One of the greatest fears of any athlete is the chance of injury. Regardless of your sport, from running to swimming to weightlifting, all of them contain a risk of injury, causing you setbacks in your workout routine and putting progress on hold. One of the best ways to help maintain your muscle health is to prevent an injury before it happens.
While massage has been previously thought of as a form of relaxation or spa treatment, massage therapy is so much more than that. In fact, many professional athletes across many disciplines have relied on massage therapy to improve performance.
Here are some of the wonderful benefits of massage therapy for athletes.
- Injury Recovery: If you have found yourself injured, you are probably struggling with the limitations that come along with recovery. But massage therapy can help you. In order to help your damaged tissues heal, massage will increase the blood flow that could be constricted due to swelling or muscle tension surrounding the injury. More blood flow means more oxygen will be moved to the area. You will have a better chance of a speedy recovery as well as less stiffness and pain as the injury heals. Your muscles will be able to relax rather than sit under strain caused by the injury.
- Relief of Tension: Even if you are not struggling with an injury, you probably have experienced muscle stiffness and tightness at some point during your workout routine. If you have gone up in the amount of weight you are lifting or have added in some new moves to your routine, you run the risk of getting muscle tightness. If stretching isn’t doing enough to keep your muscles from getting sore and stiff, massage therapy can help work out the tight, sore muscles, and keep you moving.
- Injury Prevention: A major disadvantage of working out with stiff muscles is when you run the greatest risk of injury. Your muscles can get tight and rigid under the strain of a workout. If not kept properly warm and loose, the muscles can tear when putting under more strain. Massage therapy can help keep these muscles loose and warm.
- The increase in Performance: Having more relaxed muscles that have good blood flow will mean that you can perform your workouts even better. You will not be struggling against muscles that are unyielding.
- Promote Stress Reduction: Let’s go back to why many people use massage therapists. The point of relaxation and stress reduction should not be lost on athletes. Having a relaxed body can help you have a relaxed mind, keeping your focus on your performance rather than other concerns you may be having while also increasing your overall performance. This can also help give you more encouragement during workouts to put in the extra effort to try something new.
Massage therapy should really be utilized by all athletes. The more often you get a massage, the more oxygen is getting to your sore muscles regularly, helping build them while keeping you feeling great.
About The Author:
Tomas is a passionate blogger and health coach. When he’s not behind his computer helping people live a healthier and happier life you can find him hiking local mountains, kayaking, snowboarding or just meeting new people.