How Regular Massages are Beneficial for Athletes
From world-class professionals to weekend joggers, massage therapy is geared towards helping athletes of every kind achieve optimal performance and maintain good health. Getting massage therapy regularly will help improve athletic performance, speed recovery, prevent injuries and help maintain peak performance.
Experts recommend getting massage therapy before sporting events, as it will help enhance the pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time, for maximum performance during training or after an event. It’s also been found that specially designed sports massage promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries and prepares their body and mind for optimal performance. A 2010 study in the journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that even a 30-second massage improved hip-flexor range of motion.
Here’s how a regular massage is beneficial for athletes-
- Tones and strengthens muscles
- Promotes relaxation
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
- Reduces muscle tension and pain
- Enhances athletic performance
- Reduces muscle inflammation and swelling
- Improves soft tissue function
- Decreases muscle stiffness and fatigue after exercise
- Increases the circulation of blood which enhances the flow of nutrients of essential nutrients to body tissues
- Lessens muscle soreness
- Prevents the occurrence of injuries
- Improves sleep
In addition to relaxation and pain reduction, massage therapy provides a number of psychological benefits as well. The sports massage study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness points out “athleticism, particularly the athleticism required in competitive sports, doesn’t rely solely on physical strength. Tactical manoeuvring in cycling or an ability to focus on a task (e.g., gymnastics or golf) can also affect performance. Therefore, the psychological effect provided to an athlete by an experience such as massage may be of importance in a non-physiological manner.” Getting a massage regularly help alleviate the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Also, when done before the event, it helps produce an invigorating feeling.
Massage therapy helps reduce stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. So you get an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels and a reduction in cortisol levels, which are directly linked to stress.
So, for sports enthusiasts, and the individuals who participate in exercise and regular training, getting a massage regularly is incredibly beneficial, and could transform your lives.