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The Benefits of Foam Rolling

Relax After HIIT With Foam Rollers

A good massage may be just the ticket after a high intensity workout.

Not only will it relax your muscles and make you feel refreshed, it may prevent the unpleasant after-effects, such as the aches and pains that can last for days!

However, massages do not come cheap, and combined with a gym membership, most of us are reluctant to invest in one, however good it makes us feel.

Foam rolling is an affordable alternative.

It may be new to many of us, but it has actually been around since the 1980’s.

Many gyms are now routinely offering foam rolling to their members after a workout to speed up recovery.

You can also buy foam rollers easily these days, both online and from high street retailers. [1]

What Is Foam Rolling?

foam roller exercises

Foam rolling is a self-massage technique that is used to aid and release tightness and tension in muscles and the fascial, the area which surrounds individual and groups of muscles.

It is also known as a Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) massage technique.

It is important to know how to apply pressure correctly in order to benefit from foam rolling.

Foam Roller

Foam rolling is performed by rolling large foam tubes, called foam rollers, on affected muscle areas, which apply pressure to the muscles.

There are various sizes of foam rollers and the size used depends on the area being massaged. [2]

How To Use Foam Rollers

Foam roller exercises can be done to treat any muscle, although it is recommended you avoid certain more sensitive areas such as the neck and lower back, bones and joints. Problems in these areas should be addressed by a medical professional.

As far as the lower back is concerned, most problems are mechanical in nature, meaning there is a disruption in the way the muscles and bones of the back work together.

A foam roller under the lower back forces the spine into an unnatural, arched position, and this can aggravate the underlying mechanical problems further.

Foam Rolling Exercises

Foam rolling is most effective on the abdominals, arm, leg, glute and shoulder muscles, which are the muscles most used during HIIT.

The roller should be placed underneath the affected area and body weight should be applied to help move the roller along the muscle.

The body part should be moved slowly along the roller, at a rate of approximately 2 cm per second, with as much pressure applied as is comfortable.

Two to three sets of foam rolling lasting between 30 and 60 seconds—that’s per muscle, not total—seems to be effective at reducing pain and improving flexibility.

You can also roll before exercise if you want to boost range of motion or performance. [3]

Foam Rolling For The Back

Foam Rolling Benefits For Lower Back

Lie down flat on the floor facing the ceiling, with a foam roller underneath your upper back, your hips raised and your body weight on the roller.

Shift your weight to one side, and, using your legs, push yourself slowly along the roller as far as the waist, and back again. Shift weight to other side and repeat. Avoid lower back area. [4] [5]

Foam Rolling For Runners

Foam rolling can be a valuable part of a healthy runner's warm-up and cool-down routine, as it improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterward.

And because rolling breaks down muscle knots that limit range of motion, it prepares muscles for stretching. Rolling along the calf and thigh muscles will make all the difference to a runner's performance. [9]

Foam Rolling For Yoga

Foam rolling is also beneficial to yoga fans both before and after a session.

Best Foam Roller- The beLONG Foam Roller

Made of over 50% recycled EVA foam, the Manduka beLONG body roller is an environmentally friendly alternative to the classic foam roller.

It consists of high density foam, giving ultimate support and ensures safe stretching of muscles and tendons.

It is recommended for all kinds of fitness enthusiasts including runners, HIIT and Yoga enthusiasts. [10]

Foam Rolling Benefits

1. Faster Recovery From Workout After-Effects

Intense exercise and repetitive movements, such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and running, can cause tiny tears in muscle fibres, which leads to an inflammatory response by the immune system as the body starts to repair the damaged fibres. These tears are the main cause of post-workout pain.

Foam Rolling

A post-workout massage, such as foam rolling, has been shown to reduce muscle tension by releasing trigger points and stretching out muscles, so improving flexibility.

It also improves the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscles and other tissues caused.

Foam rolling will also break down the toxic lactic acid build-up in the muscles caused by exercise, which is another contributor to fatigue and soreness.

2. Enhances Performance

A faster recovery from the aches and pain associated with exercise will motivate you to exercise more regularly and enhance your performance.

3. Improves Sleep Quality

It has also been shown to improve the quality of your sleep, making you feel more rested and energetic - another contributing factor to enhanced performance during exercise. [3]

4. Increases Knee Joint Movement

A study, led by a team from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, tested the effects of foam rolling on knee joint range of motion and found an overall increase after just 10 minutes of knee rolling. [6]

5. Reduces Cellulite

Another one of the lesser known benefits of foam rolling is that it can help reduce of cellulite. The pressure exerted by the foam roller will helps break down fat fibers under the skin, which is what causes the orange-peel cellulite appearance. [7]

6. Reduces Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that foam rolling can reduce arterial stiffness. Increased arterial stiffness is considered cardiovascular disease, as the heart must work harder by increasing blood pressure.

