Your physical exercise program is not a stationary routine. To continue lifting your fitness level, you have to find new ways to push yourself, to build out workouts in ways that force you to continue raising your strength and endurance. This means you gradually move to longer and harder workouts, setting and reaching increasingly hard goals for yourself. But as you work to get more from your body, you should also look at whether your massage regimen is keeping pace. Over time your body’s needs change, and you should be prepared to adjust course in how you maintain it as well.
How Milo Workouts Work
According to legend, the great Greek wrestler Milo was never beaten or even thrown. His secret? Milo is said to have lived on a farm, and trained by lifting a newborn calf over his head. He did this every day, as the calf grew, until he was lifting a full-grown cow above his head. At this point, he was of course incredibly strong. The daily increase in weight was gradual, but the end result was a man stronger than any other in the world.
Milo’s story may well be apocryphal, but the concept of the Milo workout has endured. Runners build their distance over time, whether through a Couch-to-5k workout plan or a slow build toward a marathon. Weightlifters, too, begin with a weight they can handle, and increase the weight over time until they achieve their goals for themselves. Any kind of exercise can offer something similar: pushing yourself harder, faster, farther over a period of weeks or months or even years to chart a path toward a better physical version of yourself than that with which you began.
While the concept of the Milo workout extends to just about any kind of exercise, the body does occasionally push back. Pushing too hard, too fast can lead to injuries, especially if you don’t build in rest days and recovery along the way. Light workouts sprinkled in among the harder ones helps your body bounce back. And massage, strategically planned to work alongside your exercise plan, can do wonders to keep you feeling good even while you drive through harder workouts. To gain the best results in a Milo massage plan, you need to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of your body.
Maintaining While You Build
Two ways of looking at massage therapy through a Milo plan can help you continue along a solid self-improvement plan. The first is maintenance. When you look at oil changes for a car, they are based on reaching the first of a time period or a mileage level. If you drive a thousand miles per month, you probably don’t need an oil change more often than every three months. But if you drive ten thousand miles per month, you need to change your oil much more frequently.
Massage is different from motor oil, but the concept is similar. You get a sports massage to help soothe your muscles, to aid circulation and help you recover more quickly and comfortably from your workouts. If you are working out more often or more intensely, there is a good chance you can benefit from more frequent massages as well. You are consciously pushing your body harder than you have previously done, and introducing new levels of stress on your muscles as a result. To counter this, you need to do more to take care of yourself. Your nutritional needs change, and so do your muscle recovery needs. Building in extra massages, or even planning some spontaneously to help you when you really need it, can do wonders to help you move forward with fewer setbacks.
When to Increase Intensity
Besides building in more massages, you may find that you need to adjust the intensity level. Your muscles may be getting bigger and firmer, requiring a deep tissue massage where you previously received more of a soothing Swedish technique. It is not unusual for people who are getting stronger to need firmer or longer massage therapy to feel the same benefits they are accustomed to experiencing. As you work toward your goals, pay attention to your body and listen to the cues it provides. You cannot expect to change one routine with no effect on other, related routines you have developed.
Higher intensity is not always the answer. For some people, countering the workout intensity with lighter, more relaxing massages provides more value. Just as you alternate hard workouts with easier ones, you can balance intense workouts with gentle massage therapy. Moreover, different kinds of workouts put different types of strain on your body; assuming the same approach to massage will work for every one of them can be a recipe for failure.
Listen to Your Body—and Your Massage Therapist
Too many people think that experiencing pain and discomfort is the best sign that they are doing something right in their exercise routine. Pushing yourself is a good thing, but driving through pain can sometimes carry you right to an injury that derails your progress. Everyone needs to recover from time to time, and backing off for a little while does much more for you than putting yourself on the couch until you heal.
Everyone responds differently to massage therapy. If that weren’t the case, there would be no need for different styles and approaches to massage. The need for different approaches applies not only to different people, but to the same person working through different physical conditions. As you build through a Milo workout regimen, you need more than ever to pay attention to what your body tells you. Your needs will change over time, so you should be ready to adjust accordingly.
Fortunately, working with a licensed massage therapist gives you experience and expertise you can lean on as you adjust. At Versatile Vitality, we focus in on your needs—not just by recording the massages you have had, but by listening and shifting gears as needed to give you the best care you can receive with each massage. If you are working to improve your fitness, build us into your workout plan. We’ll help keep you feeling good while you work for the results you need.