The Benefits of a Foam Roller*
When you begin heading to the gym regularly and pushing yourself to engage in physical activity like you haven’t before, you open the door to a lot more soreness than you may originally expect. Working out is great for supporting your weight loss goals, but that doesn’t mean that you are always going to feel like sunshine and rainbows when you leave the gym. The best workouts are going to leave you feeling sore and tired, and the smartest thing to do when you feel that way is to take a few extra steps to help your body recover fast so that you can get back out there and do it again.
The foam roller is a great invention that is designed to help support sore muscles, especially in the back, after a workout. When you exercise, you cause your body to release lactic acid, and this chemical can get into your muscles and cause soreness. This is why you will often feel a burning sensation after you leave the gym, especially if you have spent some time lifting weights or stretching your body in new ways. This lactic acid is going to sit in your muscles until it is pushed out, and so while it may be tempting to immediately lay on the couch and not move, the more effective thing to do is to stretch everything out all over again before calling it a night.
The foam roller is a great tool to help with this. The roller helps to massage your muscles to alleviate tension and help you to get a great stretch following a workout.
To get started with a foam roller:
- Place the foam roller on the floor, ideally on a yoga mat or similar flat surface
- Lay on the roller with your back flat, with the roller positioned just beneath your hips.
- Position your feet flat on the mat, with your hands at your side.
- Slowly guide your body up and down the mat so that the roller massages your back muscles.
If you have a history of back pain, or are feeling back pain that is not associated with muscle fatigue, then it is recommended that you consult with a doctor prior to trying this stretching technique. You may also want to ask a personal trainer at your gym to show you exactly how to use a foam roller before trying it at home.
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*Weight loss surgery results vary between individuals depending on the initial weight, medical conditions and adherence to prescribed treatments. Speak to Dr. Bass about the results you can expect.