"All great achievements require time."
- Maya Angelou
Round 3: Submit Results Now
Monday, February 4 - Sunday, February 17
Deadline for submitting results: Monday, February 25.
Recovery is a vital aspect of improving and maintaining health, so it's important not to leave it out of the health and fitness equation. Depending on your health and lifestyle goals, recovery can mean different things to different people. For some, a brisk walk through Duke Forest is a wonderful way to connect with the outdoors, or an evening stroll around Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill to enjoy the nightlife scenery and spectacle of society. For those of us who are on the constant go, a restorative yoga or foam rolling class on a Sunday afternoon can do the trick. The point is, being active in your recovery can be helpful in achieving your health goals.
A simple way to look at active recovery is this: being active on days when you are not crushing your workout can help your body recover with more ease for when you do step up to the squat rack or to the tennis court, or whatever activities you enjoy.
Another tool to use for recovery is foam rolling. Foam rolling is a technique that can be used for both warming up and cooling down from a workout and is an exceptional tool to use on your recovery days.
Benefits of Using a Foam Roller
- Using foam rollers can reduce the risk of developing painful or irritating 'knots" around the muscles. These "knots" can be associated with muscle weakness and injury.
- Reduce tissue tension and muscle tightness to increase joint range of motion (ROM).
- Foam rollers can help restore the proper length-tension relationship to muscles.
- Foam rollers help reduce soreness after an exercise session to promote the recovery process.
- The pressure from rolling can help increase blood flow and elevate heat in the involved tissue.
- Promotes a feeling of relaxation after a workout, an important psychological benefit.
The Key to Foam Rolling is to Use it Slowly and Easily
We tend to think that if some pressure is good, then more pressure would be better - this isn't true with your soft tissue. Our soft tissues are regulated by nerves, so we have to make the nerves happy to make the muscles and connective tissue happy, too. This means applying pressure slowly and easily over areas that are already sensitive, and being sure to cover the whole aspect of the muscles. For example, people like to focus only on rolling out the IT band (the area of connective tissue on the outside of the thigh), but it is equally, if not more, important to roll out the gluteal muscles, quadriceps, and inner thigh muscles as well.
Let Us Know If You Need Help!
Are you interested in trying foam rolling but still aren't sure how to do it, contact our fitness specialists for a fitness consultation, or bring your roller with you to the Walk/Run Club or other fitness classes.
Featured Weekly Recipes
This week our recipes focus on healthy, balanced post-workout snacks that help to refuel your muscles after exercising. We recommend following each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water for hydration. Bonus: Most of these snacks are portable and provide a healthy, nutritious snack option while you're on the go or at the office.
Here is a list of this week's recipes to look forward to:
- No Bake Energy Bites
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins
- Green-Ginger Smoothie
- Avocado Egg Toast
- Tutti-Frutti Muesli