Serious Down Time

MassageRelaxation is just as much a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as is exercise.  A good balance of moderate to vigorous-intensity exercise on most days of the week followed up with some good old down time is just the restorative blend you need to keep at it. (“It” being life and all that it may throw at you!)

I, myself, have never been much of a massage person, but then again, life used to be somewhat less stressful for me. Running my own business definitely tipped the scales in stress’ favor; used to be that at 5:01 pm my mind would automatically switch from work/total mindless mode to happy like a dog, jumping around chasing its tail in the park mode. Not a care in the world, even if a looming work deadline were fast approaching. Who cared? I was free until 9:01 the next morning, I’d deal with it then.) Now, not so dog in the park carefree and 5:01 comes and goes without a sideways glance. (Who’d have thunk?)

So these days, scheduling in down time is a necessity otherwise I would never get around to it (as I’m sure many of you out there can attest to.) So I’ve found that in order to maintain a well-balanced you, a great way to relax is to get in a massage. Getting a massage is definitely one of the best ways to take a break from the day, give some much-needed attention to your body and just let your mind float away for an hour.

Being a personal trainer I’ve met quite a few massage therapists and have recently connected with an absolutely fantastic masseuse who I now go to once a week. Never had I imagined how much it really would help, especially with all those tight back and leg muscles I got going on. Plus, before going to her there was some slight nerve thing going on, something between numbness and tingling but yet, not really either if that makes sense, that was going all the way down my right arm to my pinky and ring finger… suuuuuper annoying. Anyway, since I started getting regular massages, annoying nerve issue… gone. Knots in the shoulders… much better. Relaxed and glowing afterwards… you betcha. And since I’m now in my fourth month of pregnancy, these sessions help with low back pain and it’s all around goodness. My wonderful massage therapist is Sarah Amodei and if you live in the Westchester NY area, I highly recommend checking her out. Her website and she will set you straight even after just one session.

Since I really want to bring home this whole ‘you should get a massage’ thing, I compiled a little list touting the top 10 reasons why I think you would benefit from a massage, from a professional that is, not your husband. Although if you’re lucky enough to have a hubby who offers such services then by all mean, milk it for all it’s worth… and then proceed to seek out the pro!

The Top 10 Benefits of a Massage:

10. Pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation

9. Releases endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller

8. Reduces blood pressure

7. Improves posture

6. Helps relieve mental stress

5. Creates body awareness

4. Improves flexibility and range of motion

3. Relieves tension-related headaches

2. Strengthens the immune system

And the number 1 reason (at least in my book):

1. Assists with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shortens maternity hospital stays. (Sweet!)

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended For You

About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo