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Effects of massage on recovery. (Essay Sample)


Effects of massage on recovery. How massage is useful in recovery after leg exercise.


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Effects of Massage, Active Recovery and Rest on Promoting Recovery after Leg Exercise
After a leg exercise a person develops muscle soreness. The muscles also get stiff and the person is fatigued. Therefore the person needs recovery in order to come back to his or her normal state. The break between the leg exercise up to when the body adapts to the demands of the legs exercise and heals is called recovery. The recovery time after a leg exercise depends on the person's level of fitness, and the intensity of workouts. In most cases, the recovery period is between twenty and seventy two hours.
A person may rest after the leg exercise and gain recovery. This method may take a time before the person recovers fully. However, recovery process can be enhanced through massage, stretching and light exercises. The major methods used in promoting recovery are the active recovery and the massage. Active recovery has more effects on promoting recovery compared to massage. The following discussion will use stated theories, researches, tables and graphs to discuss the comparison and effects of each in promoting recovery.
Active recovery
Light exercises are also referred to as active recovery or low-intensity exercises that are performed between and after the workouts. These exercises include swimming, walking, biking, yoga and others. The method helps in reducing muscle fatigue and also increases the breakdown of lactic acid. This helps in increasing the circulation to the muscles. The University of Vermont Burlington carried out a study in the year 2003 that showed that “an active recovery between bouts of high intensity exercises was more effective than rest alone”( Retrieved from /article/486143-recovery-after-jogging-weights/) . After work outs, lactic acid builds up in a person's muscles and the person is also fatigued. To remove the lactic acid accumulated in the muscles, the person needs to have an active recovery for a period longer than three minutes.
Stretching and massage
Message is another method that help a person in recovering from the fatigues and muscle soreness acquired in the workouts. Through massage, muscle flexibility is increased. Blood flow in the muscles and the rest of the body is also enhanced. The lactic acid that builds up in the muscles is reduced and the muscle soreness also reduces. However the time after which the massage may result to recovery has not been accurately determined. Its ability in reducing recovery time and benefits are also debatable. This statement was given by the 2008 article from North American Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.
Apart from body relaxation and reducing the recovery time period, massage has also mental effects. It helps in reducing stress from a person and this brings about mind relaxation after the body relaxation. Sometimes workouts may result to build in stress in a person's mind, massage is appropriate in such a case because it will help in making the person recover from muscle soreness and fatigue within a short period of time and also relieve stress from the individual and enhance relaxation.
Additional factors
There are other factors that may contribute to a person's recovery. These factors include a person's diet. A good diet that gives the person enough energy helps the person in quick recovery. The diet should be of high quality with low concentrations of sugar and fats. The next factor is sleeping pattern. After a good period of sleep the person may recover after a short period of time, however the sleeping patterns different from person and they have different effects to different people. To have a quick recovery, a person should sleep and wake up at approximately the same time everyday (Retrieved from /article/486143-recovery-after-jogging-weights/).
Recovery time
Recovery time between workouts is not constant; it varies from person to person and also according to the type of workout performed. High-intensity timeouts may require a gap of two to ten days before another high intensity workout is performed. Symptoms assist the person determine the time to rest and when to involve in the workout. The recovery time also varies with the intensity of fatigue and soreness. Extreme fatigue and soreness may require more days of recovery compared to slight fatigue and soreness. To avoid injuries and overworking one's body, a person should allow himself enough time to recover.
Both massage and active recovery help in reducing the time required for recovery. They help in bringing a quick relieve on the person after workouts. However the time framework required for a person to recover after a massage is debatable. On the on the other hand, the time required for a person to recover from fatigue and soreness after an active recovery is mostly over three minutes.
Lactate Clearance
One of the means of recovering from a workout is the process of clearing lactate from the body muscles. Workouts lead to the accumulation of these lactates and in order to be relieved they must be cleared from the body. There have been continued debates on the effects of massage on bringing recovery from high intensity exercise. According to Robertson, Watt and Galloway, many studies on this issue suffer from the use of wrong methodologies which include long massage duration, lack of control on diet, and making the standardization of previous exercises poorly (173-176).
According to a study carried out by the Department of Sport Studies in the University of Stirling on the comparison between the effects leg massage and activate recovery on lactate clearance, the following procedures were followed.
The main objective of the study was to find out whether there exists a difference in the effectiveness of a massage and active recovery on reduction of lactate from the body after an exercise. The conditions were standardized and well controlled. The study also focused on comparing the characteristics of fatigue and muscular power output after a high intensity leg exercise. The leg exercise in this study was a cycling exercise.
The study included nine males as the subjects of the study. These males were to involve in cycling as the leg exercise. Before they started the leg exercise, they were subjected to laboratory tests two times. The tests were taken after an interval of one week, and they were carried out at the same time of the day. The diet taken by the participants was controlled in the two days that followed each test. The test included testing of the blood lactate concentration and the heart rate.
These participants were also subjected to warm ups on the cycle ergo meter. These warm ups were standardized and were followed by another thirty seconds exercise bouts of high intensity. Between the bouts there were active recoveries that lasted for 30 seconds each.
The participants were also subjected to the same workouts and were subjected to a leg massage.
Blood samples from capillaries were drawn at different intervals. The fatigue index, peak power, heart rate and mean power were recorded.
After the initial exercises of high intensity bouts (P=0.92), the mean power difference was not significant. Between trial (p= 0.82) there was no main effects of massage observed on lactate concentration in the blood. Between trials (p=0.81) there were also no effects observed on the heart rate after the massage. The maximum power (p=0.75) and the mean power also had no difference in the Wingate tests that followed. However some changes in the fatigue index were observed. The fatigue index was observed to be significantly low compared to the time before the massage was done. The records from the fatigue index were as follows; (p  =  0.04; mean (SD) fatigue index 30.2 (4.1)% v 34.2 (3.3)%), (Robert, Watt and Galloway 173-176) Retrieved from /article/486143-recovery-after-jogging-weights/).
Under the active recovery method, significant observations were made on the level of lactose in the blood obtained from the capillary. The heart rates also had same changes. The maximum and mean power also reflected some changes after active recovery.
The leg massage had no measurable physiological effects on the subjects. However it has an effect on the index of fatigue, where it helps in reducing the level of fatigue. The observation made on the index level of fatigue was to be subjected to further investigations in order to help relate it to the massage.
On the other hand, there were measurable physiological changes observed on the participants after the active recovery process. There was measurable change in lactate concentration in the blood. The fatigue index, mean power and the maximum power also changed with a measurable magnitude.
A number of athletes and physiotherapists, support massage, and they argue that, it helps in boosting quick recovery and can help in maximizing performance in an individual. However there is no scientific evidence, or research that has confirmed the theory. The reason attributed to why there has never been a scientific research to prove the theory is lack of appropriate methodologies that can be used in the research. The research is also faced by poor control on experimenting in the test phase. There is also no set standard time for massage and warm up.
The above problems experienced on researching the effects of massage on recovery after leg exercise makes it hard to compare massage's effects with those of the active recovery.
On the other hand, the active recovery has standardized measures of research. There are a standard of thirty warm ups followed by extensive exercise bouts. The extensive exercise bouts are split into different time intervals and the duration betw...
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