Weekend Warriors: Don’t Become Weekend Wounded

<b>Weekend Warriors: Don’t Become Weekend Wounded</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You enjoyed your long run Saturday, but it’s been four days, and you still feel sore and tired. As the saying goes, there’s no gain without pain, so you should still fit in a workout, right?

Well, no. No matter your sport, chronic fatigue and soreness are signs that your body needs a break. When you exercise, you break down muscle tissue, which can only rebuild with downtime. Sore muscles are muscles that haven’t rested enough to recover — pushing through the pain increases the risk of injury.

Instead of forcing your body to perform, do everything possible to help your muscles recover. The faster you recover, the more miles, laps, rounds and innings you’ll be able to complete. Here are some tips that can help you improve your recovery time after workouts:

* Pay attention to what and when you’re eating. You can’t fuel workouts without, well, food. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, so it’s important to consume them prior to and, in some cases, during, exercise. After exercise, you need to consume easily digested carbohydrates to restore your muscles’ glycogen levels and a protein to jump-start repair. You don’t need expensive protein powders or bars — a fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt will accomplish just as much as a supplement. And don’t forget to drink water before, during and after exercise.

* Have a sports massage. Massage increases circulation, which helps muscles recover faster. A short, stimulating massage before an event may improve performance, while a massage within an hour of a workout can help normalize body tissues. Restorative sports massages help prevent injuries during training, and rehabilitative sports massage can relieve pain if injuries occur. Athletes in training should aim to get a sports massage at least once a month. Look for massage franchises, such as Massage Envy (www.massageenvy.com), which can offer affordable pricing and convenient locations.

* Take a break. It’s okay to push yourself — that’s how you improve. But the greater the frequency and intensity of your exercise, the more likely you are to sustain serious injury. Take care to structure rest days into your exercise schedule, and don’t increase your exercise by more that 10 percent a week. Try too much too soon, and you can find yourself sidelined for months.

Should Your Exercise Routine Include Massage?

<b>Should Your Exercise Routine Include Massage?</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many Americans focus on the active part of exercise — lifting more weight or running more miles. But you build muscle during recovery, not while you’re exercising. For this reason, athletes of all levels are starting to pay exercise routines and recovery periods equal attention. And for many, sports massage has become a vital tool in the recovery process.

Sports massage is a specific form of massage designed to help athletes achieve the best possible performance and conditioning. Therapists usually concentrate on the areas most affected by a particular type of exercise. For example, a sports massage for a cyclist would address the quads, while a swimmer would need more work on the chest and upper back.

“Sports massage benefits all types of athletes; from the weekend warrior to the serious competitor. Receiving sports massage on a regular basis can increase muscle flexibility, reduce pain and inflammation from overuse during physical activity and promote faster recovery time,” said CG Funk, vice president of product development at Massage Envy.

Massage Envy recommends sports massage. Post-event massages help athletes recover after competitions, not only by increasing circulation to remove fatigue toxins and soreness, but also to promote mental relaxation.

Training massage helps athletes make the most of their exercise routines. Sports massage can reduce the likelihood of injury in oft-used muscles while also speeding recovery time, so athletes can work harder and more often.

Professional athletes will also arrange pre-event massages, as massaging the muscles before a workout helps them warm up more quickly.

But don’t think only professional athletes can benefit from massage — sports massage helps anyone who engages in physical activity, including swimmers, weight lifters, runners, golfers, ball players, skaters, dancers, tennis players and boxers.

For more information, visit www.massageenvy.com.

Need a Helping Hand? Massage Benefits Reach Beyond Relaxation

<b>Need a Helping Hand? Massage Benefits Reach Beyond Relaxation</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – How often do you come home from work saying, “I need a massage”? Chances are, it is quite often — and the reason is probably due to stress. But did you know that the touch of a massage professional can do more than relieve the stresses of your day?

Timeless and universal, massage therapy offers numerous health and therapeutic benefits that are proven to help relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis, migraines, back pain and even fibromyalgia.

“Indeed, given today’s stressful environment, more Americans are turning to therapeutic massage treatment for good health maintenance and relief from the aches, pains and stress of everyday life,” says CG Funk, vice president of industry relations and product development at Massage Envy. “Many people use massage as part of their wellness plan with much success.”

Massage therapy helps you relax, re-align and rejuvenate. There are many positive aspects to receiving massage therapy on an ongoing basis, and with the busy lives we lead, we all can benefit from a little stress management.

Massage Envy, the nation’s largest massage therapy provider, offers these eye-opening facts about this age-old wellness treatment:

* A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that ongoing massage could lower anxiety, reduce pain, and improve grip strength for those who suffer from arthritis.

* Research indicates that massage therapy can boost immunity and reduce hypertension.

* Any kind of touch stimulates the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), can reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure. Imagine how good you would feel after a one-hour massage.

* A recent study cited by the American Massage Therapy Association showed that in adults with migraine headaches massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite.

* National Center for Health Statistics found adults age 45-64 years were the most likely to report pain lasting more than 24 hours. Research indicates that massage therapy can reduce chronic pain and stress in people with lower back and neck problems and stiff joints.

For more information, visit www.MassageEnvy.com.