Foam rollers aren't new to the health and fitness industry, but that doesn't mean everyone is using them, or even knows how. After reading up on the benefits though, we bet you may find yourself carving out a few extra minutes each day to roll out your muscles.
Curious to know more? Here are a few of the benefits to foam rolling before and after your workouts.
1. Foam Rolling Helps With Warming Up & With Muscle Recovery
Don't limit your foam rolling to late at night when you're watching TV (though that is a great time to do it if it's all you have time for). Ideally, you want to use a foam roller before and after your workout for its numerous benefits, including warming up and loosening your muscles before a lift or cardio sesh.
Additionally, foam rolling right after you exercise can aid with recovery. This study even suggests foam rolling post-workout may delay the onset of muscle soreness (yes, please). Most gyms have foam rollers on hand, but they are fairly affordable as well if you want to pack your own in your gym bag.
2. Foam Rolling Can Alleviate Pain & Improve Mobility
If you've suffered a minor injury, you may find foam rolling helps keep your muscles from stiffening and even alleviates some pain while improving mobility. Use a foam roller a few times a day to help your muscles relax and soften—just remember that foam rolling isn't a replacement for physical therapy and you should always consult your doctor about serious sports injuries.
3. Foam Rolling Improves Circulation
Raise your hand if you sit at a desk all day (oof). If you're looking for a way to improve circulation in your legs and just need to get the blood flowing, consider taking small breaks throughout your workday for—you guessed it—foam rolling. In less than five minutes, you can increase circulation and just feel a whole lot better. While it's not the same as exercise (get up for a walk when you can!), it does work as a quick fix.