try Foam Rolling

At the Healthy Living Summit, I got to know Angela, blogger at Happy Fit Mama.  Today, she's teaching us about foam rollers:

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Hi everyone! A big THANK YOU to Meredith for allowing me to guest post on her wonderful blog today. 

Today I want to talk to you about foam rolling. Do you own one? If not, you should! Here's a brief back story on how I came upon this wonderful tool. I have been a runner for years but in the past 2 years I have become more involved with the half marathon distance. A physical therapist friend of mine suggested I try foam rolling when I complained of tight hamstrings and quads after a run. So I did. During my first session with the roller, I wondered why my friend would suggest I do something that hurt so much? Was she out to get me? She actually did the best thing for me. Although it hurt like crazy during the actual rolling, afterwards my muscles were more relaxed and less sore. I am more faithful than ever to my foam roller now that I am battling Patello Femoral (aka Runner's Knee). It's made a HUGE difference in my recovery.

Foam Rollers on Amazon

Why should you use a foam roller?
  • Eliminates and prevents muscle knots
  • Increases flexibility
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Help prevent injury
  • Improve running or sport performance
  • Cheaper than seeing a massage therapist a few days a week!

Essentially, foam rolling is similar to stretching but hits the muscle deeper. If you use a foam roller or plan to start, don't forget about stretching. Think of foam rolling as another injury prevention tool in your exercise tool belt. The more tools you have the better off you will be in staying active for life!

When foam rolling, remember to:
  • Roll back and forth across the area that you are massaging for about 60 seconds. If you have a tight spot, stop and hold pressure on that area.
  • For injury prevention, try to roll 2-3 times a week or after every run. Daily is preferred!
  • Avoid bony areas. That may cause bruising.
  • Follow a session of foam rolling with stretching.

Watch to learn how:


Angela is a Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist from the ACSM who specializes in Cardiac Rehabilitation. She loves running, yoga and all things fitness. Her favorite training tool (besides a foam roller) is running with her twin toddlers in a double stroller. It's Mama's secret weapon for blowing the competition out of the water!

Twitter: @happyfitmama

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Thank you, Angela!  Excellent tips and demonstration.

I have only used a foam roller once, and certainly found it painful, just like Angela said of her first experience.  However, sometimes a little pain post-workout is worth it for muscle recovery and preventing soreness.  So go ahead and try it - get your own, or find them at your local gym.

Tell us: Do you use a foam roller?  Dare you to try! 

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