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by Carlton Ryan

Massage, a therapeutic practice in which deep pressure is applied to muscles, has been helping people for thousands of years. One of the oldest forms of therapeutic treatment in the world, massage’s value and worth has been confirmed by both modern scientific research and the personal experience of millions of individuals. Here are the four primary benefits of massage.

1. Relief From Muscle Tension

Even the basic movements required by ordinary daily life put muscles under considerable strain, resulting in the development of tension and tightness. Knots, or adhesions — areas in which the muscle is locked in place, unable to relax — often arise. Massage therapy is one of the best ways to loosen these tight, stiff, stressed muscles. When sustained, strong pressure is applied to muscle, the muscle eventually releases and tension dissipates. Blood flow to the targeted area also increases, helping the muscle to stay loose afterwards. Since tense, knotted muscles are so common, almost everyone can gain from this effect of massage.

2. Pain Relief

Tight muscles are a very common contributor to pain of many different sorts, meaning massage is often an excellent way to alleviate pain. For example, back pain can frequently be improved by a massage session. Tight, stiff muscles (wherever they are) are often a direct source of pain themselves, which means that a good massage can help address the minor aches and areas of discomfort that plague almost everyone. Muscle inflammation (which can cause pain) can also be reduced by massage. By helping muscles work properly, massage can help protect from future pain by reducing the chance for injuries, both minor and major.

3. Improved Mobility

When it comes to the benefits of massage, mobility improvement is often an overlooked one. When tense muscles are released, the muscle is able to move and operate as it naturally should. This relief from impingement results in improved muscular function. Now that the muscle can freely extend to its full length, mobility is improved. Range of motion can be restored or made better, and ordinary motions become freer and easier. For these reasons massage can improve athletic performance, which is why many serious athletes get massages regularly.

4. Stress Relief

Massage isn’t all about the physical. It can also benefit psychologically. Massage is a fantastic way to slow down, relax, and let cares and anxiety melt away. Lots of people get massages solely as a means of alleviating stress. To many, simply having another person show them care and attention is enjoyable. The physical effects of massage, such as pain relief, can also help enhance mental well-being. Someone who gets a massage is likely to walk out feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and in a better mood.

Massage is just not about feeling good, as it sometimes supposed. A quality massage can clearly impart important therapeutic benefits. Nor are these benefits merely unproven theories. In fact, modern scientific research has affirmed the fact that massage has genuine, true health value. This means that the benefits of massage can be experienced by everyone at just about all ages and stages of health.

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How To Spot Common Running Mistakes And Turn Them Into Running Successes

It’s no secret that running is good for your physical and mental health. Running requires almost no equipment and you can run virtually anywhere; however, it is not as simple as it sounds. Whether you’re just getting into the sport or you’re a seasoned marathon runner, ensure you aren’t making these four common running mistakes.

The Wrong Shoes for the Right Job

Wearing improper footwear can cause your feet blisters and irritation, but it can also hinder your form. It is best to visit a specialty store. The excerpt can measure your gait (every one’s is different) to help you determine the best fit for your foot. Runners’ shoes should facilitate strengthening of the feet and muscles, and not just absorb every impact – this means you will want to look for flexible, and maybe even roomy, running shoes. Although they aren’t necessary for every runner, barefoot running shoes are a good alternative to traditional sneakers. You’ll want to replace your running shoes annually.

Bad Form! Bad Form!

This is a trickier running mistake. Form is more important than time or distance. With improper form comes injury. Pay attention to every stride and determine whether you are landing on the heel or the sole of your foot. Landing on the heel of your foot can cause injury to your muscles and joints because your heel is not designed to absorb such an impact. Instead, practice landing on the sole of your foot with every stride – doing so will help to prevent knee or ankle pain. With this in mind, you can also prevent injury by taking smaller strides.

Improper Fueling Up

Carb-loading, although enticing, is not always necessary. To avoid stomach cramps, it is best to allow your body two hours to digest food before you start running. For short runs, eating a light snack fifteen minutes beforehand is acceptable. Less than 30 minutes after any run, you should eat a snack rich in proteins and carbohydrates to help with recovery. Always make sure your body is hydrated, and as a general rule of thumb, you can optimize your performance by eating a diet which consists of at least 80% healthy food. Because everybody is different, it is a good idea for runners to keep a record of which types of foods work best for them.

Sidestepping Warm-Ups and Recovery

Before every run, you should warm-up, which can include anything from walking to jumping jacks. You should be able to speak easily throughout your warm-up. You should also be stretching before and after your run. Not only does stretching help prevent injury to the joints and muscles, but it can actually help to improve a runner’s speed and endurance. You’ll also want to ensure that your body has properly recovered between runs. Taking rest days is vital to allow muscles to repair themselves. Recovery can also mean foam-rolling the muscles, which can aide in minimizing the dreaded next-day muscle pain.

As you can see, most running mistakes are easy to fix. Turn these don’ts into do’s, and you’ll hit the ground running!


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