Have you ever wondered whether or not it’s okay to work out after a massage? The answer is yes, according to experts. Despite the popular belief that exercising immediately after getting a massage can do more harm than good, there are several benefits to incorporating physical activity into your post-massage routine.
First and foremost, working out after a massage can help increase circulation throughout the body, thereby speeding up the healing process. In addition, gentle stretching and light exercise can help improve flexibility and range of motion, which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain or injuries.
That being said, it’s important to avoid intense exercise within the first 24 hours following a deep tissue massage, as this may cause further muscle soreness and delay recovery time. Instead, focus on low-impact activities such as yoga, walking, or swimming.
“Regular massages combined with regular workouts can be a winning combination for overall health and wellness.”
The bottom line is that light exercise has numerous benefits when done in conjunction with massage therapy, but it’s important to listen to your body and take things slow if you’re experiencing any discomfort. Regular massages combined with regular workouts can be a winning combination for overall health and wellness.
Benefits of Working Out After a Massage
Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion
A good massage promotes blood flow, relaxes muscles, and reduces muscle soreness. It helps to loosen up the knots in your body that can cause tension and stiffness. This improved mobility may help you work on those deeper stretches or perform more advanced exercises.
In fact, according to Everyday Health, stretching after getting a massage is an excellent idea because it will balance out the relaxation effects from the massage with physical activity.
“Regular massages not only soothe mental stress but also ease out muscular tightness which, when coupled with better blood circulation, leaves us feeling flexible and supple.” -Dr Sonal Thakur, The Indian Express
Decreased Muscle Soreness and Tightness
We’ve all experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), otherwise known as the pain we feel two days after working out. A post-workout massage can decrease this discomfort by reducing inflammation in the muscles.
The massage increases the amount of blood pumping into the muscles, allowing for cellular waste products like lactic acid to be removed quickly. This fast removal speeds up the recovery process so that you can feel better faster and continue training hard!
“Massage is thought to return normal muscle function through decreased muscle tension” -Nicole Cutler L.Ac., Natural News
If you’re new to exercising after a massage, be sure to start slowly and gradually increase intensity over time. Listen to your body and pay attention to any unusual signals. Don’t push yourself too hard if you’re feeling weak or dizzy.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to work out after getting a massage, the verdict is in: It’s perfectly okay!
In fact, working out after a massage can increase flexibility and range of motion, while also decreasing muscle soreness and tightness. Just be sure to start with light exercises and build up as your body recovers.
“In conjunction with exercise and stretching, massage therapy increases circulation to supply muscles and joints with nourishing blood and oxygen.” -Heather Lei, LiveStrong
Remember, everyone’s body responds differently, so it’s always best to talk to your massage therapist before exercising post-treatment. They will give you expert advice for your specific situation to ensure that you make the most out of both your workout and massage sessions.
Things to Consider Before Exercising After a Massage
Type of Massage Received
The type of massage you receive can directly impact your ability to exercise afterward. A relaxing Swedish massage typically won’t affect your physical capabilities, making it safe to exercise after the session. However, deep tissue massages may leave you feeling sore and fatigued, making it challenging to work out immediately after.
If you’ve received a sports massage that focuses on specific muscle groups, avoid exercising those areas for a day or two following the massage to allow the body time to recover fully. On the other hand, if you’ve had a lymphatic drainage massage meant to reduce swelling, exercising lightly afterward can stimulate blood flow and speed up the healing process.
“The recovery from an intense massage will depend on different factors such as pressure applied during the massage, area(s) of focus, intensity, and duration.” – Launchfit.co
Intensity of Massage Received
If you feel significantly relaxed after the massage, this is a sign that you’re still in a state of rest and recovery. In contrast, if you feel energized and invigorated, your muscles are already activated, indicating potential readiness for exercise. Additionally, the intensity of the massage plays a crucial role in determining your post-massage activity level.
If your therapist mainly works on knots and trigger points within the muscle, these areas may be sensitive and uncomfortable following the session, making it less desirable to jump right into exercise. Conversely, light, gentle massages or relaxation techniques should not leave any noticeable discomfort, so working out immediately after those types of massages is possible.
