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Benefits of Foam Rollers

By Ashley Chapman 

Whether you are a runner, swimmer or someone who loves hikes, staying active means you have tight muscles at the end of a workout or activity. While the feeling of sore and tight muscles is a sign of a good workout, it can also be uncomfortable. A piece of equipment that anyone who is active should have is a foam roller. Here are some benefits of using a foam roller.

What is a Foam Roller?

A foam roller is literally just what it sounds like! A foam tube that you use to help roll out muscles in your legs and back. They are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at a gym or any store that sells exercise equipment.

What is the Purpose of a Foam Roller?

It is beneficial to sore and tight muscles because it acts as a component of the central nervous system. When you use a foam roller, it is telling your system to relax. When you work out, your muscles are constantly working, sometimes tearing (if you are strength training). However, it may take longer for your muscles to cool down after exercise. Rolling your muscles out helps with soreness because it helps with your muscles to release tension, caused by exercise.

Other foam roller benefits:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increase of circulation

When Should You Use a Foam Roller?

The type of exercise you will be doing will determine the best time to use a foam roller.  For exercise that requires full range of motion (running or biking), you should use the foam roller before you begin. This helps to relax the muscles and to get them ready for the workout.

After a Workout and Off Days

If you finish a more intense workout, you should use the foam roller after you finish. This helps to remind your muscles to release their tension. If you work out more than three times a week, using a foam roller on off days will help deal with soreness and tightness between workouts. You can choose to roll in the morning and in the evenings during your off days.

Work Breaks

Working a job where you are constantly sitting down can cause stiff and tight muscles. Athletes most commonly use foam rollers. However, those who work sedentary jobs can also benefit from them. You can use the foam roller at your desk to help take a break from sitting for long periods.  

 To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntingdon Valley, Pa .

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