As my half marathon approaches, I’m decreasing the intensity and length of my runs, and taking it easy with strength workouts as well. The main focus now is on rest and myofascial release massage (foam rolling).
The roller helps limit soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility. It also helps with mobility. Even though most people think of rolling before some workouts and after every workout, it’s also beneficial to roll on a rest day, which is what I’m doing. All this helps in the enjoyment of your training process and your recovery- not to mention injury prevention.
The denser your roller is, the more of an intense stretch/massage you’ll get. For daily use, I’d recommend a regular roller with a soft, even surface (like the blue one I’m using in the photos in this post). A tennis ball also makes a good alternative for a harder, more intense roll.
Clients often ask me, What should I roll? Gently and slowly glide back and forth on different spots on your body- calves, quads, upper back, glutes, etc, focusing on areas where you feel tightness.
If you have a specific painful spot, it is most likely due to imbalances in other areas of your body. Rolling directly on that spot won’t do you any good. You should actually foam roll the peripheral areas. For example if your shoulders are feeling tight, roll your chest. If your knees are achy, roll your hips and calves.
For a video on how to use a foam roller properly, check out Sarah Fit’s blog.
How often do you roll?
None of these are secrets! You have probably heard them before. But are you actually doing them? Here’s how I keep myself in check:
1) Schedule it. I know if I write down my workout, I will get it done. This also goes for anything else I need/want to get done- I write it in my agenda otherwise I forget, forget, forget. My mom brain has gotten worse as Frankie has gotten older.
2) Avoid sitting for too long. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been proven to be hazardous to our healths. Remember this when watching Christmas movies with your family- get up and stretch occasionally.
3) Drink up! Water that is, not sugary stuff. Many people track their food intake. I say, track your water intake. I have an oversized water bottle that I refill several times a day. I drink at least 1 gallon of water a day.
4) A little bit is better than nothing when it comes to exercise. This is so true now that I’m a mom, especially one who is at home. My “me” time is pretty much non-existent, so I rely on naps to get stuff done around the house or for my R+F biz. Sometimes I do wall sits or push-ups or jump squats while playing with Frankie. Get creative!
5) Indulge a few times, but not the whole Season! We only live once, so go to the Christmas parties but just be smart. If you really want to try the desserts, snack on the lower calorie appetizers and limit your alcoholic drinking. Tonight I’ll be going to a Cookie Exchange Party and trust me when I say I will be enjoying a few but I also made sure to have a light dinner instead of my usual filling one.
6) Don’t make a New Year’s resolution to stay in shape- stay in shape ALL YEAR LONG! If you simply can’t get yourself to do all of the above, then it’s time to consider investing in yourself. Find a fitness coach to help you stay motivated and accountable. Find a friend who has similar goals and try to workout together if you can.
Thank you following my blog this year! I wish each and every one of you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! May 2017 be full of blessings!