“It’s essential to let your body recuperate after receiving therapeutic massage because the process itself, although beneficial, creates stress for your body.” – Consumer.healthday.com
Personal Fitness Level
Your fitness level should also be considered before deciding to exercise after a massage. For someone who exercises regularly and often, working out immediately following a massage may be less problematic since their body is accustomed to demanding physical activity. However, for someone who rarely exercises or has low energy levels, attempting to work out right after a massage could result in injury or discomfort.
In general, it’s best to listen to your body to gauge its readiness to move post-massage. Take note of how you feel and if any muscles are particularly sore or tight. If so, avoid straining those areas until they’ve had a chance to recover properly.
“After any type of massage therapy, the muscles need time to recuperate.” – Medivineyards.com.au
Whether or not you can work out after a massage depends on multiple factors such as the type of massage received, the intensity of the massage, and your personal fitness level. As always, consult with your therapist or physician to determine the best course of action post-massage based on your individual needs and restrictions. Remember to take things slowly and carefully when implementing exercise back into your routine after a massage to experience maximal benefits without compromising recovery periods.
Best Workouts to Do After a Massage
If you’re someone who loves getting a massage, then it’s important to know what you can and cannot do right after your session. While many people anticipate relaxing for the rest of their day after getting a massage, others wonder if they should work out instead.
The good news is that working out directly after a massage is possible! Here are some helpful tips on the best workouts to do after a massage:
Yoga or Pilates
If you want to get moving after a massage, but still want something calming and low-impact, yoga or Pilates may be perfect for you. These exercises not only help stretch and tone muscles, but also promote relaxation and stress-relief – which is exactly what massage aims to do!
“After the workout, there’s a feeling of melting off the table,” Gina Gish, founder and CEO of Lavender Wellness & Yoga, says. “The body becomes more limber and flexible.”
Keep in mind to listen to your body when doing any poses or movements as your muscle will need time to adjust after being worked on during the massage.
Light Cardiovascular Exercise
If you’re looking for something with a little more intensity, light cardiovascular exercise could be your answer. Depending on how deep your massage treatment was, a 20-30 minute walk, jog, or bike ride (especially done outdoors), can help increase circulation and provide extra oxygen to your muscles.
“It helps circulate blood through your body and gives oxygen to muscles,” Ed Nanquipa, Lead Spa Trainer at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, says. “That helps flush toxins from muscles and prevent them from becoming sore later.”
Just remember to keep it light as your body may still be in relaxation mode and not quite ready for a high-intensity workout.
Stretching or Foam Rolling
If you’re someone who prefers to work out at home, stretching or foam rolling are great exercises after receiving a massage. Done correctly, these exercises can help relax tight muscles while also increasing flexibility – something that benefits any type of workout!
“If you’re feeling really ‘gooey’ from the massage, foam rolling or stretching is an excellent way to maintain pliability throughout your muscle tissue,” says Gish.
Susan Gould-Fogerite, founder of Bija Yoga School adds “A good stretch brings circulation to an area that’s been relaxed by a massage.”
- Yoga or Pilates promote stress-relief and limberness which aligns with the goals of many messages sessions
- Light cardiovascular routines promote blood flow and helps flush toxins out of muscles preventing soreness later on.
- Stretching or Foam rolling acheive maintains pliability throughout musces tissue while brining fresh circulation to worked areas.
How Long to Wait Before Working Out After a Massage
Wait at Least 24 Hours
If you’ve ever gotten a massage, you know how good it feels to be taken care of for an hour or more. Getting a massage can help improve circulation, reduce stress and tension in your muscles, and even lower blood pressure. But if you’re an active person who likes to exercise regularly, you might be wondering whether you can workout after a massage.
The general advice is that you should wait at least 24 hours before working out again after getting a massage. This allows your body time to fully recover and heal from the massage therapy session. It also helps prevent injury and pain as your muscles are still adjusting and may not be able to handle intense activity right away.
