3 Reasons Why Everyone Should Foam Roll

by Aktive Learning on January 18, 2016

By Jonah Tan (guest contributor)

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This is what a foam roller looks like

Foam rolling has recently become very popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Its benefits range from alleviating post-workout muscle aches (also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), to curing pains caused by myofascial tension. Here arethree reasons why we think everyone should foam roll:

1. Foam Rolling can increase your mobility and range of motion

For those of us with stiff muscles and aching joints, studies have found that foam rolling can help us increase mobility. When our muscles go over the foam roller, blood circulation to our muscles is increased, and our fascia, the tissue that covers and holds our muscles in place, is loosened up.

This decreases the tension in our muscles, enabling them to stretch and contract in a larger range of motion. Over time, our muscles and fascia become more malleable, enabling us to absorb shock better. This can help improve problems like Tendinitis and joint pain by relieving the stress off our tendons when our muscles absorb impact more effectively.

If stiff muscles and aching joints are preventing you from exercising regularly, foam rolling might just be the way to loosen those muscles up and get you up and running again!

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Fascia is the tissue that stretches over our muscles

2. Foam Rolling can release uneven tension in our bodies

If you’ve ever experienced persistent neck pain from prolonged sitting and computer use, then you’ll know how uncomfortable uneven tension can be. Many cases of neck tension occurs when our neck muscles are overly strained in a certain direction, creating uneven tension along our neck and causing us pain.

This pain can even manifest in what is known as tension headaches, when our neck muscles and fascia pull into our head area. While it is useful to go to a professional masseur to help solve these problems, foam rolling can be a cheap and convenient way of getting rid of these problems.

Tension does not just occur at the neck. Prolonged sitting can also result in lower back pain and tight hip flexors which can hinder us in our daily lives. Getting a foam roller can be a small investment to get rid of these problems. A good foam roller acts like a massage, evening out the tension in the affected areas.

3. Foam Rolling can help improve our daily health and prevent coronary diseases

Having healthy arteries is very important to our health. A healthy artery is able to dilate and contract, regulating the flow of blood from our heart to the rest of our body. However, as we grow older, our arteries stiffen up and become less elastic, which might cause our blood pressure to increase.

Even though arterial stiffness is inevitable, it has been found that among other things like having a healthy diet, yoga and other stretching exercises are able to reduce arterial stiffness. Scientists have recently discovered the effects of using foam rollers on arterial health. One particular study is cited here: Acute effects of self-myofascial release using a foam roller on arterial function. In this study, it was found that using a foam roller can improve our arterial health.

Foam Rolling is not just a fad. There is actually real scientific research behind the benefits of foam rolling. Much like a massage, foam rolling can feel really good, while keeping us healthy. Getting a foam roller is just a small investment that can make us feel good and keep us healthy.

By Jonah Tan, Co-Founder of MyoTrigger Foam Rollers. Via HealthMatters.sg, a Singapore Health and Fitness blog that aims to help you lose weight, keep fit, and live healthy. Click here to get our free guide “Eat Your Way to Health – Secrets of a Healthy Diet”.

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