By Teresa Newton-Moineau
Have you ever seen those long black or white cylinders in the gym and weren't sure what they were? They are called Foam Rollers and should be an integral part of your exercise routine.
Foam rollers are important for recovery and injury prevention. They are most known and used by athletes but should be used by anyone who works out. Foam rollers create a Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), which relaxes contracted muscles and fascia (a layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles of the body) through the force of the body against the foam roller. It is the next best thing to having a massage!
The benefits from using a foam roller include:
~Increased blood flow through the body
~Increase in circulation of blood and lymph, which promote healing
~Increased range of motion
~Known to help cellulite
There are various kinds of rollers, ranging from soft to hard. You want to start off with one that is appropriate for your body so you will stick with it. If you don't feel anything, it is too soft; if you feel beaten up and bruised, it is too hard. The sensation can be strong while you are on the roller, but you should feel good after using it. You can roll almost every place on your body, with the exception of your stomach/chest area & on any organs. All of your muscles are fair game. However, if you have protruding varicose veins, please roll around them, not on them. Finally it is important to stay hydrated, not just for health, but because foam rolling will dehydrate you. It is a workout in and of itself!
If you want to see what the foam roller is all about, come try a class! I teach Stretch, Roll & Sing every Saturday at 10:30am at Lumina Mind Body Studios in Wayland.
For over 35 years, Teresa Newton-Moineau has been teaching group exercise in the Metro-West area of Boston. With her understanding and passion for fitness, Teresa became a certified personal trainer in 1990, working with individuals for personal fitness success, as well as becoming a children's fitness specialist and conditioning coach for the local High School football team.
In 1996 Teresa became the Group Exercise Coordinator for the Longfellow Club in Wayland, MA. Teresa's legendary classes are held daily at the Longfellow Club and encompass Keizer Indoor Cycling, Step Aerobics, Muscle Conditioning, Pilates and Children's Fitness classes. Teresa is also certified in Nutrition, and is the creator of her "Quick Fix" and "Stretch, Roll and Sing" classes, held exclusively at the Longfellow Club.