According to Dr. Brent Bauer, director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, “The main thing to keep in mind is that post-massage soreness and stiffness tend to peak within about 48 hours afterward.” That means that waiting 24 hours gives your body the time it needs to manage any potential soreness or stiffness before you hit the gym again.
Listen to Your Body and Adjust Accordingly
Of course, everyone’s body is different, which means that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to workout after a massage. One suggestion is to pay close attention to how your body feels after a massage. While some people may feel energized and ready to take on their next workout, others might still feel a bit sluggish or stiff.
If you do decide to work out sooner than 24 hours after a massage, proceed with caution. Start with low-intensity activities like stretching or yoga to give your muscles a chance to warm up and get accustomed to movement again. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately.
If you listen to your body carefully, it will likely tell you when it’s ready for another workout after a massage.
Consult with Your Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer
In some cases, it may be helpful to consult with both your massage therapist and personal trainer before deciding when to workout after a massage. Your massage therapist can give you specific recommendations based on your individual needs and circumstances. For example, they might recommend waiting more than 24 hours if you received deep tissue work or trigger point therapy.
Your personal trainer may also have valuable insights into how to approach working out after a massage. They might suggest modifying your usual routine or focusing on certain muscle groups during your next session.
To ensure that you are getting the best advice possible, make sure that both your massage therapist and personal trainer are licensed professionals who are experienced in their respective fields. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.
“The biggest mistake people make is being over-zealous and starting back into workouts too soon.” – Dr. Jarrod Spencer, sports psychologist
If you’re not sure when it’s safe to workout after a massage, remember these three tips: wait at least 24 hours, listen to your body, and consult with experts. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your body happy, healthy, and injury-free.
What to Do if You Experience Discomfort While Exercising After a Massage
Many people enjoy getting massages for their therapeutic benefits – they can decrease muscle tension, improve flexibility and circulation, reduce stress, and aid in recovery after workouts. But what if you feel discomfort or pain while exercising after your massage? Here are some things you can do:
Stop and Rest
If you experience pain or soreness during exercise after receiving a massage, the best thing to do is stop and rest. Continuing to push through the discomfort could result in further injury. Take a break from your workout routine until your body has had a chance to recover.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to remain completely inactive – low-impact activities may not cause as much strain on your muscles as high-intensity exercises. Yoga, stretching, or going for a light walk could be good options for staying active without exacerbating any existing discomfort.
Apply Ice or Heat to Affected Area
If you’re experiencing muscle tenderness or inflammation following a massage, applying ice or heat therapy to the affected area can help alleviate pain and promote healing. It’s important to remember that there are different types of injuries/soreness, and each one responds differently to either hot or cold therapy.
Cold therapy (using an ice pack or cold compress) works best for acute pain, like immediate soreness caused by recent overexertion. Cold helps reduce swelling and inflammation around the affected area, slows down nerve impulses responsible for pain sensations, and acts as a local anesthetic to numb painful areas temporarily. Use this kind of therapy for 10-20 minutes at a time with short breaks in between sessions. Make sure to wrap the ice pack properly in a towel or buy a protective sleeve before freezing it to avoid direct skin-to-ice contact that could damage your skin or cause frostbite.
Heat therapy (using a warm towel, heating pad, or hot shower) may be better for chronic soreness/nagging injuries. Heat helps improve blood circulation, loosen stiff muscles or tendons, and promote relaxation. When using heat therapy, avoid extremely high temperatures as you run the risk of burning yourself on surfaces or causing fatigue. A lukewarm temperature should suffice throughout the session, which can last up to 30 minutes at most before needing a break for it to remain effective.
“You don’t want to exercise a muscle that’s too aggressively massaged because it ends up being strained” -Perry Nickelston
Massages can be helpful in many ways, but sometimes overdoing it can have negative effects such as more pain during workouts. If this happens to you, then remember to stop, rest, apply ice/heat if necessary depending on what type of discomfort you’re experiencing. Listen to your body and give it time to adjust after intensive physical therapy sessions like massage treatments. Consult with your doctor before starting any strenuous workout regime post-massage treatment.
