Exercise is great for you. Not only does it keep you fit and healthy but it also makes you feel great and will bring an element of routine into your life. There are many different types of exercise with many different techniques, programs and styles. There are also many different aims and objectives for exercising from losing weight, to gaining muscle mass or gaining fitness. There are also different ways of reaching your potential but one which is often overlooked is massage therapy.

Whatever your reason for exercising you will want to maximize your potential, if you do not you are wasting your time. Reaching your potential will require hard work, determination and a well thought out program. You will also need to eat well and rest your body to get the most out of your exercising.

Unless you are at the elite level none of you will consider massage therapy's place in an exercise program. This is a shame because it can be very effective if used properly.

Benefits of using massage therapy in your exercise program

People often see massage therapy as a relaxation technique and a monthly treat for those who like to be pampered but it is a lot more than that in reality. A good massage therapist will not only be able to help you relax and reach a better well-being but will also help you recover from injuries a great deal quicker.

Another significant reason to include massage therapy in your exercise program is performance enhancement. Injury recovery is important as is relaxing your body but if you include massage in to your program effectively there is every opportunity to enhance your sporting performance.

You can use muscle relaxation, injury recovery and a well managed system to plan a program which will allow you to maximize your potential. With clever technique and massage you can become faster, fitter, stronger and leaner.

Massage therapy definitely has a place in exercise programs yet it is often under used and many of you will not know when and how to use it.

When and how to use it

If you have the resources and time you can get very technical with when and how to use massage therapy but for the majority of you, those resources are not available. You will still need to speak with a fully trained massage therapist to enhance your sporting performance as they are the experts and will know how to integrate massage in to your personal program.

Essentially however you need to cover body recovery and rest alongside pre and post exercise sessions. If you can get it right you can enjoy the following benefits;

· A reduction in muscle tension

· Increased range of motion

· Improved soft tissue function

· Decrease in muscle stiffness after exercise

· Quicker injury recovery

· Enhanced athletic performance

If you have not before considered massage therapy's place in your exercise program sometimes you should now. It really can benefit you greatly, can keep you going longer, improve your athleticism and enhance your overall exercise experience.