By decreasing arterial stiffness, foam rolling will increase the blood flow and circulation, while lowering your overall blood pressure.

Foam rolling has also been shown to improve vascular endothelial function, which is important in maintaining vascular health and may prevent cardiovascular disease, especially in aging adults. [8]

Introducing foam rolling into your post workout recovery plan can help to increase your performance for next time and relieve muscle tension throughout your body and is a great way to provide pain relief at home.

Would you like to find out more?

Especially for those who are not members of the clinic, there are 3 ways you can respond. . .

Which Option Would Most Be Suited For You? ​

    1. I have other health challenges, I’m still uncertain if you can help me and I would like more information about your complete Wellness Program.
    2. I would like to book for your Free 20 Minute consultation online to ask further questions on how you can help me . . . or I will phone you on 07 54745354
    3. I am pro-active about my health. I want to book now and I realize the consultation is normally valued at $300.00 and if I act now I will receive the consultation for only $147!

Until next time,

Yours in Health

From the Team at Unique Health and Wellness

References:

[1] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924613

[2] journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2014&issue=01000&article=00019&type=abstract

[3] time.com/4653956/foam-roller-workout-recovery/

[4] foamroll.net/foam-roller-exercises/how-to-use-foam-roller-for-lower-back-pain/

[5] content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-back-and-musculoskeletal-rehabilitation/bmr572

[6] journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2013&issue=03000&article=00034&type=abstract knee joint

[7] academic.oup.com/asj/article-lookup/doi/10.1016/S1090-820X(98)70037-8 cellulite

[8] clinsci.org/content/120/9/357 arteries

[9] .runnersworld.com/foam-roller/how-to-use-a-foam-roller/slide/

[10] yogamatters.com/manduka-belong-recycled-foam-body-roller.html?gclid=CKiag8qSr9MCFUg8GwodtWkFfw

Disclaimer: The information provided does not take into account individual needs of any particular person. When providing this information it is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research. The information provided should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

The Importance Of Being Flexible

Stretch Your Way To A Flexible, Healthier Body

One of the most neglected aspects of exercise, and perhaps one of the most important, is stretching.

Active stretching generally involves moving a limb through its full range of motion to the end ranges and repeating several times, in order to reduce the muscle tension that results from contraction during exercise.

benefits Of Flexibility

The importance of stretching is often underestimated. Most of us are keen to rush off after a workout and get on with our busy lives, but stretching is an essential part of any workout routine, whether it’s just plain cardio, or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or resistance training.

Stretching benefits are numerous, not just the short-term relief of soothing tired and sore muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments, but also for the long-term benefit of increasing flexibility. [1] [2]

The Benefits Of Stretching

Stretching exercises are not only beneficial after intense workouts such as cardio, HIIT and resistance training, but can also become everyday stretches to increase flexibility. Exercises to improve flexibility can benefit people of all ages and fitness levels.

Benefits of Stretching

With consistent post -workout stretching, the body becomes more flexible. It will become easier to bend, stand, squat and do a host of other flexibility related exercises.

It has been seen that leg stretches done after a long run increases muscular power and endurance especially for runners.

1] Reduces Soreness and Tension in Muscles, Improving Flexibility.

  • During a workout, muscles are constantly contracting. Stretching them out helps muscles return to their comfortable, relaxed state, improving their flexibility and ability to move through their full range of motion. Stretching helps muscles work optimally.
  • Stretching exercises help the body cool down and the heart rate return to normal, helping the muscles to start repairing themselves.
  • Lactic acid build-up in the muscles during intense exercise, along with the micro-tears in the muscles, adds to soreness and fatigue. Stretching exercises breaks down this lactic acid and helps the muscles start repairing themselves.

2] Improves Flexibility of Joints

To improve range of motion and overall flexibility of the body, the muscles, tendons and other connective tissue around joints must also be stretched.

Flexibility stretches for the joints are just as important as they are for muscles.

3] Relaxes The Mind And Reduces Stress

Stretching can have psychological benefits too. It is a time to relax the mind, concentrate on breathing and release tension in the body.

During exercise, the brain releases endorphins, natural and healthy feel-good chemicals, which are flowing through the body as you stretch and improve blood-flow. A good post-workout stretch will energize you and prepare you to meet any challenge. [3]

The Benefits of Flexibility

Benefits Of Stretching

1] Helps Prevent Illness and Injury

Keeping your body supple and flexible increases blood flow and improves overall circulation, which can help protect the body from illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.

