You’ve got your race number and your gear – but as you prepare for the San Francisco Marathon, remember to add massage to your race preparation kit. Here are a few reasons why.
Massage prevents injury
When you run, your tendons, ligaments and connective tissue are being stretched – literally – to their limits. Massage expands those limits by breaking up knots and tightness, thus widening your range of motion. Increased flexibility will improve your running form, and you’ll be less likely to sprain or strain something important during the San Francisco races.
Maybe you’ve already hurt yourself? Massage to the rescue. Massage has been proven to boost the immune system and speed up lymph flow (that’s the liquid containing your muscle-repairing white blood cells). That means massage will help you heal up and recover faster from your assorted aches and pains.
Massage reduces muscle soreness
This is a big one for runners. When you’re racing up to 26.2 miles, your muscles work hard. That’s where massage comes in – it’s the scientifically-proven way to reduce post-run muscle soreness. Massage, according to the New York Times, suppresses inflammation (which causes muscle pain) and increases blood circulation and the formation of new blood vessels (which builds muscles and reduces muscle fatigue). For best results, get the massage within 24 hours after a long run.
Massage keeps you in the zone
Massage doesn’t just heal the body, it soothes the mind. Massage squashes the release of cortisol (aka the stress hormone), while pumping up the release of endorphins, which improve mood and reduce the sensation of pain. A less-stressed brain is better at sending signals to the muscles and vice versa (called biofeedback). This means that you’ll feel better mentally and, through the […]