*This Post contains affiliate links for which I will be compensated when purchases are made.
Every winter I tell myself how excited for summer I am so I can get out and get my workouts in the outdoors. I’m an outdoors person for sure and hate being cooped up inside all winter long, but because I dislike the cold even more than being cooped up inside, I rarely get outside in the winter for some exercise – unless you count my snowboarding!
But then summer comes, and I often find myself complaining it’s too hot to get outside and workout, and since I’m not a morning person, I’ve found the early workouts just don’t work for me.
When it comes to working out, it’s all about what works for you. What is going to motivate you to get moving – whether that be a workout indoors or outdoors, morning or evening, and then of course how you work out is probably the biggest key factor of all. If you’re not a big fan of running and set your alarm for 6 am to get outside and go for a jog, there is probably a good chance you’re going to sleep through that alarm.
I get totally annoyed by those people who boast about how much they love to work out. I hate working out. HATE it. But I’ve done it religiously for the last 15 years because I love how my body feels afterward. I love knowing that I did something good for myself and for my body that day. I love seeing the muscle definition come in, and most of all, I love knowing that I can indulge in that rich small piece of chocolate every day because I got my workout in. But you can bet that while I’m working out, I am counting down the minutes for it to be over, no matter what workout I’m doing. I’ve found I tend to be a little less motivated for it to end with Yoga, and sometimes cycling, but for the most part, I do not love working out. I want it to be over so I can get on with my day.
I think often times people really dislike the soreness of working out, but I actually love that part, because it makes me feel like I did some good for my body. However, it doesn’t mean that I still want to suffer to the point that it hurts to get out of bed the next day, or drags on for 3-4 days. Another reason many of us avoid working out is that awful injury that either snuck up on you over time or happened immediately while working out and has scared you off from doing that workout ever again. For me, It was about 7 years back when I decided to run my first 5k. I’m not a runner, I don’t enjoy it but was asked by my sister to run with her. Well, my competitive nature kicked in and knowing that she was a runner, I made it my goal to beat her. So what did I do? I jumped on a treadmill and ran a 5K the very next day. While I’ve always been fit, this is a very bad idea if you rarely run (like me), because a few days into doing this very thing, all of a sudden I had knee pain in my left leg, and since then, it’s never really gone away when I run, or even during other workouts sometimes, or even on cold days.
The truth is, working out can be not only even more discouraging to do, but also disastrous if you don’t do it right. And while many of us may already realize that there are things that must be done, like warming up first or easing yourself (over days or weeks) into running that 5K, many of us are probably are still not doing what we should be to help prevent injury or limit the soreness afterward.
I’ve been hearing about Foam Rollers for what seems like a long time now but really didn’t know anything about them or how they could benefit the body! Turns out, these handy little inexpensive tools could be just what we need to help prevent an injury while working out.
In fact, there are actually several benefits of a foam roller! While it’s great for those who work out regularly, even if you’re not the most motivated exerciser or you find you spend too much time sitting at a desk all day to squeeze in a workout, the foam roller can still provide you many benefits.
6 Benefits of Using a Foam Roller Regularly:
1. It warms up the muscles. Not great about getting in that pre stretch before working out? Break out your foam roller and start rolling to warm up muscles, as well as stretching out the fibrous layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles (the fascia). By stretching out and warming up this connective tissue, you’re inhibiting it from incorrectly binding to the muscles, which in turn can cause pain down the road and even decrease mobility. Which leads us to the second benefit of rolling.
2. It Improves mobility. By stretching out and warming up the connective tissue surrounding the muscles, our bodies are able to function and move correctly with ease.
3. It Improves flexibility for increased joint range of motion. I realize my need for this every time I see someone do that stretch where they sit on the floor with their legs stretched out in front of them and bend down, holding onto their feet. I can’t even reach my feet! The roller is a great tool to use daily to help increase your range of motion, allowing the muscles to become more flexible.
4. It improves circulation by loosening the tight muscles. This is another amazing benefit I’ve found handy with using the foam roller regularly. The reason why I dislike winter so much? I feel like I’ve constantly got freezing cold hands and feet, even in the spring and fall. Using a foam roller on the regular can help loosen up the muscles and body, as well as increase oxygen and blood flow throughout the body, keeping my hands and feet- warmer!
5. Using it regularly can help prevent injury. This is simply because it allows the muscles and connective tissue to warm up and become more pliable, allowing you to move more effortlessly through your workout.
6. It helps you recover faster. By warming up the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the muscles, you’re helping your body remove lactic acid (which is what causes the soreness after a workout). I also like to use my foam roller after my workout to help remove any lactic acid I’ve put into my muscles during my workout. It’s a great way to help stretch the body post workout!
Here are few tips to help guide you through the rolling!
How to use a Foam Roller:
1 Roll slowly. Take your time, don’t hurry. A warm up should take about 5 minutes before starting your workout, so try to spend at least that same amount of time on rolling.
2. Don’t roll where you feel pain directly. If it hurts, don’t roll there. Avoid that area so you’re not worsening the situation. When that area feels stronger again, begin rolling there again, or focus on other areas of the body, especially those surrounding the area you have pain in, in the meantime.
3. You don’t need to roll evenly on both sides. This is a bit contrary to what you hear every trainer say during a workout- that you need to hit both sides of the body evenly. But with a foam roller, you can focus directly where you’re having issues (as long as you’re not feeling pain), or those parts of the body you know could use a bit more loosening, or where you’d like to gain more flexibility.
4 Don’t forget to Breathe! Just like working out, don’t hold your breath! Relax, breathe into the movement, and enjoy the way your body feels while using the foam roller.
Where to use a Foam Roller:
You can use it on several areas of the body. The most common spots are the bum, hamstrings, calves, side of the leg (Iloital IT bands), shins, and middle of the back. Feel free to use it where you need some extra loosening, circulation, or flexibility. Just remember to go slow and stop if you feel pain. The roller will roll evenly across the body without slipping or sliding against the skin.
I’ve loved using my PharmMeDoc Foam Roller. Its innovative ergonomic design is engineered to hit even the smallest pressure points and muscle fibers and emulates massage therapy while also stimulating the muscles. Even though it’s nice and firm, it still feels comfortable against the muscle and provides the perfect amount of resistance for a pain-free muscle massage. After using it, I notice that it eases pain from sore muscles faster than I’ve ever experienced before. I recover faster and don’t feel so sore anymore.
Interested in trying out this fabulous Foam Roller for yourself? Check them out Here on Amazon and be sure to check out the TONS of 5-star reviews on this product while you’re there!
Have you ever used a foam roller? What’s your experience been with it? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!