You might not believe that 75-80% of Canadian seniors suffer from one or more chronic conditions. Old age usually comes with its problems, and the inability to do certain activities and exercises is one of the main issues seniors face. Massage therapy has various benefits for seniors, such as recovery from various disorders and improving balance.
Today’s article on Living Maples will delve into the benefits of post-workout massage therapy to help seniors enjoy their favourite physical activities to recover their lost vigour. Some of the most significant benefits of post-workout massage for seniors are as follows:
Post-Workout Massage and Increased Rate of Recovery
Massaging has many physiological benefits, and it can help seniors recover faster after workout sessions. Post-workout massage enables the seniors to continue training and provides a sense of relaxation. A study conducted at Ohio State University in 2015 showed that seniors who received a massage after a workout session had less scarring compared to seniors who didn’t receive a massage.
Massaging increases the blood circulation in the muscles and sends more oxygen, which is required to rebuild cells. Post-workout massage speeds up the recovery process by sending more blood to muscles that need recovery.
Exercising causes fatigue and soreness in the muscles, resulting from lactic acid accumulation. Lactic acid contributes to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is due to the microscopic tearing of the muscle fibres. Tearing causes inflammation, which is painful. Post-workout massage can reduce DOMS and inflammation of the seniors.
Reduced Muscle Tension
Our muscles become stiff as we age, making exercising a painful physical activity. More rigid muscles are difficult to move in their range of motion. Post-workout massage during the initial stages of the exercise routine can soften and reduce the muscles’ tension and increase blood flow to these areas. Therefore, seniors can regain their range of motion to do their favourite exercises.
Reduced Rate of Injuries
Studies show that inflexibility is one of the leading causes of injuries due to poor training. Receiving a massage after the workout increases the flexibility of muscles and reduces pressure. Muscles such as hamstrings or hips need this the most.
More Energy by Post-Workout Massage
As we age, we might feel our energy reserves are depleted after a workout session. That’s why many seniors are dubious about starting an exercise routine and feel that they do not have the required energy to exercise anymore. The good news is that a relaxing post-workout massage can increase anyone’s energy, regardless of age.
A recent study done by Deep Recovery shows that massaging releases mitochondria, improving the rate of oxygen utilization by muscles. This means a faster recovery and going back to the gym as soon as possible for seniors.
Improved Blood Flow
As we exercise to improve the blood circulation in our bodies, we intensify the effect of blood supply by a post-workout massage. Increased circulation is good for all our organs and keeps us looking and feeling younger than we are. Besides having more energy, it increases blood flow, reduces headaches, and boosts your immunity.
Less Stress and Anxiety
Old age sometimes comes with stresses and anxieties, and stress can negate the benefits of exercise. If you are looking for a way to reduce anxiety, get a massage regularly, and there’s no better time to get a massage than immediately after a workout session.
Reduced Pain and a Better Mood
As said earlier, reduced inflammation and increased blood circulation can provide some pain relief. But massaging can be the best way to relieve post-workout pain all at once. Massage will help you relax, increase flexibility, and generally feel better by releasing serotonin in the brain, the chemical that puts you in a better mood.
Better Functioning of the Nervous System
We are all familiar with how exercising benefits the nervous system. Our nervous system is responsible for body movements, senses, memories, and thoughts, and they are all heavily affected by old age. Aging slows down the nervous system due to the collection of waste products in the brain tissues.
Post-workout massage therapy helps the body release endorphins and a few neurotransmitters beneficial for the nervous system’s functioning. Massage satisfies the body by releasing brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
Post-Workout Massage and Improved Sleep
Insomnia is a sleep disorders in which you have trouble falling or staying asleep. A growing number of seniors claim that their insomnia intensifies during the days they have had workout sessions. The reason behind this is the muscle pain that follows a workout session, reducing their sleep quality.
Lack of sleep can lead to health concerns, increasing the rate of falling and fatigue during the day. Massaging helps the body relax and stay calm during the night and induces a deeper sleep for the seniors.
Types of Post-workout Massage for Seniors
- Thai massage: It is a combination of yoga and acupressure and is a great way to increase your energy flow and redeem the body of stiffness.
- Swedish massage: Swedish massage is known for its stress reduction, dopamine production and its considerable effect on releasing serotonin.
- Sports massage: This is usually done on athletes, but seniors can also enjoy its benefits, such as improved flexibility and relieving tension.
- Reflexology (zone therapy): this type of massage targets pressure points. It is also helpful in increasing metabolism, removing toxins, and increasing endorphin production.
Post-workout massage is a lifesaver for seniors who avoid exercising due to muscle and joint pain following their workout session. Most gyms have a massage center where the seniors can receive a proper massage after their workout sessions. Although it can be a little pricey, the benefits outweigh its price and help seniors relieve the tension caused by exercise.
So, the next time you hit the gym, ask for a massage you are interested in and after, you’ll feel fresh as a daisy.