Save a full-body massage for after your workout; don’t get one before. After a massage, wait about 24 hours before engaging in vigorous exercise, such as running or weight training. Exercising too soon after a massage session may impair recovery from the massage, increase soreness and inhibit the effectiveness of the soft tissue work performed during your massage.
Light exercise, such as walking or gentle swimming, is fine after a massage, says Advanced Rolfer Ray Bishop in a 2007 issue of “Body Sense.” Drink copious amounts of water and soak in an Epsom salt bath in lieu of a hard workout routine. Use the time to allow your body to repair and for the soft tissues to adjust to the new patterns created by the massage.
A massage after a tough workout is beneficial, though. A study published in the “Journal of Athletic Training” found that massage received three hours after a tough strength-training workout reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMs, by 30 percent.