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5 Amazing Benefits Of Foam Rolling

5 Amazing Benefits Of Foam Rolling

Over the last few years, mobility exercises have started to gain steam, and rightfully so. It doesn’t matter if you’re a gym rat or if you sit at a desk all day–using a foam roller as part of a regular exercise plan can help improve circulation, release knots in muscles, and can help muscles repair and heal faster. The benefits aren’t limited there; they really are endless. If you feel a tight muscle in your body, using a foam roller to release the tension can help. Here are 5 amazing benefits that come from foam rolling that you may not have considered:

1. It’s Like A Personalized Massage

Every time you foam roll, you get a personal massage! Sure, it’s great to go to the spa or to a masseuse to work out those tight and sore muscles. But that can take the whole day! In as little as 10 minutes you get the same benefits of a massage as you help revive your tired and sore muscles. There’s nothing like a good trip to La Spa a la Casa!

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2. Your Money Stays In Your Pocket

You save a TON of money. Massages are expensive, and if you’re recovering from an injury, regular meetings with the physical therapist are too. Using a foam roller as part of your regular workouts can help you recover from damaged muscles, and can even help you to prevent a host of injuries. It’s better to pay $10 upfront for a foam roller, than thousands of dollars on the back end as you try to get your body back to normal.

3. You Can Preempt The Pain

The simple truth is that we’re pretty hard on our bodies, and random things, like standing–or sitting–for too long, can start an ache or a pain you probably wished wasn’t there. When you start using a foam roller to work out those tight muscles, you start breaking down scar tissue, help the muscle get rid of left over lactic acid, and become more flexible and strong. Having a one–and–done mentality isn’t going to benefit you in the long-term. To really see the benefits of foam rolling, it’s a habit best served every day.  Regular rolling can help prevent cramps and even actually strengthen your muscles over the long term. So while you’ll definitely feel some short term pain, it hurts so good! It can definitely save you from a lot of pain later.

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4. Take A Little “Me Time”

Foam rolling is relaxing! Depending on your circumstances, it can be really hard to steal a few minutes to yourself. When you take a few minutes to foam roll, you are able to focus on finding and working out those trouble spots, instead of anyone or anything else that’s been rumbling around in your head.

5. Workout Your Body… Roll

It’s actually a great workout! You’d think that rolling back and forth on a piece of foam wouldn’t do much for you, but mobility exercises help fix posture, and can help workout your core too! It won’t be too long before your abs are popping like popcorn. If you really want to see results, grab a mobility app like MoveWell, which guides you through each workout so you can make the most of each minute.

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Get Some Extra Help

Especially when you first start foam rolling, it helps to have someone guiding you through each movement. Apps like MoveWell let you pick an area you want to focus on, and then a video coach demonstrates each exercise, and gives you some time to do it too. You can also check out YouTube for some other great tutorials:

Shoulder Stretches

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Hip and Lower Back Stretches

Featured photo credit: Foam Rolling Your Hips/Joel Runyon via lifehack.org

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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