Massage & Recovery After Exercise
Massage for your muscles after exercise can be great in so many ways…. Or Not!
It’s a little more complex than a blanket statement can cover, and there are a number of factors to consider such as, “When after exercise?”, “How Often do I massage?”, “Who will do the Massage?”, “What kind of Massage?”, “Where should I go to get the massage?”, and the questions keep going.
First, let’s look at a few things that massage actually does to the human body.
Massage relieves muscle tightness and tension by increasing muscle elasticity, increases blood flow, decreases inflammation, relieves the build-up of lactic acid in some people, increases the production of mitochondria in the muscles, and the list goes on and on.
Due to both the physical and psychological effects that massage generates in the body, these effects have been proven to improve the body’s recovery process by things such as, a reduction of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) by as much as 30% or more, Muscle Recovery and Growth, reduced Pain, Injury Prevention, improved Flexibility, significant effects on Plasma Creatine Kinase Activity, and again, the list goes on.
The real debate comes with the topic of “When after exercise should you have a massage” which includes “How often should you have a massage”
As blood flow can remain elevated for up to 30 minutes and beyond after exercise, massaging the muscles in this time produces little to no effect, and some studies show that massage in this time draws blood flow to the surface towards the skin and away from the muscles which may hinder recovery.
Studies have shown the most promising results come from massaging the muscles 2-3 hours after exercise.
Other studies have looked at such time frames such as 24-48 hours after exercise with 48 hours showing the better result in those studies.
So what should YOU do?
The bottom line is “What suits YOU” when it comes to Budget, Time and How often and hard do you exercise?
Can you afford, and do you have time, to go to masseuse 2-3 hours after your workout?
In this time of Lockdown, the question is irrelevant as “non essential” massage services are forced to shut down in this period, but I’m sure you get the point.
With the closure of massage services during the lockdown, the obvious next issue is “Who will perform these post exercise massages?”
Unless you have someone in your household who can be your own personal masseuse when you need it, odds are, you’ll have to find a way to get the job done yourself.
Fortunately, we have had great leaps in technology where there are now a wide range of products that gets close to the results of having your own personal masseuse.
From Foam Rollers, Massage Balls, etc, right up to sophisticated Massage Guns, Back Rests, and Full Body Massage Chairs.
When it comes to Self Massage, you want a product that can get the everyday job done but won’t break the bank.
If money is no issue, then of course you can buy those fancy chairs that cost $20,000 and more, or you can get a $10 Foam Roller.
Or you can look at a product that is more versatile as well as affordable, such as the Everfit Electric Massage Gun that is available through Swoop Fitness… The choice is Yours!