Massage and Fitness Form a Powerful Alliance, MASSAGE MagazineTaken alone, either fitness or massage can be a powerful component of a healthy lifestyle, contributing to well-being on both mental and physical levels. When combined together as part of a person’s overall quest for good health, fitness and massage may become even more valuable assets for optimal well-being.

For starters, fitness can be connected to the increased health of so many of the body’s physical systems. For example, when a person’s concept of fitness includes weight lifting or resistance training, this can help strengthen the bones or skeletal system. Bringing weight lifting or resistance training into a fitness plan can also bring the benefit of more muscle mass, which in turn may lead to increased metabolism.

Various forms of fitness are also known to improve the cardiovascular system, by exercising the heart and lungs on a regular basis. For example, if your fitness routine includes consistent running or bike riding, you could be boosting your cardiovascular health. Taken together, the wide array of benefits that come from engaging in fitness throughout one’s life may help prevent injury and allow a person to live a longer life.

There are also the mental perks of fitness to consider. For many people, making fitness an integral part of life is a wonderful way to release stress and increase overall feelings of well-being. You may have heard people talk about fitness as a method of clearing their heads or letting off steam. In this way, fitness can be viewed as a nonpharmacological method of enhancing one’s mental and emotional health. This somewhat less tangible fitness benefit may also contribute to a longer, healthier and happier life.

As we turn our attention away from fitness and focus on massage, we can begin to see how, taken together, fitness and massage can form a powerful alliance for optimal health and wellness. This is because fitness and massage can offer similar and complementary benefits when it comes to increasing one’s ability to function optimally, both mentally and physically.

Like fitness, massage brings a whole host of benefits to the physical systems of the body, but the approach to improving the health of these systems is quite different, and therefore very complementary to fitness. Massage is restful and relaxing, and a person’s body is typically passive during massage. Obviously, fitness tends to involve movement and action, often at an intense level for a prolonged period of time.

With massage, instead of lifting weights to benefit one’s muscular system, a person can simply relax on the massage table and allow an experienced massage therapist to work on releasing stress, tension and knots throughout the muscles. In this way, massage enhances the muscular system and may also allow a person to engage more fully in fitness, due to the enhanced recovery massage can offer.

Massage therapy also is known for its mental benefits. Much like fitness, people seek massage to reduce stress and increase feelings of relaxation and well-being. The person who makes both massage and fitness important parts of his or her life is taking great steps toward optimal mental and physical wellness.