The world – including gyms – is opening up, and you may be super excited (or not!) to get back to your workouts. As a bodyworker, it’s no surprise that I’m an advocate for engaging in regular exercise and physical activity to help maintain overall wellness. Receiving massage and bodywork is important when you are sedentary as well as when you are very active. And if, like many of us, you have been spending more time sitting than moving over the past year or so, going for regular massages can be even more beneficial!
Here are three ways athletes can benefit from including bodywork in their workout regimen:
1. Muscle Tightness & Tension Relief
It is no surprise that after a big workout, your muscles will feel tight or sore (you may even feel your muscles spasm!) This is particularly true if you are resuming physical activity after a long break. When you are receiving bodywork in between workouts on a consistent basis (every two to four weeks), you can significantly reduce the tension in your muscles – wherever you are most prone to holding it in your body. This may be different from one person to another.
2. Increased Flexibility & Range of Motion
As bodyworkers, we find that most of our highly active clients do not take the time to stretch or use the foam roller before and after workouts. When you do these exercises, you are focusing on your flexibility and range of motion – which ultimately helps with your movement. Bodywork – whether doing it on your own or going to a professional (wink!) – improves muscle movement so that you can engage in physical activity with far greater ease.
3. Faster Recovery
Another major reason to consider making massage and bodywork part of your regular wellness routine is that it speeds recovery from soreness and pain between workouts. Because your muscles are being physically manipulated, they will heal faster. This makes for pain-free (or less painful) workouts and allows you to work out more vigorously – which means you will see results faster as well. Good news all around!
There are countless more benefits to receiving bodywork when you are actively exercising. You may notice that you’ll have more energy, better workouts and improved muscle tone. You’ll feel more relaxed. And chances are you’ll sleep better, too! Whether you’re a weekend warrior or have a daily routine, building time into your schedule for bodywork is not just a luxury – it’s an essential part of your health and wellness plan.