Foam rollers aren't new to the health and fitness industry, but that doesn't mean everyone is using them--or even knows how. Though after reading up on the benefits, 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). Using a foam roller before and after your workout has numerous benefits, including warming up and loosening your muscles before a lift or cardio workout. Additionally, foam rolling right after you exercise may help with recovery. This study even suggests foam rolling post-workout may delay the onset of muscle soreness.
TL;DR: Bring a foam roller with you to the gym.
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 and improves 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 injuries.
3. Foam Rolling Improves Circulation
Raise your hand if you sit at a desk all day. If you're looking for a way to improve circulation in your legs, consider taking small breaks throughout your workday to use a foam roller. In less than five minutes, you can increase circulation throughout your body. While it's not the same as exercise (get up for a walk when you can), it does work as a quick fix for improving blow flow.