Massage can improve the quality of our lives in so many ways, from accelerating the post-workout recovery process to enhancing our general mood. But how can we make all this positivity last? We turn to Zeel Expert Madeline Michaels for five simple ways to prolong the benefits of bodywork and massage.
1. Rest and relax. Massage causes the body to shift from a sympathetic state (fight or flight) to a deeply relaxed state (parasympathetic)—and in a short period of time at that. Madeline recommends taking time after your massage to rest and relax. Instead of weightlifting and cardio, try going for a long walk in fresh air. Get into bed early, and give your body the chance to recuperate on a physical and emotional scale.
2. Hydrate. After a massage, it’s important to flush toxins and waste from the body that may have been produced during the session. Help remove these unwanted particles by drinking water–and lots of it. Not only does water eliminate toxins and waste from the body, but it also helps to transport nutrients to where they are needed most. Aim for between eight and 10 glasses of pure, filtered water in the 24 hours that follow.
3. Eat green. A massage is inherently good for your body—don’t detract from these benefits by stopping at the nearest fast food drive-through! Madeline recommends maintaining healthy habits. Swap less nutritious meals for big green salads topped with low-fat dressings, and try to avoid alcohol, sugar, red meat, soda and chewing gum.
4. Meditate. Not sure how? It’s simple. Sit or lay down in a quiet space, and close your eyes. Place one hand over your heart and the other over your belly. Inhale, breathing from deep down within your belly. Allow your belly to extend fully. Visualize the energy of your inhalation and exhalation into the palms of the hands and connect with what you’re feeling. Repeat five times slowly.
5. Fresh air. Sunshine and oxygen help the body to thrive by increasing vitamin D synthesis. One great way to get both: Take a brisk walk! A quick-paced stroll can raise your metabolism, stimulate the adrenals, keeps you limber, and clear the lungs while activating the pineal gland, which is responsible for the body’s circadian rhythm.
Stacy maintains content and social media at Zeel. Zeel makes finding and booking appointments with qualified health & wellness professionals, including massage therapists, straightforward, fast and easy. Active in 12 cities, including New York, Chicago and LA, Zeel is home to a nationwide network of massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, registered dietitians and more. You can catch up with Zeel and Stacy at the Daily Zeel and Zeel’s Twitter @DailyZeel (or on her personal Twitter at @RunForGlitter).