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Rest, roll and recover

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of rest and recovery in maintaining optimal body health. We often push ourselves to the limits, engaging in rigorous physical activities

without allowing our bodies the necessary time to recuperate. This lack of proper rest can lead to fatigue, injuries and a decline in overall performance. However, by incorporating rest, recovery and the use of a foam roller into our fitness routines, we can enhance our wellbeing and achieve our fitness goals more effectively.

Rest is an essential component of maintaining a healthy body. When we rest, our bodies can repair and recharge. During sleep, our muscles undergo a process of regeneration, allowing them to recover from the stresses of daily life. Additionally, rest plays a crucial role in mental wellbeing, as it allows our minds to unwind and rejuvenate. Without sufficient rest, our bodies become more susceptible to injury, illness and mental fatigue.

Recovery, on the other hand, involves actively aiding our bodies in the healing process. While rest is a passive form of recovery, active recovery techniques can further enhance our body’s ability to bounce back. One such technique is foam rolling.

What is foam rolling and how can it benefit our body health?

A foam roller is a cylindrical tool made of foam or a dense foam-like material. By using our body weight and rolling the targeted areas of our body over the foam roller, we can apply pressure to the muscles and fascia, which are the connective tissues surrounding our muscles. This pressure helps to release muscular tension, improve blood circulation and increase flexibility.

Foam rolling offers numerous benefits to our bodies. First, it aids in the prevention and treatment of muscle soreness and tightness. After a strenuous workout or physical activity, our muscles may become tight and knotted. Foam rolling can help break up these knots, promoting faster recovery and reducing post-exercise discomfort. Moreover, foam rolling can enhance our athletic performance. By regularly incorporating foam rolling into our fitness routines, we can improve our range of motion, allowing us to move more freely and efficiently. This increased flexibility can translate into improved athletic performance, reduced risk of injury and enhanced overall body function. In addition to its physical benefits, foam rolling also promotes mental wellbeing. The act of rolling over the foam roller can have a relaxing and soothing effect on our bodies, helping to alleviate stress and tension. It can serve as a form of self-care, allowing us to connect with our bodies and prioritise our wellbeing.

When incorporating foam rolling into our routines, it is important to remember a few key principles.

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your foam rolling sessions.
  • Focus on the areas that feel particularly tight or tense but be careful not to apply excessive pressure or roll over bony areas.
  • Listen to your body and adjust the intensity and frequency of foam rolling based on your individual needs and comfort level.

Rest and recovery are essential for maintaining optimal body health. By prioritising rest, actively nurturing recovery and incorporating foam rolling into our fitness routines, we can enhance our overall wellbeing, prevent injuries and achieve our fitness goals more effectively. By incorporating techniques like foam rolling into our routines, we can enhance our body’s ability to repair and rejuvenate. Foam rolling offers a multitude of benefits, including reduced muscle soreness, improved flexibility and enhanced athletic performance.

Foam roller recovery movements

Chest opener

Lie with the roller placed along your spine, knees bent and arms out wide. Gently roll either side of the spine. Use arms to help with rotation.

Middle back roll

Place roller below shoulder blades and roll down back as far as possible. Knees are bent and feet flat upon floor.

Rolling mermaid twist

Place one knee in scissor with shin parallel upon the top of mat. Hold the roller in hands and push forward upon the roller. Place pressure upon arm length and it is a nourishing hip opener.

Hamstrings to glutes

In a seated position, place roller under glute and roll down back of legs from glutes to behind knees.

Shoulder rotation

Lie upon roller. Place upon shoulder blades and twist or rotate touching hands on ground.

Quads

In a plank position place roller on quads or thighs and roll down leg to knee and back to hip. Use hands to balance. It is a great way to improve you arm strength to push up also.

Lat roll-out stretch

In a kneeling position with wide knees, place roller under hands in a child’s pose position and push the roller away from the body and return. This also ignites the core.

Neck rotation

Lie with your knees up and hands holding the end of roller on both sides then place neck upon roller. Gently rotate neck side to side. Pause on each side.

Feet roll

Stand on roller with bare feet or “socks and roll from heel to toes. Hold onto a wall if required.

So let’s prioritise rest, recovery and the use of foam rollers to support our bodies in their journey towards improved health and wellbeing. Remember, taking care of our bodies is not a luxury but a necessity and, by doing so, we can lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Article featured in WellBeing 208

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton is health and fitness educator and personal trainer with 23 years’ experience. She is a published author of Fit Mama and writer for Kid Spot, and shares her women’s wellness and body alignment expertise. Belinda is a mother of two teens, speaker and children’s health advocate. Connect with her at blivewear.com or Instagram @Belinda.n.x.

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