Many people have seen the long, cylindrical shaped foam thing in the gym; however, very few people know what to do with it. The foam roller is a therapeutic tool with benefits that extend to all portions of the population. In fact, a recent article in the Washington post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/22/AR2010032201447.html), highlights one of the most effective uses of the foam roller, self myofascial release.
Self myofascial release, or SMR, is an excellent method to increase flexibility. It addresses the fascia, or the thin sheath that runs along the outside of the muscular system and holds everything together. The fascia should run smoothly over the muscles, but when it is overused, it sticks instead. This results in tight spots that restricts mobility. SMR acts a lot like self massage to find these tight spots. You then apply pressure on the tight spot for 30-45 seconds using the foam roller or a tennis ball for smaller areas like the foot. You will feel the area release, and then you move on. It can be painful when you find the tender spots, but if you feel you are losing mobility, it is a worthwhile technique to implement in your training program. If you would like to learn more about SMR, contact me.
I recently read Michael Pollan’s book, “Food Rules,” which offers some simple tips for choosing what to eat. I highlighted my favorites in the list below.
• “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”
• “The whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead.” “
• “Eat less. Pay more.”
• “Avoid food products containing ingredients no ordinary human would keep in the
• “Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients.”
• “Eat only foods that will eventually rot.”
• “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”
• “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”