Niagara Gazette

Features

November 4, 2012

FIT FOR LIFE: $20 can get you a lifetime of feeling better

Niagara Gazette — These days, $20 doesn’t get you much. That’s less than 5 gallons of gas or four ridiculously expensive triple grand lattes. Or you can take the following advice and spend that Andrew Jackson on a piece of equipment that goes a long way toward a lifetime of feeling better.

I am talking about buying a foam roller that will provide “Self Myofascial Release” or SMR. This is a poor man’s version of going to a specialist who does ART (Active Release Therapy). I understand not everyone has the time or finances to get weekly adjustments/sessions so for everyday bumps/bruises/tightness. Luckily, SMR will be sufficient in treating and/or preventing most issues.

Before I continue, a word of caution. Those with circulatory problems and chronic pain diseases (e.g. fibromyalgia) should not use foam rollers.

Basically, SMR is the act of applying pressure to a ‘sore/tight/lumpy muscle in an attempt to cause the affected area to ‘release” thus restoring muscle tissue quality. You will break up any adhesions and scar tissue, helping to alleviate tight muscles andkeep them from getting lumpier than my mom’s mashed potatoes.

Releasing tension and restoring muscle tissue quality will also help restore or correct postural imbalances caused by tight muscles. Foam rolling doesn’t yield marked improvements overnight; you’ll need to be diligent and stick with it . You can expect some noticeable benefits within 4-6 “sessions”.

Wondering how can you convert your $20 into this wonderful investment? Just go to Target, Wal-Mart or Stuart Sports and grab a foam roller, golf ball and a lacrosse ball.

A 2 to 3 foot foam roller will be plenty. If you really want to cut corners, buy a 3-foot foam roller and cut it in half — split the cost with your friend or gym partner.

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