Here are five ways massage can help improve your fitness routine.
1. It enhances your post-workout recovery
A good, therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles after an intense workout, which in turn allows you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would. When you exercise, you spend time tightening and toning muscles. Massage helps restore some pliability.
2. It soothes the pain of sore muscles
Those muscles can really ache after you put them through the ringer at the gym or while pounding the pavement during a run. But, massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the "ouch" factor and get the blood flowing again so they don't hurt so much. According to a 2012 study in Science Translational Medicine, massages helps reduce inflammation and help cells recover.
3. It makes your muscles work better
Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but it also messes with those connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia — which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they're in good shape, according to Neumann. When the fascia gets tight from repeated exercise, the muscles have a harder time sliding past each other easily. This can impede their ability to function optimally. Massage helps to loosen those fibers so your muscles can do their job with less effort and give your workout a nice boost!
4. It can increase flexibility
When you get regular massage, your joints become more flexibly. Most people experience a decrease in flexibility begining at around age 12. Getting a massage, especialy one that includes some stretching, can keep your joints moving freely
5. It helps you feel better, mentally
Massage helps reduce the stress hormones in your body (cortisol and adrenaline) and helps your body access more of your "feel good" hormones (dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin).