The air is getting crisp and snowflakes are beginning to fall. It's the time of year that skiers, snowboarders and other winter enthusiasts have been waiting for. However, when heading outdoors, remember that you are asking your body to do things that it has not done in many months. It is not uncommon for those who partake in winter activities to experience soreness and increased vulnerability for injuries. Incorporating massage into your winter wellness regimen will boost your muscle performance and help keep you healthy and injury-free.
Racing down the slopes on skis or performing acrobatics with a snowboard is an exhilarating experience. It also requires your muscles to stretch and work in ways that your body has been unaccustomed to during the warmer months. The heightened work load put on muscles can cause a burning sensation and soreness that lasts long after the event. It is also common to experience a delayed onset of pain and tenderness, which can disrupt normal activities. Injuries from twisting or falling can also cause soreness, as well as having more serious ramifications. A therapeutic massage can gently stretch muscles and treat pain and tenderness.
Although a defect, more pressure intensive massage is beneficial to athletes who are in training, the weekend athlete's muscles are not as conditioned. Therefore, a gentle, light-pressure massage is recommended for those who experience pain and soreness resulting from a day of skiing, hiking or snowshoeing.
Massage also provides other physical benefits, such as promoting balance of the muscles on both sides of the body. This can aid in athletic performance by helping to strengthen one's weaker side, thereby reducing overcompensation that could lead to muscle strain or even more serious conditions like tendonitis. Improved strength will less feelings of fatigue and increase endurance. Those who suffer from muscle spasms can find relief through therapeutic massage, allowing for more enjoyment of their preferred activity.
Massage increases circulation, which helps to carry nutrients to muscles and tissues while expelling lactic acid. Massage also promotes the removal of toxins throughout the body by encouraging lymph drainage. Massage gently stretches the muscles, improving range of motion and flexibility, which is an important component to injury prevention. If you do experience an injury, massage will reduce the pain and swelling, allowing your body to heal itself faster.
Therapeutic or sports massage can be an excellent way to promote muscle balance, strength and aid in injury prevention and recovery. Most resorts offer massage as part of their spa services, and the benefits are well worth the cost. The next time you are planning to enjoy your favorite winter activity, consider scheduling a massage to help you perform at your best.