It’s common knowledge that exercise can benefit your body in many ways; it keeps your heart healthy, tones your muscles, and even helps you sleep better at night. It’s also no secret that getting a sports massage after exercising can help with muscle recovery and injury prevention.
But what if you exercised beforehand? Will it hurt the effectiveness of your sports massage? Is there any point to exercise before getting one? Keep reading to find out! Here are the 8 benefits of exercising before getting a sports massage.
Can You Exercise Before A Sports Massage? Generally, yes, you can, but it depends on how far out from your appointment time you are exercising.
If it’s within an hour or two before your appointment time then you can probably do light exercises with no issues but if you want to work out hard and push yourself that might not be the best idea.
If you’re looking for other options though there are some things that you can do prior to your appointment to help make it more beneficial. Here are some ideas to try out
1) Exercise Improves Circulation
When you exercise, your body increases blood flow to various parts of your body. It does so to facilitate oxygen and nutrients moving in, and wastes being released out. This benefits your muscles by enhancing delivery of everything they need to repair themselves and grow.
So long as you don’t overdo it—meaning: you don’t hurt yourself exercising before your massage!—this will help ensure that an excellent sports massage can improve muscle function even more than usual.
2) Better Circulation Speeds Healing
Whenever you exercise, your body sends more blood to your muscles. Since sports massage is applied to those very muscles, more blood means better circulation and therefore faster healing!
A 2003 study found that subjects who exercised before sports massage had significantly less pain than their counterparts who skipped an exercise session in between their massages. Better Circulation Speeds Healing: Whenever you exercise, your body sends more blood to your muscles.
Since sports massage is applied to those very muscles, more blood means better circulation and therefore faster healing! A 2003 study found that subjects who exercised before sports massage had significantly less pain than their counterparts who skipped an exercise session in between their massages.
3) Lower Stress Levels with Physical Activity
Exercise is known to help relieve stress in your body, while also improving your mood. Because workouts also raise your core temperature, they open up blood vessels and muscles and create space for oxygen to enter—which allows energy to be distributed more efficiently throughout your body.
When you’re feeling stressed out after sitting at a desk all day, don’t just take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Get off that chair and move! Instead of taking breaks from work to scroll through social media or play mindless games on your phone, get up and walk around. Take a lunch break outdoors instead of inside at your desk (if you can), or go on a 10-minute walk during your afternoon break.
4) An Energy Boost before Treatment
Think about how your body responds to exercise. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, causing more blood and oxygen to flow throughout your body. With increased circulation comes an increase in healing for your muscles.
The same principles apply before sports massage. A light 30-minute walk is perfect for warming up muscles before receiving a sports massage. This will also help you feel more relaxed during treatment, which can actually speed up recovery time!
5) Improved Sleep
Being physically active at least three times per week can help improve your sleep cycle. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep, sleep deeper and wake up feeling more refreshed. Physical activity boosts levels of melatonin, serotonin and endorphins – all hormones that help you relax.
When you’re able to relax, your body falls into a deeper state and dreams happen more often. Getting good sleep is important for muscle repair and growth, which in turn helps with post-workout recovery (and another benefit of exercising before your sports massage). The best part? It takes less than half an hour each day to reap these benefits!
6) Stronger Muscles Reduces Injuries
It may seem counterintuitive, but your muscles will actually become stronger when you work them. When you exercise before receiving a sports massage, you are doing two things: increasing blood flow to your muscles and increasing their flexibility.
Both of these help reduce muscle pain after a workout and make it less likely that you’ll sustain an injury during one. If you don’t exercise before working out or if your workouts are short and intense (like sprints or plyometrics), your body will start to weaken in those areas over time.
You can avoid becoming weaker by simply exercising regularly; i.e., pre-workout or on another day entirely if strength training isn’t your thing.
7) Work Out to Reduce Pain in Specific Areas
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine will not only help you reduce chronic pain and create a healthier, more energized life, but it can also help to decrease muscle tension in specific areas.
For example, if you regularly experience low back pain as an athlete, you may find that exercising helps to minimize that pain. Researchers have even found that moderate exercise significantly reduces neck pain for sufferers of acute neck injury.
By making fitness part of your lifestyle—whether it’s working out with a trainer or following a program like P90X—you might be able to see fewer flare-ups and feel better overall after receiving sports massage therapy.
8) Fatigue After Treatment Remedied with Physical Activity
Most people report feeling tired after a massage, but rest assured that your tiredness is likely caused by your muscles relaxing.
The best thing you can do to alleviate fatigue post-massage is to get up and move around. Stretching before, during and after exercising will increase blood flow and oxygenation to muscles, which should help with any aches or soreness you feel post-massage.
A warm shower after exercise is another way to release tension from your body—you may even find yourself more relaxed afterward!
When you exercise before getting a sports massage, you’re going to get an even more intense treatment than usual. By exercising first, your muscles are already loosened up and ready for deeper tissue work and more focused attention.
It also gives you time to focus on yourself and take your mind off things that may be stressing you out before it’s your turn in front of the masseuse. And if nothing else, exercise can make you feel good—and making time for yourself is never a bad thing.
Be sure to let your masseuse know that you had some activity beforehand; he or she will appreciate it as well!