FFF Diva Challenge: Operation Boot Camp "Biggest Loser" Competition
DAY 6: Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
At Operation Boot Camp we did a running interval workout. SOOOOOOOOOOOO much running. Again the cold air was not so great to my lungs. However instead of listening to my body I ran another 2 miles outside around the lake at Hellyer Park. The good thing was after the run I made time to stretch my body and foam roll my calves.
For those who run, do other cardio, or play a sport PLEASE FOAM ROLL!
"Why Foam Rollers May Still Rock"
If foam rollers are ineffective why did they become such popular massage tools? I think the answer is uncomfortable. The foam roller’s chief claim to fame may be pain, not the masochistic kind, but a kinder gentler pain. It is probably this “good-pain” that rollers produce that’s made them such a hit. Every time you roll on one it causes mild discomfort. The pain coupled with all the positive press about rollers conveys the illusion that something beneficial is happening.
Pain releases a flood of natural chemicals collectively called endorphin cocktails, which includes serotonin, adrenaline, anandamide, dopamine, endorphins, and more into your bloodstream. Your body mixes this cocktail to mask the pain. The endorphin mix produces a slow release from pain which feels like pleasure. The fact that you feel enormous relief getting off the foam further convinces you that the roller did more good than it has. Pain is very persuasive.
Another reason for the rollers’ popularity is that they’re easy for professional health care providers to recommend. Foam rollers are inexpensive, look like fun, and have a good reputation. They’re unlikely to cause harm to those athletes who roll on them. They’re also effectively marketed by a talented sales force. And finally, rollers don’t offer much competition. No health care provider has ever lost a client to a foam roller.
Why Rollers Remain Popular
While they may not be great massage tools, foam rollers still rock because they make cool exercise tools. I’ve found they can be very effective props in Pilates and other exercise classes. They are fun to experiment with. They do provide a compression massage which does improve circulation. By placing the large muscles you wish to compress on the roller and allowing your your body’s weight to press them into the hard foam, you not only improve circulation, you release endorphin cocktails, always a pleasant perk. Rollers come in different color coded densities some of which feel better than others. If you do get one, I suggest that you stay away from the white ones which quickly flatten and lose their roll. And if all else fails, Carrie Sauter suggests you can always use the foam roller to rest your head against while lying on the floor watching TV.