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Massage coupled with exercise can help endurance

FIT Staff
Mar 28, 2014

You put time and effort into getting and keeping your body in great shape. 

Maybe you don’t spend the 20-plus hours a week exercising like many Olympic athletes, but you can get the same benefits they get from using massage with exercise.

Massage and exercise have a history dating back of hundreds of years and was used during the ancient Greek and modern Olympics because of the benefits. 

Today, massage is part of many elite athletes training programs because they can train harder with fewer injuries and recover more quickly.

Repetitive stress from workouts can create chronically tight and shortened muscles, which can lead to injuries. 

When the muscle is contracted, it is not able to perform at its peak.  Massage can release the contractions and improve muscle performance. 

Other benefits include reduced soreness, increased muscle flexibility, improved joint lubrication and removal of metabolic waste that contributes to post-exercise soreness.

A recent study at McMaster University reported that deep massage after an intense workout increases muscle mass and the cells energy factory called mitochondria. 

The study had men exercise to exhaustion on stationary bicycles.  Biopsies of the thigh muscles showed that the men who had deep massage increased their mitochondria more than the men who exercised and didn’t have deep massage.  More mitochondria mean more energy.

More energy, more endurance, less pain and injury and increased flexibility make massage an important part of an exercise program.