There's no question that foam rolling has become one of the hottest trends in the fitness world. You'll find foam rollers almost everywhere — at your gym, at your physical therapist's office and, of course, in your home.
What is foam rolling? It's a form of self-massage that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and tissue. If not dealt with, these adhesions can lead to pain and injury.
But getting the best results from your foam roller means using it correctly. Here are some do's and don'ts that will help you maximize your foam rolling sessions.
Roll indirectly on an area where you feel pain
If there's a spot on your body that's particularly sensitive, work around it without applying direct pressure. Work on smaller, more localized regions before moving on to larger, sweeping movements.
One mistake many first-time users make is rolling too quickly. While it may feel great, you're not actually eliminating any adhesions. Going slowly allows the superficial muscles and layers to adapt to the compression. Use short, slow rolls over and around tender spots.
Don't spend too much time on your knots
Be careful of spending too much time working on the same area. Users who do so often apply all of their body weight onto the roller, which can put sustained pressure on one body part and damage tissue (or hit a nerve). Experts recommend spending no more than 20 seconds on each sore spot. You can also work on managing how much body weight you apply.
Don't use a foam roller on your lower back
Many users love applying a foam roller to their lower back. The problem is, your spinal muscles will contract and protect the spine, which provides no therapeutic effect. Instead, use the foam roller on your upper back to protect your spine.
Roll to the "trigger point"
The trigger point is more commonly known as a "muscle knot," but the idea is the same. Roll until you feel your trigger point and then stop and rest on the roller for about 20 seconds. Focus on relaxing the muscle.
Choose the right foam roller
With so many foam rollers on the market, it can be a challenge to find the one that's best for you. Here are some of today's hottest sellers:
Let's face it, eating healthy is easier if you do it at home. But there will always be occasions, whether social, business (or you just don’t feel like cooking!), when you have to dine out.
While today's typical restaurants have come a long way when it comes to offering healthy alternatives, you'll still have to make some obvious choices (the salad instead of fries) while using certain strategies (like the following hacks) to keep your healthy eating on track.
1. Scan the menu ahead of time
Take advantage of online restaurant menus by checking them out before you head out the door. You'll be able to make a clear-headed meal choice without feeling rushed.
2. Don't show up starved
You're more likely to make poor food choices if you show up too hungry. A healthy, 100-calorie snack will curb your hunger and help you make good dining decisions.
3. Know the lingo
When the menu has words like "fried," “crispy," "creamy," "cheesy," "battered," and so on, you're safe to assume that they're high-calorie dishes.
4. Drink a glass of water
Plenty of research touts the benefits of downing a tall glass of water before eating. For one, it makes you feel full and helps reduce your overall calorie intake.
5. Box half of your meal before it even gets to you
If you're like a lot of people, it's hard not to eat everything on your plate. But if you ask the waiter that half of your meal be boxed before it ever reaches the table, that temptation will be easier to resist.
6. Have beverages served with your meal
If you're going to drink soda, beer or cocktails with your meal, have it brought with your meal instead of while you wait. It's an easy way to save 150 calories.
7. Fill up on veggies
Filling your stomach with a lower-calorie, high-fiber side salad or vegetable will make you feel fuller and eat less when your main entree is in front of you.
8. Skip the refills
Free drink refills somehow end up on your table without you asking for them, especially if you're talking with others. Ask your server to skip the refills, or have them bring a calorie-free club soda instead.
9. Put salad dressing on your fork instead
Instead of drenching your salad with potentially high-calorie, high-fat salad dressing, dip your fork into the dressing before loading it up with salad.
Good nutrition is an important step in a healthy lifestyle, as is exercise. Work with personal trainer Ralph Roberts to meet your fitness goals.
Trying to eat in more than out? Download Ralph Roberts’ free Healthy Grocery Shopping List!
Nothing may be more tempting than free food at the office. The doughnuts, muffins, chips and crackers… Not only is it free, but it sits in the break room all day taunting you. To make matters worse, typical office food has little, if any, nutritional value and it can wreck havoc on your healthy eating goals.
Here are a few very effective tricks to help you refuse all that free, fattening office food!
Bring Healthy Foods Or Pack Your Own Lunch
If you know your coworkers are planning a party or that there will be free office food, plan ahead. If it’s a potluck party where everybody brings something, make a healthy dish to share. If your employer is providing the food, pack your own lunch that day.
Have Healthy Snacks Ready
Then, there are those surprise moments, like when one of your co-workers decides to bring in doughnuts for the office or your employer wants to treat the staff. You can be prepared for these unexpected days by always have a variety of healthy snacks in your desk.
Drink Plenty Of Water
A great way to minimize your cravings for sweets is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Studies show that drinking water can help to reduce cravings and appetite. You should always keep an extra bottle of water in your office for days like this.
Avoid The Break Room
If just the sight and smell of all that free food in the break room is just too much, avoid the break room altogether! You know the old phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” — it really can work in this case. This may mean going out of your way for water or to use the restroom, but at least it will minimize your temptation.
Enlist An Accountability Partner
It is always a smart idea to use the buddy system. Find a coworker that you can confide in and trust to hold you accountable. Ask them to remind you on those free food days of your commitment to not eat unhealthy foods. It is best to pair up with a coworker who also wants to avoid the free food options. This way you can hold each other accountable.
If you want to learn more healthy living tips and take the first step to creating a better you, contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts. He can help you create a personalized fitness program that is ideal for you and one that will help you meet your fitness goals.
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