South Africa has cultivated a great athletic and fit nation. People pay close attention to taking care of themselves and incentives like Discovery Vitality are great motivators to keeping in shape.
For us with our slogan “Health Starts Here” we really believe that taking your health seriously on all levels is key to a long, healthy and happy life.
Sports massage has various benefits that go much further than only muscle recovery. The first reason that athletes will have a massage is to avoid injury, training for months on end and suffering an injury just before a race is heartbreaking. Besides the let down of missing the race you have worked so hard for, injuries also have long term effects on the body.
Massage has come a long way over the years and healthcare has moved into a “prevention is better than the cure” space. Using massage to prevent an injury is far more desirable than trying to treat the problem and slow down fitness levels.
Sports massage aids in the following areas:
Suffering with Delayed Onset Muscle Pain (DOMS) after intense exercise is extremely common. Massage or more exercise is the best way to get your muscles moving again. There are oils and creams that can help too, such as Arnica or winter green. The relief of being able to move muscles following a massage is priceless!
Increased blood flow
Manual stimulation assists in getting lactic acid moving which helps muscle recovery. Draining the lymph is also important as this supports the immune system. Staying healthy and keeping you going with your goal in sight.
Relaxation, Anxiety and stress management
You deserve some pampering, you have been working hard! But an added benefit with massage following exercise which as we know is the best anti-depressant is that massage stabilizes Cortizol levels helping you to cope even better with stress.
Reduces heart rate and lowers blood pressure
By relaxing the body we can slow down heart rate and this decreases blood pressure.
Massage improves connective tissue healing which promotes muscle elasticity resulting in improved muscle flexibility which reduces injuries.
When we spoke to a friend following The Comrades Marathon, I asked him what part of his body hurts “My whole Body” he answered, which was amusing and true! But depending on the form of exercise we generally see the main area for relief being the back and neck. When the knees take strain it will effect the lower back and the best way to keep the lower back strong is to take good care of the abdominal muscles.
Stay fit and stay strong, we’ve got your back!