Get a Massage for Your Post-Workout Recovery
Not only do massages make you feel good, but they actually can help the average gym-goer. A recent study suggests that a massage after exercise may help alleviate muscle soreness and may aid in muscle growth and recovery.
Researchers put 11 healthy males through a strenuous workout session, which is almost too hard to finish and would make them sore for a few days afterwards. Following their workouts, each man got a 10-minute Swedish-style massage, but only on one leg. The other leg was rested and used for comparison. They took biopsies of each leg before and after exercise.
They found that the short massage affected two specific genes in the muscle cells. The first gene decreases inflammation caused by exercise, similar to the relief of pain medications. They also found that another gene promoted the creation of mitochondria, which helps increase muscular endurance.
Studies have also shown that remedies for muscle soreness that work by decreasing inflammation, such as ice baths or anti-inflammatory medications, may actually block muscle repair and growth. Massages not only make you feel better but can aid in faster muscle recovery.
This is an interesting study and might create more of a need for massage parlors at gyms. Nevertheless, massages of this magnitude can be pretty pricey, even if it's for 10 minutes. Not to mention, you workout probably 3-4 times a week minimum so that's a whole lot of massaging. I got an idea…increase the price of a gym membership by a few dollars for every member and offer free 10 minute massages. Just have a massage staff on hand ready to dish out massages to those leaving the gym. Otherwise, good luck getting your girlfriend to do it…
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