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Self massage can be an incredible benefit for a range of different individuals. If you’re an athlete who has suffered from chronic injury or pain, then massage therapy can help bolster your chances of speedy rehabilitation. Similarly, for individuals who are simply trying to maintain an elevated level of health, it’s reasonable to assume massage may help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. While pairing self massage with a healthy diet, regimented exercise routine and regular stretching is beneficial, it’s good to know when you should enlist a professional. Typically, this will occur after you’ve exhausted the sort of home treatments that you can offer yourself. With that in mind, take a look at these tips and points regarding when to consult a massage therapist.
If you find you have a repeating injury, it may be something that simply can’t be treated through home massage. While it isn’t unusual to experience the same injury several times over if you resume physical activity too quickly, this can also be indicative of something less benign. If you find that you’re in chronic pain in one area of your body, try home massage and resting from your normal exercise routine for several weeks. If the pain persists, you may want to try to seek help from a professional massage therapist. These individuals have the capacity to help you in ways that you may not be able to provide for yourself.
“Chronic pain may mean it‘s time for massage therapy.”
Obviously, it’s natural to experience some degree of limited mobility from injury. Even if you aren’t injured, a particularly rigorous workout can lead to swelling that may temporarily limit your mobility. If this sort of problem persists for more than a few days, though, it may be time to pursue the services of a professional massage therapist. Again, it’s best to be prudent in these situations by practicing home massage on yourself for a few days and seeing if this alleviates or lessens your symptoms at all. If it doesn’t, though, it’s probably necessary to go and seek the help of a professional. As Thera-Ssage notes, these individuals have training in not only the anatomy of the body, but also kinesiology, meaning that they can help restore normal capacity for movement to the affected areas of your body.
While massage is typically thought of as a predominantly physical remedy, its benefits can actually extend far beyond that. For example, Medicine Net has reported that massage is an effective treatment for many individuals suffering from various forms of depression. While self massage can help you deal with injury, individuals suffering from depression may benefit from the human aspect of massage therapy. Speak with your therapist or doctor to determine if this is a good step for you.
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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: