Foam rolling is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s a form of self-myofascial release that uses a foam roller to apply pressure to muscles and fascia (connective tissue) in order to relieve pain, increase flexibility, reduce recovery time after workouts and aid in recovery from injuries. If you’re not yet using the foam roller at home or in the gym, it’s time for you to get on board!
As we age our connective tissue becomes dehydrated. You can think of it like a sponge, our connective tissue becomes like a dried-up sponge over time. Lovely, I know.
How can we help ourselves feel better overall and help our cells on an anatomy level?
This is where the foam roller comes in!
If you’re an older adult, then your muscles are already going to be more prone to soreness than their younger counterparts. But why does muscle soreness happen?
Soreness is a sign of muscle breakdown and the result of lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism—the kind that happens when you need sudden bursts of energy like sprinting or lifting weights. When this happens enough times without rest, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and causes pain and stiffness.
The foam roller allows you to massage out some of that lactic acid buildup as well as other waste products such as blood cells (which can also cause discomfort) so they don’t get trapped inside your tissues—and thus reduce pain and stiffness that comes with it!
When you foam roll, you release the tissue and allow hydration to enter the cells which translates to the release of tightness and knots. Think of it as your cells and connective tissue drinking a big glass of water. This is why using the foam roller feels so good. Regardless of how much liquid you have had in a day—if your tissue isn’t hydrated then you are going to feel more knots and tightness in the body. This is what compresses the nerves and creates pain in the body.
There are various ways to use the foam roller to re-hydrate cells in the body. Specifically we can target areas of the body which tend to feel tight and lead to imbalances, including:
- Upper Back
- Cervival Spine (neck)
Foam rolling doesn’t have to be painful to see results. However, keeping up with a gentle foam rolling routine can release and re-hydrate your connective tissue and cells. Think of it as anti-aging for your cells and connective tissues. The result equals feeling taller, pain-free, more centered and relaxed.
Interested in seeing for yourself how to use the foam roller to release and re-hydrate your cells? Please click here to try a short foam roller video on my public YouTube page.
If you enjoy the foam roller, I teach a full-length Pilates class using the foam roller and small Pilates ball live each Monday (which, in my opinion, is the best way to start your week).
To learn more and register please visit www.my-pilates.ca
Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping adults to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day.
Sign up for the newsletter which is jam packed full of fitness tips and advice for seniors, bonus freebies and subscriber exclusives by clicking here.