After busting your butt in a 10K race or killer SoulCycle class, nothing sounds better than a nap (or maybe a beer). That’s fine, but get a massage first—having one immediately after a tough workout helps your muscles bounce back more quickly, according to new research from Ohio State University.
The study authors found that post-rubdown, muscles showed only half the scar tissue as non-massaged muscles, and they had 14 percent higher blood vessel formation. Massage a day or two later helped too, but not as much as one right after exercise. Researchers say it has something to do with a process called mechanotranduction—which is SAT-level vocab that, basically, has to do with how your cells respond to external stimuli.
If you can’t swing an afternoon at the spa ASAP after your run (or you just want to skip the hefty price tag), try rubbing muscles yourself with a foam roller. Previous research has shown that just 10 minutes of massage is all it takes to help nix inflammation in worn-out muscles. So post-workout, take a quick breather to get rolling.
It’s not exactly a happy ending—but we think the reduced soreness might just put a smile on your face.
Laurel Leicht June 12, 2015
Glamour Health & Diet