When we think of getting into shape the first things that pop into our minds are usually diet, and exercise. Although those are key, there are other things that contribute to a healthy body and mind; one of which is massage.

hurt-knee“Training is exactly like massage,” says Alicia Storm, Personal Trainer and Massage Bodywork Professional. “Both break down weaker, toxic tissues to help create and make room for healthy, strong, muscles, fascia, blood vessels, and other soft tissues.”

Everyone works out differently, and some more than others. According to Strom, if you workout more than three days a week, it’s crucial to incorporate massage and stretching into your routine as well as lots of water. “Massage and exercise compliment and balance one another,” says Strom. “You will see increased performance in your training, excelled range of motion, flexibility, agility, speed, power, and endurance.”

1. It’s detoxifying

Blood circulation will be more fluid with regular massages, which means your fatigue and recovery time will improve dramatically. “Your Endocrine System is excreting and secreting hormones at their fullest potential,” says Alicia. The Lymphatic System gets pumped, and carries the toxins out of our body but it does not have a pumping mechanism. Once massage and exercise are incorporated, the Nervous System is balanced and fully stabilized.

2. Massage makes you happy

Benefits-of-Massage-With-Exercise-2The power of touch through massage has many benefits and has been proven to help ease ills in people of all ages. “Massage releases serotonin to its fullest potential,” says Strom. “Emotionally and socially, touch is very important. Scientifically and medically massage is proven to create relaxation and balance through our Autonomic Nervous System. Endorphins working with the Nervous System are our bodies natural painkillers. Massage and exercise decreases the stress hormones and increases endorphins. Various types of exercise all increase the risk of injury. When massage is incorporated there is a smaller chance for injury while working out. Your body will be more open, balanced, and flexible and in return you will be stronger, have better endurance, and better balance throughout your workouts.”

3. Massage reduces stress

Massage helps to reinforce natural and healthy movements throughout our body, which in return can improve our posture. “It is crucial to treat your body well in and out of the gym,” says Strom. “You will begin feeling a positive difference overall in your body and mind. Stress and disease are interrelated. Stress also ages us faster than anything else; incorporating massage can eliminate anxiety and the everyday pressures of our fast-paced lives.”

4. You can get a massage at home

Massages are not always cheap, but there is a solution to the financial burden of incorporating massage into you every day lifestyle. “If massages are not in your budget you can start by giving yourself a massage,” says Strom. “Use a foam roller, or roll on a tennis ball. Integrating one of these options for ten minutes a day will benefit both your mind and body.”

Check out Alicia Strom’s Instagram and Twitter profiles for more tips and information.