Everyone surely knows by now all of the benefits that a good exercise routine has on your overall health. But sometimes, people who experience pain when exercising quit altogether because the pain just isn’t worth it.
The good news is that there are ways to work around any pain you feel so you can still get the benefits that exercise provides. One of the easiest — and cheapest — ways you can battle through your pain is to use a foam roller during your workouts. Here’s a quick guide to exercising with a foam roller so you never have to miss out on your exercises just because of a little pain.
What are Foam Rollers?
Foam rollers have become pretty popular in the last few years — you can find them in most gyms — and they are basically long, tubular pieces of hard foam that you can use to relieve pain while you workout. You can think of them like those foam “noodles” you see kids playing with at pools.
You use the foam rollers by setting them on the floor and then rolling over them with the parts of your body that hurt. It’s like giving yourself a massage where you work the points of pain to relieve them and prevent further discomfort.
There are a few things to consider when you use a foam roller so you get the most out of your time on it.
What Not to Do
If you want to use a foam roller, you don’t lay on it and start moving back and forth. There is a certain technique to using a roller.
First, you don’t use the foam roller directly on the point where your pain is. Instead, you should use the roller to massage the areas around the pain, just as a professional masseuse helps relieve the tension in your muscles and connective tissues that’s causing the pain in the first place.
Secondly, don’t move too fast when you use a roller. Moving too fast will do nothing for the pain. When you roll, roll slowly and deliberately, making sure you can feel the roller work the areas that hurt. Going slowly will help the muscles adapt to the pressure, giving you more relief than if you roll quickly.
Finally, don’t spend too much time on one area. Just a quick 30 seconds or so on the pain is enough to help. Rolling too much time in one spot can cause further problems.
Pay Attention to Your Body
If you have a constant pain that the foam roller doesn’t help with, you may have a more serious injury than you thought. Always pay attention to the signals your body gives you and if you feel like something’s wrong, consult a doctor. It’s more dangerous to push yourself through a bad injury than to just let it alone.
Foam rollers are a great relief for people who experience a little pain when they workout.