages to that list of important things? Below is a very quick look at the many benefits of massage therapy.
We’re not known for being all woo-woo mystical here at Virtus, minus that old purple rabbit’s foot (it’s not from a REAL rabbit). This is science, people! Massages have come a long way their seedy roadside parlor history. The best mainstream athletic recovery programs include massage therapy. But aside from just feeling great, adding massage into your exercise plan can help your overall gains and athletic performance. How? Glad you asked!
Tense muscles cause a lot of the injuries that many athletes get. Massages help to relax those tense muscles throughout your body, even the ones you didn’t know were sore. They also reduce inflammation and increase range of motion and flexibility. So, when built into your recovery program, getting a professional massage reduces the risk for injury. Note we say professional massage. Just having your significant other rub your back may feel nice, but you won’t get the same level of benefits.
Sports massage differs from a typical day at the spa. While a sports massage can be relaxing, its main purpose is prevention and healing. A licensed sports massage therapist is going to focus on techniques that directly address muscle soreness, injuries, and recovery. All that lends itself to improved performance… but wait there’s more! Massage also increases levels of mitochondria in your body (yes, “the powerhouses of the cell” of science class fame). Since mitochondria create energy, having boosted levels gets more energy to your muscles. More energy gives those muscles a boost when you ask them to perform.
This goes without saying: massages feel good! But getting a massage does more than soothe away muscle soreness. It comes with some other pretty cool side benefits, too, like:
- Enhanced attention and focus
- Improved mood
- Decreased anxiety
- Settled game day jitters
- Better sleep
- Increased blood flow and better circulation
- Alleviation of chronic pain and muscle spasms
- Less stiffness and soreness after workouts
- Fewer monthly hormonal issues for female athletes
Did you know we have our very own professional massage therapist on site? Hands on Moxie Massage Therapy is owned by Nicole Cribbs, our very own Virtus co-owner and licensed massage therapist. Her clients range from people looking for a relaxing massage to some of Pittsburgh’s most famous gridiron stars. Come in during staffed hours to find out how she can help you, too.