Every body is different, every body experiences life and all of its demands in different and unique ways. One thing is for certain, if the body is called upon to move, flex, extend, pull, push, sit, run or squat, it is reacting. And when the body reacts enough times, it will start to develop a bias, a rhythm, and pattern to combat and ease any of these actions placed on the body. Do this enough times without relaxing, stretching, or recovering and we start to see issues. One easy way to combat these issues is through the use of a foam roller. Foam rolling is one very easy, simple and cost effective way to help keep the body loose, malleable, and functioning properly.
Benefit #1: Daddy Warbucks
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If money, finding the right body worker, or schedule conflicts are major issues in your daily routine, fear not; foam rolling can offer a very similar treatment to hands-on work. The foam roller can be your personal massage therapist that is on call 24/7 and only requires a one-time down payment. With a small investment of time, and researching protocols, methods or routines for the foam roller, you, the user, can become your body’s best body worker!
Benefit #2: You are a Healer
Sometimes, despite how skilled a professional massage therapist, chiropractor or body worker can be, the only person who knows your body better than anyone else in the world is YOU. The simplistic beauty of the foam roller is having the ability to control how much work needs to be done on the body. This includes both the time, from minutes to hours, as well as the intensity. Sometimes less is more and giving your body just a little bit of love and care can go a very long way. Also, you may start to discover there are other spots previously unaware to you that needed attention.
Benefit #3: Buy Into Your Body
Investing in your personal health needs can potentially create a faster and more long-term healing response. For both acute and chronic injuries, my body would recover much quicker and maintain its healthful state if I participated both physically and mentally in my recovery. This means doing the homework/putting in the time. When I hurt my back due to a lifting accident, I continued to see bodyworkers; physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists etc. multiple times a week, I would always feel better afterwards but within the next couple of days I would start to feel my painful symptoms return. Why? Because I was not doing my part. It is my firm belief that if you want to truly recover, you have to put in the time. Sure enough, when I started to foam roll on a regular basis, along with stretching and moving my body, my injuries stayed at bay.
Benefit #4: More Rest = More Gains
Recovery is a form of exercise. Although the main theme of “rest/recovery” days are sort of laughed about, they are absolutely necessary and key in maintaining optimal health as well as combating potential issues/injuries. We all understand that working out is exercise but the majority of athletes, gym goers and activists would not call “recovery” a form of exercise. However, even on “recovery” days, your metabolism is expending a significant amount of energy just to complete daily activities. So when deciding to go to the gym, it does not have to be a brutal, all-out war with your body. Instead, grab the foam roller, take a seat and start giving your body the best chance to recover. As the smokejumpers say, “Do today what others won’t. Do tomorrow what others can’t.”
Benefit #5: Routine and Structure
Perhaps the gym didn’t make your schedule today. Perhaps motivation is lacking or just an overall lack of energy. All is well and there is no need to get down on yourself. We can still be extremely successful if we can adapt and roll with life and all of its unknowns. The secret is routine and structure. These two items, when put into motion, lead to creating a well-balanced body that can enable optimal results. Treat foam rolling like brushing your teeth, showering, or even eating. Set a time, a regiment, and choose a body part (or parts) that are in need of some TLC. After following these new routines and structures, your body will start to crave and want more. New issues will arise, not because they are suddenly being created, but rather because your body is ready to share them with you. Some may say that ignorance is a beautiful thing; however it can lead to severe and massive issues if untouched for too long. When the body is allowed to recover, given the proper tools, your body will start being very honest with you.
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