Final Thoughts on Working Out After a Massage
If you’re wondering whether it’s okay to hit the gym after getting a massage, the answer is yes. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that both activities work together effectively.
Combining Massage and Exercise Can Enhance Overall Wellness
According to several studies, combining regular massages with exercise can have numerous benefits for overall wellness. One study found that receiving weekly massages improved muscle function and reduced inflammation in participants who regularly exercised compared to those who didn’t receive massages.
Another study showed that regular massages helped improve flexibility and range of motion, which can support better workouts. For athletes, incorporating massage into their training regimen has been shown to reduce recovery time and muscle pain while enhancing overall performance.
“Massage therapy and sports medicine go hand in hand,” says Lewis Maharam, MD, former president of the New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “There’s no question athletes use this as prevention.”
Communication with Your Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer is Key
When planning to workout after a massage, it’s essential to communicate with your massage therapist about any specific areas of discomfort or soreness they noticed during your session. They may recommend avoiding certain movements or exercises that could exacerbate these issues.
It’s also beneficial to speak with your personal trainer about your massage routine and what type of session you had before coming in for your workout. This open communication helps create an individualized workout plan that supports your body’s unique needs.
“Incorporating massages within an athlete’s program reduces the risk of injury and improves range of motion. Plus, it feels pretty darn good,” shared Sue Falsone, MS, PT, SCS, ATC, Head of Athletic Training and Sport Performance for US Men’s Soccer Team.
Always Listen to Your Body and Adjust Accordingly
No two workouts are the same, and after getting a massage, it’s essential to listen to your body carefully. If you notice any discomfort or soreness during your workout, adjust accordingly and modify your movements to avoid further injury.
Your muscles may also feel more relaxed than usual after a massage, making it easier to overstretch or push them beyond their limits. Take extra care when stretching or lifting weights and always start with light exercises before ramping up the intensity.
“When athletes get deep-tissue massages, they believe healing is taking place, and that sentiment can be very powerful,” says Patrice Winter, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in New York City who works with professional sports teams.
Regular Massage and Exercise Can Help Prevent Injuries
If you want to prevent injuries while remaining active, incorporating both regular massages and exercise into your routine is essential. Massages help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and boost blood flow, all of which contribute to better physical health.
Meanwhile, working out regularly helps support strong muscles and healthy bones, improves endurance and flexibility, and maintains overall physical fitness. Combining these activities creates a holistic approach to wellness that supports physical and mental well-being.
“Athletes know how much strain every inch of their bodies go through, including joints where constant stress is placed upon. That’s why it’s important for athletes to recognize how massages could benefit them,” states Dr. Brian Sutton, president of the American Chiropractic Association Sports Council.
There’s no need to avoid hitting the gym after a massage session. When done correctly and in conjunction with a comprehensive exercise program, massages can help reduce muscle soreness, swelling, and stiffness while enhancing overall physical performance. Just remember to communicate openly with your massage therapist and personal trainer, listen carefully to your body, and adjust your workouts accordingly for maximum benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to workout after getting a massage?
Yes, it is safe to workout after getting a massage. However, it is important to give your body enough time to recover from the massage before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Will working out after a massage affect the benefits of the massage?
Working out after a massage may affect the benefits of the massage. It is possible that the massage may be less effective due to the increased muscle tension caused by the workout. It is best to wait a few hours after the massage before working out.
What are the possible risks of working out after a massage?
The possible risks of working out after a massage include increased muscle soreness, muscle strain, and decreased effectiveness of the massage. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard after a massage.
What types of workouts are safe to do after getting a massage?
Low-impact workouts such as yoga, stretching, and light cardio are safe to do after getting a massage. It is important to avoid high-intensity workouts such as weightlifting or running for at least a few hours after the massage.
How long should you wait before working out after a massage?
It is recommended to wait at least 2-3 hours before engaging in any strenuous physical activity after a massage. This allows your body to fully recover from the massage and prevents any potential damage to your muscles.