Most people can agree that exercise is good for you. Going to the gym, playing a team sport, or jogging around the park are just a few exercises or workouts people will do to stay healthy. Maintaining a consistent workout schedule is essential to living a healthy life.
Getting regular massages can also contribute to maintaining good health. However, you might be unsure if you should workout after getting a massage. After all, your body is quite relaxed, and you might not even have the energy to perform at your usual pace.
For some people, not working out can disrupt their daily routine. They might be the type of person who absolutely feels the need to exercise, or else they might become sad or irritated.
Let’s dive into the question, “Can you workout after a massage?”
Can you workout after a massage?
Most professional massage therapists recommend avoiding strenuous exercise for up to 24 hours after a massage.
They might recommend a longer wait time, depending on the massage. For example, a deep tissue massage can be more intense than your average massage, which might require you to hold off on going hard at the gym for two to three days.
If you do feel the need to exercise, you could still do light exercises. This includes activities like walking, light stretching or doing some household chores. However, if you start feeling discomfort, you should stop your activity.
Why should I avoid strenuous exercise after a massage?
There are several reasons why massage therapists recommend against doing strenuous exercise after a massage. Let’s go over a few of them.
Counterproductive to your massage
One of the main goals of a massage is to relax your body. A massage can help reduce tension and soreness throughout your body.
Strenuous exercising, like weightlifting or jogging, can be counterproductive to this goal. It requires your body to exert a lot of energy, leaving you feeling tense and sore. This can undo a lot of the benefits you received from your massage.
Risk of injury
After a massage, your connective tissues will be softer due to the pressure applied to them. If you exercise when your body is in this state, this could cause you pain or discomfort. You might also be more susceptible to injuries.
Additionally, some studies have shown that getting a massage prior to a workout can decrease your overall performance. This can force some people to exert more stress on their bodies to achieve their usual results. Unfortunately, this could result in you overexerting and injuring yourself.
Your body needs rest
Your body undergoes a lot during a massage. Your tissue is being physically manipulated, blood circulation is increased, and your body is working to remove more toxins than before.
With all these things going on, your body needs time to rest and recover. Exerting yourself through exercise can force your body to halt its recovery, leaving you feeling exhausted.
What should I do after a massage?
If you shouldn’t do any strenuous exercise, you might wonder what you should do after your massage instead. We mentioned doing light exercises and resting, but let’s go over a few more.
You should stay hydrated and drink a lot of water after your massage. Drinking a lot of water can help reduce any soreness you might feel from your massage.
Take a warm bath or hot shower
Taking a warm bath or hot shower can also help recovery and increase blood flow in your body. You could even add some Epsom salts to help with relaxation.
Avoid heavy meals and unhealthy food
It’s generally a good idea to avoid eating a lot of unhealthy food daily, but you’ll especially want to avoid it after you get a massage. You might feel sluggish or sick. Similar things could be said about eating a heavy meal after a massage.
What about a massage after a workout?
While you should avoid getting a massage before a workout, getting certain types of massage after a workout can be beneficial.
Massages with gentle and light strokes, like a Swedish massage, can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation post-workout. They can also help increase your recovery time and alleviate pain or discomfort.
Post-workout massages can help repair damaged tissues. When you get a massage, the increased blood circulation can help transport nutrients to damaged tissue so they can be repaired.
Exercising and working out are good for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but you should avoid a strenuous workout after a massage. There are some exceptions, but it’s best to give yourself time to relax and take it easy so your body can recover.
Getting a massage after your workout can be fine. Just ensure you don’t come in all sweaty to your massage appointment.