After taking my foam roller to class to demonstrate the advantages of using one, I soon realized that most people had no clue what a foam roller was, or how to use it.  Ironically one answer that was common in every class that I carried my foam roller to was that it looked like an oversized “pool noodle.”  Foam rolling or Self-myofascial release used to be only something that athletes or health professionals were only familiar with, but now everyone can get great benefits from foam rolling. Here 3 benefits of foam rolling, and how I suggest you go about doing it.

  1. Reduce Muscle Tightness- The most important benefit of using a foam roller is that it is excellent for relieving muscle tension.  I love getting a massage, but I’m not able to get one every day. A foam roller provides a good alternative to a massage because it helps break down trigger points by applying pressure to specific points on your body by using your body weight.
  2. Posture – Most seniors have an issue with posture and foam rolling is an excellent option to stretch your chest and your shoulders.  To get a good posture stretch with a foam roller, start by putting it behind your lower back for support, arch your back over with your hands supporting your head and hold the position for at least 1 minute.  You should feel a good stretch in your chest area with the more you hold the position, the better the stretch
  3. Recovery- Similar to reducing muscle tightness, by applying pressure to particular points on your body, you can aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Life has a way of beating up our bodies, and regardless of whether we are very active or not really, we need to find ways that get it working at optimal levels.

For me, foam rolling is great, and I make sure that I do it a few times a week in addition to stretching.  My favourite areas of foam roll are my glutes (butt), quads, back and IT band. 

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