One foot in front of the other with fists clenched and the rush of warm blood in your veins— this is your run. Sometimes it feels amazing, others times we push through the workout, with little energy and our minds screaming against us at every movement. But avid runners know it’s always worth the work, and while high-end equipment and apparel can make exercise more enjoyable, there’s one thing every runner should have in his or her tool bag: massages. A stimulating massage is so much more than a menu item at luxury spas. Here’s what research says about massages for runners and why it’s imperative to implement them.
As the miles add up, so does the strain on your body. Muscles get sore; joints feel the impact of every movement as your feet pound the track, treadmill, or pavement. While adrenaline surges almost electrically, giving runners a sense of invincibility, the game changes when the sneakers come off. That’s when delayed onset muscle soreness can set in and knots may begin to develop as chronic stress on the muscles creates micro tearing. The result: you end up with tight legs, dragging your limbs like a cast member from The Walking Dead. Massages, however, help aid recovery, counteracting the shortening of muscle fibers that occurs with sustained, repetitive muscle contractions.
Helps Prevent Injury and Promotes Better Health
You wear the snazzy sneakers with the arches in all the right places. You study all the cracks in your path and avoid all the pot-holed places where accidents might happen. You do what you can to keep yourself injury-free and capable of rocking every run. But what are you doing post run -- aside from your cool down and stretch routine? Not every runner realizes just how effective a massage can be for keeping muscles healthy, pliable, and oxygenated. In addition, massages help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and, therefore, help decrease inflammation in the body that could otherwise lead to illness, exertion, and even disease.
Massages are a crucial component to healthy training and recovery for athletes and runners. Whether you run in the park for light fitness and leisure or train hard on a track to crush your competition, targeted massage therapy is a must. It’s as important as a solid pair of shoes and can make or break your routine.
Secret Weapon for Runners
So what happens if you don't have a Swedish masseuse at your disposal? No worries. You don't have to book a session at the spa to get a rejuvenating massage. All hail the handy dandy little device that makes at-home massage an incredible option: the Quattro Pro Massager. Developed by Dr. Marc Rosenberg, it's a game changer for runners who want the benefits of muscle recovery, injury prevention, and rehabilitation, without the typical massage session.
If you don’t already have it, put this indispensable tool in your arsenal, along with your favorite sports drink and a stable pair of running shoes.
P.S. No more begging your spouse for a bit of hand-to-body action—this one's self-serve!