Remember when I decided to turn Cory’s office into a workout / meditation room? Well if you don’t - here’s a little peek.
In the process of changing up the space I decided to make a few purchases to improve our health, and wellness. Of course the Peloton was the biggest purchase but we also ordered the Manduka Black Mat (85”) and the Belong Body Roller.
I had heard a lot of good things about body rollers, but I wasn’t clear on exactly how they worked.
A foam roller or body roller is an exercise device that allows for a powerful self massage to release muscle tension. They’ve been around for years but they just recently started becoming more widely available.
The benefits to foam rolling are similar to getting a massage - reduced muscle tension, fatigue, increased blood flow, and enhanced range of motion.
A phrase that comes up a lot in the “foam roller game” is myofascial release which basically means you build up metabolic wastes in your muscles through exercise which can cause swelling and prevent muscle relaxation - the act of foam rolling can push the metabolic wastes out resulting in less muscle tension.
So does it work?
I’m by no means an athlete so I was unsure of how the body roller would benefit me on a day to day basis. I started using the roller mainly on my calves, and booty in hopes it would offset some of the damage I have from sitting at a desk throughout the day - I noticed the change immediately.
In my experience the foam roller feels like a deep tissue massage, and cracks my back like a chiropractor. It’s not the most enjoyable experience (often a little uncomfortable) but in a positive way that makes you realize just how much muscle tension we have on a daily basis. It also takes a minute to get the mechanics of foam rolling, but don’t get discouraged if it feels awkward at first.
I now use the foam roller at least once a day for a few minutes at a time, and I have noticed a huge improvement in how I feel. I used to experience some neck, and joint pain which has subsided since I started rolling. I’ve also observed less “knots” as I’ve continued with the practice, and my mood always improves afterwards.
Foam rollers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and can have raised nodules for further massage! Here are a few made in the United States options - Rogue and Thera Roll !
My recommendation is to invest in a foam roller, and try using it before bed each night. Check in with your body, and allow this practice to become part of your self-care process. Once you’ve built up a routine - start using the roller as you watch TV or chat on the phone throughout the day. It’s an easy practice that can make a huge difference for your muscle relaxation.
Have you tried a foam roller? What was your experience?