If one of your new year’s resolutions was to be more active this year, whether it be more walking, joining a gym or a new fitness class, I’m sure you’re starting to feel the benefits already. However, with an increase in exercise comes the aches and pains of your muscles being worked in new and different ways. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness or DOMS is the stiffness and pain you feel after your work outs. It can occur straight after, the day after or a few days after exercise.
Although not proven to prevent DOMS, many studies have shown that massage can be used to help reduce the intensity of muscle soreness. By having massage after your workouts, it will warm and stretch your muscles and help to remove any waste products such as lactic acid, therefore helping to reduce your post-workout DOMS. By targeting areas of tension in your muscles, massage can reduce your stiffness helping to speed up the recovery process of DOMS and allowing you to work out again sooner.
With any increase in the duration or intensity of exercise, massage is always beneficial as there will be many physical changes occurring as you start to move more. Soft tissue such as muscle, tendon and ligaments, become stronger, bones become denser, size and endurance of your muscles increases. Massage is a great way to look after your soft tissues, keeping them flexible and relaxed. It can also help with the prevention of any injuries by keeping muscles balanced and improving the speed and quality of repair of soft tissues after exercise.
So best of luck with your fitness goals, but remember to look after your body! Exercise is great and you’re getting healthier, but give your body maintenance checks and have massage to look after the soft tissues of your body.