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There are many benefits to receiving a massage that play their part in boosting your overall well being. From its renowned ability to ease stress and help you unwind to alleviating sore musclesafter an extensive workout, there’s a reason massage therapy has been a practiced study for thousands of years. While the odds are in your favor that you’ll feel like a whole new person after experiencing a massage, those who are new to the practice may be wary when it comes to fulfilling their enjoyment of the activity during the session. There’s more to getting out of a massage than just showing up and participating. Whether you’re never received a massage before or your initial experiences have been underwhelming, here are a few tips to consider when it comes to maximizing your enjoyment of a massage:
There’s a lot that goes into making the most out of a massage before you even step foot in the therapist’s office. If the course of your day consists of high-strung scenarios that stress you out and leave you anxious, the odds are that you’ll be heavily distracted during your massage session. Part of the essence of getting a massage is putting yourself in a tranquil mindset so you push all the daily distractions out of your head and only concentrate on the serene comfort you’re experiencing. This can also relate to being punctual, as arriving late to your appointment will only rush the process for both you and your massage therapist.
Another common mistake many people make prior to their massage appointment is eating a meal or filling up on coffee or tea. If your stomach feels full, you’ll only make it harder on yourself to enjoy the rubdown, and your mind will most likely begin to wander. Of course, there’s always the probability that you’ll need to go to the restroom while on the massage table, which obviously will put a damper on the mood. Consuming caffeinated beverages before an appointment will also leave you anything but relaxed during the session. Make sure your previous meal has been fully digested before receiving a massage so it won’t be spoiled by any unforeseen interruptions.
Many people shy away from massages because of the whole clothing-optional scenario. It’s important to note that there certainly aren’t any rules that force someone to wear or not wear clothing that makes them feel comfortable during the massage. Of course, you’ll always be provided with towels to appropriately cover yourself during the session, but if you’re still not comfortable with that, feel free to add layers as you see fit. You’re also guaranteed absolute privacy whenever you need to change.
When it comes down to it, you know what you want for your body. The massage therapist will certainly make sure they do their best to provide you with the ultimate therapeutic manipulation of your body, but if there are any areas that you want specifically focused on or are completely off limits, you need to tell your therapist beforehand. If you’ve been experiencing sore muscles in a particular region of your body, explain what’s causing you pain, and your massage therapist will present you with a specific plan of action. This also related to during the massage as well. If you ever begin to experience pain or discomfort of any kind during the session, immediately inform your therapist. In contrast, let him or her know when he or she is doing a good job or that he or she has hit the right spot, so he or she can add to the serenity and let your muscles unwind.
Don’t be afraid to bring new elements to the massage table during your sessions. Many therapists like to play soothing music while they’re working, but if you have your own relaxing songs you feel will help ease tension, by all means inquire with your therapist about playing it. It’s also extremely common that various massage oils, lotions or powders may be brought into the session as well, so make sure you’re aware of whatever product your therapist begins to use. Candles are an essential component to creating a more inviting and relaxing ambiance, and if you have some scented candles that you prefer, don’t hesitate to bring them with you. Lastly, massage appointments certainly don’t have to be cloaked in silence. If you find that talking to your therapist helps loosen the mood and gets you relaxed, feel free to chat with him or her. Otherwise, lay back and take in the tranquility while your body enters a state of ease you rarely ever get to enjoy.
Of course, the relaxation doesn’t have to stop at home. Having a personal massager handy can always soothe the mood, and help you ease your tension a little bit as you prepare for your next massage therapy appointment. Remember, there’s arguably no location more serene and comforting than in the confines of your own home.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: