Self care is a hot topic. And those of you who keep your workout appointments with me and observe healthy eating habits understand that best. But today I also wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart — how massage and fitness training go together like a good sports bra and a tank top.
Ask me about massage, and you’ll see my face light up. Why? Because no one appreciates the value of a good massage to loosen, soothe, and eliminate muscle fascia issues like a fitness trainer who used to be a competitive body builder.
Because I am not the expert on why massage and exercise are so symbiotic, I called upon my favorite massage therapist, Kevin Gleave (FolsomMassage.com) for some answers to questions like what massage does for you both before and after a workout, how it aids in fat loss, and how it can help prevent injury as well. Here is what he said:
“Most people don’t know this, but your muscle strength actually improves with regular massage. While working out is the best way to build muscle strength, massage can help relax the muscles after a high level of physical stress. This maintains muscle elasticity and strength, making you less susceptible to muscle-related injuries. Massage is a must for body-building athletes to maintain immunity against injuries, since injuries can stop the practice of exercise and sabotage weight loss and fitness efforts.
“Massage can aid in helping you lose fat, since our body stores the fat in capsule-like appendages called fat cells and they are affected by being manipulated. Research shows that if proper massage is performed in the area with excess fat accumulation, it bursts the fat capsules and makes it ready for absorption inside the body. Combined with proper exercise and diet, massage can aid in reducing high levels of excess fat in your body. If your goal is to smooth out the lumpy stuff, massage can make a difference. A main component of accumulated body fat is cellulite, usually accumulating in your thighs and buttocks and sometimes even on your arms. Massaging in these areas can distribute the fat and release it into the body for absorption.
“But wait! There’s more! Got a slower metabolism? Massage can help with that, too! Stress and bad dietary habits can cause your metabolism to become sluggish, resulting increased body weight. Studies show that massage not only aids in muscle relaxation and recovery; it also stimulates body metabolism. An active body metabolism means that your body can burn up nutrients much more quickly.
“It’s no wonder bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts make sure their budget includes regular visits to a massage therapist. If you are on a roll with your fat loss and exercise efforts, regular massage can help keep you on that path!”
A big thank you to Kevin for his expertise. He offers my clients some pretty special discounts as well, so be sure to get in touch if you don’t already have a massage therapist you swear by.