Can massage assist in weight loss?
There’s no question that massage makes you feel great; even deep-tissue, sports massages. Massage relieves stress, aids recovery from physical activity or injury and even reduces anxiety, but can it help you lose weight?
Research shows that massage can have a positive effect on your muscle-building capabilities and fitness levels, which in turn increases your capacity to control or lose weight.
Healthy strong muscles burn calories and give you the freedom to participate in all sorts of sports and activities that can help you burn excess calories and improve your overall fitness and wellbeing.
Massage has the following benefits that can directly influence your ability to control or lose weight:
1. Massage has been shown to improve circulation and the supply of nutrition to the muscles.
Massage increases the interchange of vital substances between the blood and tissue cells, which increases tissue metabolism. After muscles are exercised, vital nutrients must be supplied to them so that they can recover and rebuild themselves. Massage maximizes the supply of these nutrients and oxygen though increased blood flow, which helps the muscles to grow and burn more calories as a result.
2. Massage improves your muscles’ range of motion and their flexibility.
This allows them to maintain maximum power and performance while active, and burn the maximum number of calories in the process.
Improved range of motion and flexibility also reduces muscle soreness during periods of recovery and muscle repair.
Having a wide range of motion and maximum muscle flexibility also reduces the danger of experiencing injuries during exercise which can severely limit activity, exercise and weight loss progress.
3. Massage helps to shorten the recovery time needed between your workouts.
Waste products such as lactic and carbonic acid build up in muscles during and after exercise. Increased circulation to these muscles helps to eliminate toxic debris buildup caused by these waste products and in doing so shorten recovery time.
Shortened recovery time means you can safely have more workouts over a given period of time, which in turn means that you have the opportunity to burn more total calories in your effort to achieve your individual weight loss goals.
4. Massage can also help reduce the chance of you over-training.
Massage has a relaxing effect on the muscles and a sedative effect on the nervous system. By helping you to rest, which is a very important element of any exercise program, massage can reduce the likelihood of you experiencing over-training syndrome, which is known to limit your ability to build strong healthy muscles and therefore lose weight with maximum efficiency.
5. In addition to all of the above, massage may directly aid in fat loss.
According to some research studies, massage is thought to be able to burst the fat capsule in subcutaneous tissue so that the fat exudes and becomes absorbed. In this way, combined with proper nutrition and exercise, massage may actually help in weight loss.
6. As we have already touched upon, massage helps prevent and heal injuries.
By stretching connective tissue, massage improves circulation to help prevent or break down adhesions and scar tissue that result from muscle tears and other common muscle injuries. Massage also influences the excretion of certain fluids (nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur) that aid in tissue repair. Fast and effective recovery from injuries means that you can begin exercising sooner after suffering an injury and getting your weight loss progress back on track.
So there you have it. Massage has a lot of benefits that can indirectly and possibly even directly aid you in achieving your weight loss goals.
Regular massage is just as important a component as regular workouts and correct nutrition in any comprehensive fitness and weight loss program, which is great news for those of us who thought that exercising and loosing weight was all hard work! Remember, weight loss is all about leading a balanced lifestyle and massage is an essential part of any balanced lifestyle.
And remember, have fun!
Original article available here