It also makes the body quick to respond to commands from the brain regarding the environment, and so avoid danger and injury, both in and out of the gym.

2] Improves Athletic Performance

Along with strength and endurance, flexibility, ranks as an important component of health-related physical fitness.

Flexible joints enable the muscles to work to their full potential, whilst utilizing less energy. This will enhance performance in all sports and all types of exercise.

3] Helps in Everyday Tasks

From carrying a loaded laundry basket to dusting the ceilings and carrying the baby, being flexible helps you perform practically any activity involved in day to day life.

4] Helps Improve Posture

You’ve seen the professional cyclists with the hunched shoulders. Very often, our workout routines neglect posture altogether.

Poor flexibility can put strain on all the muscles and joints of the body. Strong, flexible muscles and joints will support bones in a balanced way, so preventing excessive strain in any one area. [4] [5]

Stretching will also make us more conscious of our posture, and, although sometimes all we want to do is slouch, it may get us into the habit of sitting up straight.

Stretches To Improve Flexibility

Benefits Of Stretching Glutes

There is endless advice available on how to improve flexibility by stretching, both in gyms and on-line.

Here are just a few exercises to help that body loosen up!

1] Hip flexors, Quads and Hamstrings

Lunge right leg forward, so right knee is bent 90 degrees in front of you, right foot is flat on floor directly under knee, with left knee on the floor and left leg bent underneath you. Place both hands on top of right knee and press back hip forward, leaning into stretch, keeping torso upright. Hold for 30 seconds; release. Do three reps; switch legs and repeat.

2] Abdominals, Back and Oblique Muscles

Sit on floor with an upright posture and legs extended in front of you. Rotate ribcage to right and lift ribcage off hips to rotate further to right, growing taller. Twist round as far as possible. Return to centre; repeat to left to complete one rep. Do 10 reps, holding final twists for 30 seconds each.

3] Back, Neck, Glutes, Calves and Hamstrings

This ‘Fold Over’ stretch is a good all round stretch. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms by sides. Bend forward from hips while exhaling, lowering head toward floor, keeping head, neck and shoulders relaxed. Hug backs of legs for between one and two minutes. Bend knees and roll up slowly to release. [6]

So if you think your intense workout program is enough, think again. Without releasing the tension and making your body supple and flexible, the benefits of your exercise will be short-lived.

But despite all the benefits, you must not to overdo your stretching. Overstretching can cause strains, sprains, and dislocations. Listen to your body, move slowly, and breathe. A quick overextended stretch is more likely to result in injury. A gentle longer stretch after your workout will enhance your flexibility in a healthy gradual way.

Would you like to find out more?

Especially for those who are not members of the clinic, there are 3 ways you can respond. . .

  • I have other health challenges, I’m still uncertain if you can help me and I would like more information about your complete Wellness Program.
  • I would like to book for your Free 20 Minute consultation online to ask further questions on how you can help me . . . or I will phone you on 07 5474 5354

  • I am pro-active about my health. I want to book now and I realize the consultation is normally valued at $300.00 and if I act now I will receive the consultation for only $147!

Until next time,

Yours in Health

From the Team at Unique Health and Wellness

Disclaimer: The information provided does not take into account individual needs of any particular person. When providing this information it is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research. The information provided should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

References:

[1] britannica.com/topic/exercise-physical-fitness

[2] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273886/

[3] disc-me.com/benefits-of-stretching-after-workouts/

[4] mindbodygreen.com/0-27055/5-unexpected-health-benefits-of-being-flexible.html

[5] health.harvard.edu/staying -healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

[6] health.com/health/gallery/0,,20706961,00.html

How to Deal with Stress That May Cause Weight Gain

· Weight Loss · No Comments

“How to Deal with Stress,
Especially Depression or Anxiety That May Be
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How To Address Each Problem NOW!

If you would like to finally understand the reasons why stress – especially anxiety and depression – can cause weight gain, and the link between stress and belly fat, then you have come to the right place. Continue reading

“Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise” – By A Health Expert

· Weight Loss · 3 Comments

“How To Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise”

Do you want to know how to to start losing weight fast without exercise, but you’re unsure of where to begin to look for answers?

This blog is especially for you if you find it difficult to do exercise because of joint or any other health challenge.

However for those who can exercise reading this blog will help identify what other measures you can place into your daily routine to effectively help you to lose those unwanted fat cells.

Continue reading