Are you into foam rolling yet?
I am a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog goop. Mainly for the food tips and recipes. But the other night when I was surfing goop.com I happened across a video on foam rolling by Lauren Roxburg.
I have a foam roller that has been collecting dust in the corner of a room.
I immediately dusted it off and did Lauren’s 5-minute foam roll to sleep routine. Well what an eye opener! I had the best sleep that night and I woke up feeling free and easy around my shoulders and hips, which is unusual for me these days.
Actually, I have just spent a small fortune on seeing a chiropractor and osteopath to free up my very tight, right shoulder. Those treatments have helped a lot. In fact my right shoulder was rotated and my chest area very constricted from hunching over the computer. Along with the exercises I have been advised to do, my upper back and right shoulder are much improved. However, I am totally blown away by the results of doing this foam rolling routine every night. My lower back especially feels freer. Dare I say, I feel like a teenager again!
I am sure you have heard that being sedentary (that is sitting uninterrupted for long intervals) increases the risk of dying from all causes, even for those who exercise regularly. Sitting is the new smoking!!
The truth is we need to be moving all day, not just once a day when we go for that walk or to the gym. You may not be able to foam roll every 30 minutes but you could step away from your desk, stretch, do some lunges and squats. As that is apparently what our bodies are wanting us to do.
So what is it about this foam rolling gig? The only way I had previously used it was to stretch out my upper back and roll my thighs after a work out. Not very inspiring so not surprising, I rarely ever did it! Until I met Lauren Roxberg and her 5-minute foam rolling sequence. I am now also doing her taller sequence which is about 9 minutes.
The reason foam rolling is said to be so effective is that it works on our fascia, the body’s protective layer of connective tissue that wraps every muscle. Being sedentary, slouching at a computer, and stressing out, can cause fascia to bunch and knot, impeding movement and creating pain and stiffness.
Foam rolling manipulates the fascia, helping to relieve tension (Havard Medical School held the first international Fascia Research Congress in 2007, helping to boost awareness of fascia’s important role in the body. The Congress will met for the fifth time in November 2018 in Berlin).
Apparently it is also good to do after a long flight. I need to get one of Lauren’s travel-size rollers that will fit into my suitcase.
Check out Lauren’s 5-minute foam roll to sleep and How to roll away bloat routines below.
Note, if you have been doing a sitting down job for a long time, or are very tight, it is worth being assessed by a health practitioner that can help with aligning your body and freeing blockages, as doing the foam roller without this, may not be as effective.
You should be feeling pretty good after these routines.
P.S. I didn’t say they were easy! But after doing it for a week the stiffness in your shoulders and hips will improve and you will enjoy them I promise.