I am so excited to bring you this week’s guest post from one of my bootcamp clients. Amanda jumped on board for both July and August bootcamps. I’ve loved following her on her journey and she even has gotten her daughter in on the mix. She learned quickly how important stretching and recovery is to a full fitness routine. Take it away Amanda!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been skeptical about using a foam roller?
I will admit, as a novice athlete, I am skeptical of almost anything that seems too good to be true when it comes to losing weight and getting fit. I am skeptical because I know the key is lifestyle modification: diet and exercise. What I am also skeptical of: “athletic accessories” – stick on patches, magic shakes, and plastic wraps to name a few. Until recently, I was also very skeptical of foam rollers. Truth be told, I received one last year before I participated in the Chicago Rock’n’Roll 1/2 marathon (which I do not recommend) and – very sadly I might add – my six-year old had used it more than I had; which was never.
Prior to joining Sarah’s bootcamp I had been a thirty-minute-three-day-a-week runner for about two years. Even prior to that, I was only ever primarily interested in cardio (remember when I said novice athlete). And even prior to that, while training for my first half marathon, The Indy Mini (which I do recommend) I had done a limited amount of personal training. Needless to say, novice may even be a strong word for the degree of my athleticism; but I think I’ve made my point.
Do yourself a favor, if you find you’re eating Ibuprofen like tictacs and you are still aching after a workout, go get a foam roller. I started the 60 day plan with Sarah one week early. My legs had me in misery since day three. I stretch before and after and I do yoga twice a week – neither seemed to be helping. I was almost ready to give up. And then I came across an article that explained how lactate builds in your musclesand that applying light-moderate pressure after a work out can release the lactate and help alleviate the discomfort (you can read more about various foam rolling techniques in this article).
(Ps. This lactate also helps with continued energy production, similar to the EPOC concept Sarah has talked about in previous blog posts.)
Enter year old foam roller that my six year old has used more than I have.
Hallelujah!! I rolled each leg for 15-20 seconds I feel like I could dance a jig – but my Intro to Jazz professor will tell you I cannot dance and we don’t need to open old wounds. So, let’s just say I feel a WHOLE lot better. No more aches, no more pains, no more Ibuprofen.
I am now happy to admit I am no longer a foam roller skeptic but a foam roller advocate!!
You know your body. You know when something just isn’t right. LISTEN TO IT. As this is the first exercise plan that has me using my entire body and not just focusing on cardio, I wasn’t listening. (Insert trainer Sarah here, this makes me sooo happy!!! total body cardio and strength is the name of the game!!). For those first two weeks. I paid the price. Finding a reasonable solution that doesn’t involve giving up is always going to be better. Getting healthy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard. And yes, at times it’s going to suck. But life style modification is worth it when the outcome is security, increased self-esteem, and a whole lot of that “can do” attitude that comes as such a cliche!
A quick Google shopping or Amazon search will give you several different foam roller options. The price range variess from under $10 to over $30. Mine’s not fancy and I believe it was around the $20 mark. Don’t want to buy one just yet (because you’re still a skeptic?! Try these foam roller alternatives that you may have lying around the house: rolling pin, tennis ball, frozen water bottle, or PVC pipe.
(Disclaimer:: Foam rollers are the end-all be-all cure for your post-workout discomfort but it can be a great place to start. As always, if you feel your body is trying to tell you more than you can understand, please consult your physician or primary care provider to ensure you haven’t damaged your body unintentionally.)