After a stressful day of teaching, I would do just about anything for a massage. Until I quickly realize I have many papers to grade and my wallet is basically empty except for some spare lunch money and old receipts. Let’s face it. There just isn’t enough time or money for a professional massage after every work day. So, I present to you my favorite self-massage, the fantastic foam roller!
While this may look like a simple foam tube, it has many amazing benefits that make this one of my favorite simple inventions. While incorporated with exercise plans, foam rollers can help improve circulation, release knots in muscles, and can help muscles heal and repair faster. If you feel a tight area in your body, the foam roller will help to release tension.
How It Works
Before you buy one, it’s good to understand why and how a foam roller works.
Selfcarrer.com states in their article titled, “11 Benefits of Foam Rolling”:
“The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.
Myofascial release is a body work technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles, and bones.
Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome (iliotibial band syndrome) and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion.”
Foam rollers offer the benefits of an expensive massage without the price.
- Help Relieve Stress (Every teacher needs this)
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Accelerates Lactic Acid Return to the Body
- Post Injury Tissue Mobility5
- Can Preempt the Pain
- Help Reduce Cellulite (Helloooooooo…..buy one already!!)
- Saves Money
- Helps Prevent Common Injuries
- Keeps and Improves Flexibility
- Better Sleep (Use before bed for a better night of sleep)
Overall, foam rollers are an inexpensive investment with a range of benefits. About 15 minutes is all you need to see and feel the changes in your body. While there are many styles of foam rollers, the Grid Foam Roller is my favorite as I love that it gives me a more targeted trigger point self-massage.
For more information, check out our Fitness Pinterest Board