Massage And Your Exercise Program

While massage has been most commonly regarded as simply a service to help you relax, there are actually numerous benefits that your body experiences. For those who are seeking to achieve a healthy body and overall wellness, massages can play an essential role in your fitness agenda.

As we exercise, our bodies expend energy. Our muscles can become sore or even strained, especially during the first few fitness sessions we undergo. And like a car, we sometimes need a tune-up in order to continue functioning at 100%.

Helping body functions

The most commonly renowned benefit of a massage is to loosen and relax the muscles. During a workout, lactic acid can form in the muscles, which is what causes the “muscle burn” we feel the day after. This happens when these bodily chemicals accumulate in the muscle tissue, causing a burning feeling, but it can also leave you with little desire to get moving again. Lactic acid is commonly the result of lack of oxygen in the muscle tissue and forms as a result of muscle activity. This irritation commonly dissipates within a few days, but not before lactic acid has hindered the tissue’s ability to metabolize minerals and nutrients properly.

By massaging the muscles, you can recover from soreness or injury and even prevent it in the future. This is because the massage provides more oxygen and nutrients to the surrounding tissues. Blood flow is increased to the areas, specifically the muscles. Because the muscles are responsible for movement and ultimately play a key role in converting food into fuel, their proper function is essential to any fitness agenda.

In addition to increasing blood flow, massages increase the body’s ability to detoxify itself by pushing chemicals out of the muscles. Toxins, including lactic acid, are able to be transferred out of their stored status and back into circulation. Because the toxins are being removed from the body, be sure to drink plenty of water to help eliminate them properly.

At the physical level, massage therapy will chemically help return wellness and increase your natural healing ability. Without the harmful toxins that could hinder your fitness agenda, your body will be less susceptible to injury and far more efficient. Even though the lymph system and liver are primarily responsible for eliminating toxins, the toxins can still accumulate and are normally stored in fatty and muscular tissues, making it difficult to properly process them. Sources of the toxins can vary anywhere between unhealthy diets to contaminants in the air we breathe. They can even be by-products of the body’s natural processes, such as lactic acid. By incorporating regular massages into your fitness agenda, you can help your body eliminate these toxins

A mental boost

While the muscles are often regarded as receiving the most benefit, there is also a psychological advantage to massages. The mental affects can come in the two different types of both chemical and emotional healing. Together, these benefits help the mind respond and function properly to ensure wellness in its entirety.

Chemically, your brain is apt to boost serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones within the body that make you feel good. During the process of the massage, you are able to relax and enjoy the experience, allowing for these naturally secreted chemicals to boost your mood. This is a natural and healthy way to increase confidence and initiative. But that’s not all it does, since it is also known to lower the stress hormone cortisol. Both of these effects combined will not only affect your mood, but also increase your body’s resistance to negativity.

As your body experiences these positive effects, you will also find yourself in a better emotional state. A body that feels great along with a mind that functions clearly provide you with the exact tools you need to remain positive. Emotionally, you are also put in a far better state of mind that will allow you to focus and achieve your goals. It isn’t just because you experience the internal changes secreted in your brain, it comes from a conglomeration of effects that result from the body’s relaxation and increased healing that causes your muscles and mind to respond well to during and after massages.

For the active person, regular massages can prove to be a beneficial asset to any fitness program. You can increase the body’s healing abilities and overall function, while at the same time positively affecting your mind. Throughout the body, the massage provides a great number of advantages that will help you achieve overall well-being.

Choosing The Right Running Shoes

If you are having difficulty with your running, or your legs seem to be aching more than usual, it could be your shoes. Proper footwear can really make a difference to your running enjoyment. Here are some pointers to follow the next time you are shopping for a new pair of running shoes:

* If you are serious about running, invest in the best pair of brand-name shoes that you can afford. Not only will you have peace of mind, they will also last longer.

* Don’t be in a hurry to select your running shoes. Do some research, and ask your running friends. Make sure you try on both pairs while you are in the store.

* There should be air outlet points around the shoe, so that the air can move in and out of your feet. Even in cold weather you need some air circulation.

* Choose a light shoe that is still sturdy enough to provide the right support. All other things being equal, I usually pick the pair that weighs the least.

* Don?t buy really lightweight racing shoes unless you plan on participating in a lot of road races. This type of running shoe has less cushioning and support. You will still need a different pair for most of your everyday training runs.

* If you plan on doing a marathon, or a lot of running, you may need a heavier shoe with good cushioning. Your weight is a factor here as well.

* Shape is as important as size and weight. Get professional help at the store to match your foot shape to the shoes they have. There are plenty of choices on the market these days, often with narrow to wide versions of the same model available.

* Try on the shoes while wearing a pair of running socks. There should be just about an inch of space between your largest toe and the front of the shoe. The heel should be a snug fit.

* If you over-pronate you will need a stability shoe. Check with your running shoe store assistant about the right type for your stride.

* Finally it all comes down to how comfortable you feel in your running shoes. Make sure you walk around the store or wear them at home. Most stores will not accept returns after you have worn the shoes outside.

* You need to change your running shoes every six months or so. Write the date when you bought your shoes in your running log so you will know how long you have been using them.