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