It is clear that exercise is great for your health, but it's not always easy to fit into your busy schedule. Nor is it easy to find the motivation to get on your gym clothes and break a sweat. Even when you do find the time to get in a great workout, you can end up with sore muscles for days at a time. Are you sick of feeling sore?
Muscle soreness after a workout can be frustrating and painful. It can also delay your next trip to the gym, track, studio, etc. because you're too sore to do it all over again. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
The reason for your pain and soreness after a workout is very likely because of tiny tears in the muscles caused by exercise. These tears are good, but the body still responds to them as an injury, causing painful inflammation.
One of the best ways to relieve muscle soreness and shorten recovery time is with massage.
Studies have shown that a massage after a workout reduces inflammation and muscle recovery time.
Popping an Aspirin after a work out may help combat muscle soreness. It will provide temporary relief from pain by reducing inflammation, but it can actually delay and interfere with healing.
Massage, such as rubbing leg muscles after a strenuous exercise session has many benefits, not to mention that it feels heavenly.
Paying for a professional masseuse gets expensive quickly, though. Plus, not everyone likes being touched by a stranger. What's a good solution? An at home massager that provides all of the relief you're craving.
Let's get into a little more detail, shall we?
Muscle Soreness: Why and How to Fix It
You may have accepted that it is just common to get sore or stiff after a workout. Fortunately, this can actually be immensely helped if you take the right steps to eliminate it.
Why is it bad to take painkillers after a workout?
There is some controversy surrounding this subject. However, it is pretty clear that overuse of painkillers can actually prevent your muscles from growing.
When you are working out, the powerhouses of your cells, called mitochondria, use lactic acid as fuel. In order to have better endurance, exercisers need to grow the mitochondria so that they can burn more lactic acid more efficiently.
The problem with taking a painkiller or anti-inflammatory is that this stops the body's natural repair process. It eliminates inflammation without replacing its positive benefits. One of those benefits is the growth of mitochondria.
Inhibiting that growth essentially eliminates the progress of your workout. Also, it does not eliminate the muscle soreness, it merely blocks you from feeling it.
What's the alternative to painkillers to combat muscle soreness?
Massage. According to cycling authority Active.com:
"Massage is an especially valuable tool for relieving painful muscle cramps and overcoming soft-tissue injuries--such as tendonitis--by helping to reduce swelling in an overtaxed muscle by straightening muscle fibers that have been knotted.
Picture a bundle of thick climbing ropes laying out in a line, with several crossing and looping over the others. What massage can do (and basic stretching can't) is pull the wayward strands of rope back into a neat line; this is the concept that a masseuse uses when working on a damaged muscle."
We've all experienced painful knots in our muscles. If you thought that was just a figure of speech, it's actually based on the muscle fibers literally knotting up. The only way to get them to release if by physical intervention, like getting a massage.
Massages are not only helpful when you already have soreness, they are preventative too. That is why you should always remember to do a basic rubbing leg massage after any workout or even just a long day on your feet.
Tell Me About The Study Proving the Benefits of Massage
A study on the subject was published in Science Translational Medicine in February 2012. It was conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Canada and stated:
"Massage therapy is commonly used during physical rehabilitation of skeletal muscle to ameliorate pain and promote recovery from injury. Although there is evidence that massage may relieve pain in injured muscles, how massage affects cellular function remains unknown. To assess the effects of massage, we administered either massage therapy or no treatment to separate quadriceps of 11 young male participants after exercise-induced muscle damage. Muscle biopsies were acquired from the quadriceps (vastus lateralis) at baseline, immediately after 10 min of massage treatment, and after a 2.5-hour period of recovery."
You read that right, they got 11 lucky guys to agree to work out really hard, then have only one leg massaged intensely afterward. Afterward, they had little sections of their muscles cut out from both the rubbing leg and the un-massaged leg to be studied. Crazy, right?
Well, the scientists found out the answer to their question of if massage benefitted muscle recovery or if it just felt good:
"In summary, when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis."
So, the study concludes that a post workout massage doesn't just feel amazing and help relax you. It also aids your cell recovery and reduces inflammation!
Benefits of Rubbing Leg Muscles Post Working Out
You've probably heard that you should stretch and warm up before your workout, as well as stretch and cool down afterward. You should also add rubbing leg muscles to the list of your post-workout routine. This is especially true now that you're convinced of its benefits based on scientific proof.
Rubbing leg muscles helps your body release toxins and eliminate scar tissue. It also helps release lactic acid that was built up during your workout. In addition, helps to greatly speed up your recovery time and help to prevent shin splints.
It's hard to justify spending thousands of dollars a year on massages. And you may not always be able to convince your spouse or friend to give you a massage.
There's a solution:
Nothing feels better than being pampered, so why not invest in an at home massager? There are great products on the market like massage chairs, foot and leg massagers, and versatile handheld massagers that can do the work for you!
At Home Massagers for Rubbing Leg Muscles
Here are some fantastic options. You can enjoy sitting back and relaxing while simultaneously rubbing leg muscles.
This massager is as easy to use as putting on a pair of cozy boots. It uses airbag technology and intense reflexology to relax and massage your feet, ankles, and calves thoroughly.
This massager comes with five preset options designed by a massage expert. These settings include:
- Reflexology: to promote positive energy flow and improve circulation
- Energize: perfect for relieving muscle soreness. This is a deep and intensive massage with techniques for rubbing leg and feet muscles to relaxation.
- High-heels: Ladies know that a night out dancing in heels or even wearing heels all day at work leaves you with sore feet and calves. This massage is designed to address those sore pressure points.
- Relax: This setting is soothing and great for a relaxing massage or a gentler rubbing leg and foot massage for intense soreness.
- Sleep: What better way to wind down at the end of the day than with a relaxing and gentle massage?
The perks of this foot and leg massager include its lightweight, ergonomic handle, low power usage, and modern design. Check it out today!
This massage chair is one of the coolest on the market because it fits in with the rest of your living room furniture easily. Its leg massager flips over to look just like an extendable ottoman.
It also features incredible full body massage features. However, for the purpose of this article, we'll focus on the rubbing leg and feet muscle features.
The hyper-power leg and foot massager in uDiva massage chair has three unique types of massage. They include: wrap-around squeeze-and-knead wave, roller reflexology, and vibration.
Handheld massagers are extremely convenient and can easily be used for rubbing leg muscles. They are also more affordable than a massage chair or foot and leg massager.
This product uses two types of massage: tapping and Gua Sha in addition to using heat technology.
The product description states the following benefits of Gua Sha massage:
"Integrating the benefits of a traditional Gua Sha session ('scraping' massage), the uPamper 2 handheld massager is equipped with a retractable Gua Sha plate to further enhance your massage experience. Simply extend the Gua Sha plate and use downward strokes to 'scrape' along the body to stimulate circulation and promote the body's detoxification process for overall well-being."
Never be suffering from sore muscles or discouraged from your workout routine again.
Massage has so many more benefits that we didn't even touch on in this article, including stress relief, lower blood pressure, and mobility.
Check out more Wellness Tips and great info about the benefits of massage a the OISM blog.