Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of great weather for outdoor exercising. Instead of being stuck indoors, get out and run! If you are a runner, you know the soreness that comes with running, especially if you have just begun. Whether you do it for fun, competition, stress relief, or to lose weight, give your body the aftercare it needs to not only improve your running abilities, but make it easier on your muscles. Massage therapy can help runners in many ways:
Reduce Muscle Pain and Fatigue
If you have just started running or are running more miles more intensely, massage therapy can help ease muscle pain, soreness, and fatigue. When your body is under pressure, toxins are released into the tissues (like lactic acid). If these toxins are left untreated, your tissues can become damaged over time, leading to decreased circulation, tightness, and congestion of tissues. Massage helps to decrease muscle tension and stress, relieve muscle soreness, and give your muscles the break they need after a tough workout.
Increase Circulation and Blood Flow
Massage is well-known for increasing circulation and blood flow throughout the entire body. After muscles are stressed, such as after a run, they need proper care to heal the tissues quickly. Increased circulation and blood flow helps trigger the immune system to get that healing in motion fast. Increased circulation, along with proper hydration, helps your body flush out toxins, which helps reduce soreness and fatigue.
Many runners suffer from pain and tightness in the Achilles tendon, knees, hamstrings, and IT Band. If you can pinpoint the area that is in need of help, a good massage therapist will know how to treat your symptoms. For example, there may be pre-existing conditions or postural errors contributing to the pain, rather than simply the spot where the pain is felt. When a muscle is overused, another muscle will start overworking to bring balance back to the body, leaving that muscle strained and painful and causing a domino effect among other muscles. A massage therapist can help rebalance the musculoskeletal system, increasing flexibility and avoiding future injuries.
When you think of massage therapy, the first thing that probably comes to mind is relaxation. When you relax your muscles, you relax the mind, reduce stress and fatigue, and re-energize your body. Massage is a great way to recover after a long run, a big race, or a tough workout (or even when you just feel a little over-stressed with working out).