Cycling is an intense form of workout. The extensive wear and tear on your body can lead to tight muscles, muscle strain, and muscle tears. It is difficult for your body to recover quickly to return to cycling without proper attention to your tight muscles. Not to mention, a tight muscle in your lower back can lead to overcompensation to avoid the pain. The overcompensation can end in hip or knee pain. What was once a tight lower back muscle is now causing you to walk with a limp. If you haven’t previously considered massage therapy to enhance your bicycling experience, you need to consider the benefits of massage therapy. Below are the most valuable reasons to include massage into your riding routine.
Massage for Stress Relief and Relaxation
As always, the most important benefit of massage therapy is for stress relief and relaxation. Even though cycling can be a form of stress relief for many people, that do not prevent the need for a more relaxing form of relief than the physical exertion produced through cycling. A nice massage after a cycle ride or between cycle ride can soothe tight muscles, reduce inflammation, and relax your body. Massage therapy can also improve sleep, reduce headaches, and lower your risk of depression and anxiety.
Massage for Injury Prevention
Even if you are casual bicycle rider, your body takes an intense beating from pumping up and down over and over while cycling from start point to destination. For those more dedicated riders, the physical wear and tear on your body are even more severe. Massage after a ride can go a long way to helping you prevent long-term physical damage. A long ride can leave your body with multiple knots and scar tissue. In addition, one tight muscle can lead to issues in another part of your body as you compensate for the injury. Take the time for a massage to loosen tight muscles, work out toxins, and keep your muscles smooth and supple.
Massage for Enhanced Performance
Massage after an intense bicycle ride can cause your muscles to enlarge and grow in mitochondria. Mitochondria can improve endurance performance. By growing more mitochondria, your muscles can utilize more oxygen. In addition, massage therapy can improve blood flow during the massage and increase the temperature of your muscle fibers. Massage therapy also reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and the stress level hormone cortisol.
Massage for Faster Recovery
One way that massage therapy assists in a faster recovery is through improved flexibility. Flexibility is improved and promoted through the stretching of muscle fibers. With cycling, you can experience the tightening and balling of muscle groups. As a result, you will benefit from massage and improved flexibility. Another way that massage therapy can improve faster recovery is through improved circulation. There are many tiny tears that develop in the muscles during intense workouts such as cycling. With massage therapy, the improved circulation will assist in the repair of those small tears. As a result, you will achieve a faster recovery and be able to return to cycling faster than if you did not practice massage therapy.
While massage is not necessary for a cyclist, taking advantage of massage therapy can reduce your aches and pains and get you back on the road again. With massage therapy, you can achieve the benefit of relaxation and stress relief. In addition, you can prevent injuries, enhance performance, and recover faster from injury.