Massage, combined with regular exercise positively effects your health - A study
We all know exercise is good for us, the more regular the better, and there's good reason for that. Our bodies are designed to move, and move often. Our heart and lungs are pumping in the good stuff so that you can give it all you have, when required. Our muscles are sitting there primed and ready to go at a moments notice. We're good to go.. and yet, most of us sit behind a desk, sit in the car, sit at home, sit sit sit, all day long.
All this sedentary living has begun to impact our health and well-being; with the staggering rise of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes and a huge increase in mental health decline, with depression and anxiety at an all time high. Genetics do play a part, however lifestyle is a huge factor to these increases.
So, to counteract this, we might go and see a physiotherapist when we get pain, or a chiropractor to regularly adjust or align our backs to normal. We might even get a massage when we're on holidays, or have some quality "Me" time, or gifted for our birthdays/mothers and fathers day etc, however its not a commitment to regular therapy.
We might have even joined a gym in recent times, and everywhere you look these days, there's another 24 hour gym popping up to facilitate the crazily long hours people work so they can fit in their schedule. Some of us may have caught the exercise bug, and have found something we love and commit to a team sport, a running squad, a rowing team or may meet up every Saturday to ride 15kms around a bay. Brilliant, in all respects. However, this may then bring up the dreaded DOMS (or delayed onset muscle soreness) which is when you feel sore after you've moved intentionally, usually when you're in exercise mode. If you're new to exercise or upgrade your intensity or frequency there is a risk of injury, and an expectation of soreness via DOMS at least for the initial week or so. Enter the common mantra "No Pain, No Gain"
But what happens when you combine the two? What happens if we combine our regular exercise, with regular massage therapy? A study named "The effect of regular exercise and massage on oxidant and antioxidant parameters” included 25 sedentary women, ages 32 to 50 years old, of which they were divided up into 3 groups. Control, exercise only and massage and exercise.
The results were, that of the 3 groups, there was a significant decrease in stress levels, on a biochemical level, and an increase in the body's own antioxidant levels in the exercise and massage group.
This supports the thinking exercise and massage is great for your health and boosts your wellness by combating free radicals by boosting your antioxidants and significantly decreases stress, which is a common factor in the big 4 killers; cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and depression.
I've linked in the study who wants to look further into it.