Can a body massage help improve your training?

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What are the benefits of getting a good massage a few times a week?

If you train harder than normal, or if you start on a new type of training you will often be sore in your body for the next few days. This is pretty normal and something that most people have exprienced now and then. But why do you become sore, and what can you do to prevent it or reduce the issues. Is a simple massage the answer or does it require more in order to make the pains go away? For many the answer is wellness and fitness, something that will keep your body ready for anything. Let's start out by taking a closer look at why you sometimes feel like your body hates you after working out. 

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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness also known as DOMS is something you experience when you push your muscles above their normal comfort zone. This can be due to increased workload, higher intensity or a longer training duration. Or something as simple as trying a whole new type of sport or training, as this will ofte use mucles you arn't used to activating this way.
When you use your muscles in a different way or harder than normal, then you do tons of microscopic damage to your muscle fibers. This causes a small amount of pain and tiny inflammations in the musles, which leads to increased pressure on the nerves around the musclefibers. You will later feel this effect as sore muscles, typical a day or two after your training. For instance if you just got a brand new Airtrack and use it for an hour or two, then you will most likely be very sore the day after.

So now that we know why you are sore and your muscles hurt, what can we do about it?

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How to reduce DOMS

Sore muscles is not really a big problem, it can be annoying but in most cases it's not something dangerous and the problem will often go away in a day or two. But for those who don't want to wait for it to go away by itself, there are 3 easy solutions to DOMS.
The first is to eat a few painkills like Ipren, and you will barely notice the pain anymore. But this really isn't the best solution. You should normally refrain from taking these types of pills if you can avoid it. Instead let's move on to a much better solution.
One of the most effective ways to reduce DOMS is to get a full body massage. Rubbing those sore muscles is a great way to get rid of all the toxins and some of the inflammations and loosen up the muscles. This is why almost all elite athles uses massage after training and on those days they don't train.
The third and maybe easist way to get rid of the issues with DOMS is actually to train a little more. I know it sounds weird, but training can reduce DOMS - if done right.
Since your body is already "damage" it wouldn't do to train hard and put even more stress on your muscles. But a very light training would also help to loosen up the muscles and remove some of the toxins from them. This could be something as simple as taking a slow run or going for a walk. Doing a bit of Yoga practice or a little light gymnastics. Just 15-20 minutes of workout are often enough to have a positive effect on DOMS.

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For me - the most effective type of treatment for DOMS are going for 15 minute walk if it's not to cold outdoor, followed by 15 minutes of massage. Traditional Chinese massage is what works the best for me. 1 hour later and 70% of the muscle soreness is completely gone, and I am already ready to start my next training session. Also keep in mind that DOMS isn't a reason not to train, you can easily train with sore musless, but remember that if you experience severe pain, stop the training at once. Also don't overdo the training as it can easily lead to overtraining. This can be fine a limited time, but it shouldn't be something you do on a regular basis.