Dieting, exercising, and losing weight isn’t easy. In fact, there’s an entire industry built around trying to make it easier, more accessible, less time-consuming, more convenient, etc. Perhaps this is why we have come to associate dieting and weight loss with negativity or some sort of punishment.
So imagine our surprise when we found out that getting regular massage therapy – a luxurious and self-indulgent act – may actually help with weight loss. Here’s why…
The Importance of Self Care in Weight Loss
Too many people begin a diet and exercise regimen because they are unhappy or frustrated with their appearance. Their new lifestyle plan is supposed to be a sort of boot camp to whip your body into the kind of shape you wanted to be in. But this approach doesn’t always work, and here’s why: if you are looking at your body as the enemy, as something adversarial or something that needs to be punished, you are walking into this endeavor it the wrong way.
Think of an object you have in your home that you really dislike. Maybe it’s a broken piece of furniture, a knickknack that gives you the creeps, or an appliance that is on its last legs. How do you think you’ll treat that object the next time you interact with it?
The exact same idea applies to your body. When you love something, you take care of it. When you hate something, you want almost nothing to do with it. Just like you probably won’t sink too much time into your least favorite piece of furniture, you also won’t sink too much time into your body if you approach it with an air of rejection and frustration.
This is where massage therapy comes in. Massage therapy is one of the pillars of self-care. You set aside time and space just for yourself, and you receive a therapeutic treatment that is entirely designed to make you feel good in your own skin. Approaching your body with more love, acceptance, and understanding will actually help you build a stronger foundation upon which to begin improving yourself.
The Importance of Muscle Recovery After Workouts
When you first begin working out, even if you follow a gentle workout meant for beginners, you can still feel quite sore a day or two after. Before you have built up a good base level of strength, and before you perfect your form, you are going to end up feeling stiff and sore after almost every workout.
No matter what anyone says, the soreness does not really feel “good.” Sure, it is a continual reminder that you put in a good workout, but pain is pain, and living with too much pain is the kind of thing that can cause a person to stop working out altogether.
One way to get around continual pain from workouts is to see a massage therapist. They can help work on problem areas, and even address some minor sports injuries. They can give you some stretching techniques which may help make your workouts easier in the future. But more to the point, they can get you feeling better quicker, meaning you will spend less time hurting, and more time actually enjoying your workouts.
The Importance of Stress Relief in Weight Loss
One of the biggest hurdles to clear in weight loss is stress. Stress can make you feel too tired or too frazzled to work out. Stress can cause you to eat out of nervousness. Stress can make the thought of preparing your own meals seem completely overwhelming. Everything about stress is designed to put weight on you, not take it off.
So, it stands to reason that addressing stress would also address your weight loss efforts. People who engage in stress relieving activities such as massage therapy, meditation, or even a lengthy bubble bath with scented candles feel more centered. They feel they have more energy and wherewithal to follow through with their weight loss intentions.
It is time for us to stop separating self-care activities such as massage therapy from other self-care activities such as healthy eating or appropriate workouts. They all help to achieve the same end result which is a healthier you. So go ahead and book that spa appointment. You deserve it, because you deserve good health.