Why Foam Rolling
When it comes to working on improving your flexibility and mobility, there are a plethora of options to try: pilates, yoga, tai chi, gymnastics, dancing, and dynamic rolling/stretching/therapy work (as mentioned in The Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid post). Having a foam roller handy is helpful in order to massage muscles and break up knots, those tender spots in your muscles. It has a restorative effect on the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds the bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and organs. Foam rolling helps increase blood flow, which means more oxygen and nutrients delivered to the tissues, along with “waste removal.” As stated in How to Be Well, body alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh “calls foam rolling an essential self-care tool in a world where we are ‘overworked, overstressed, overfed, and overstimulated.’”
When to Foam Roll
Just five to ten minutes at a time is fine. It can be in the morning as part of your morning routine. It can also be before a workout, after exercising, and/or in the evening.
Before a workout, you would foam roll at a fast/rapid rate, targeting a light to moderate depth. This gets your muscles ready to work hard and it up-regulates the nervous system.
After a workout, you should foam roll at a slow rate, targeting a moderate to deep depth. This is a nice way to recover and calm the nervous system.
Foam rolling can become part of your life as an easy and affordable option for better health and wellness. You don’t have to feel any pain anywhere to foam roll. It can just be another enjoyable way to relax and unwind from each day’s ups and downs.
Until next time!
Goodman, Eric, et al. Foundation : Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence. New York, Ny, Rodale, 2011, pp. 226–29.
Lipman, Frank M D. How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin, 2019, pp. 137-39.
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