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.
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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.