Rolling Your Way To Better Health

This morning I finally got a shipment I’ve been waiting for… some of my stuff has been at my parents’ house the past two months, but they finally got a chance to send it to me, and my foam roller arrived today.

I’m so excited, because now we have two… and up until now, Barry and I have been playing tug-of-war with the one we have.

Mine came as part of the Better Posture Guaranteed system from Jason Henderson; Barry ordered his from a fitness store online. But they’re both exactly the same.

And, in awe-inspiring synchronistic fashion, Jason sent mine to me in Toronto the same day Barry happened to order his. Neither of us knew the other was getting one, but we both love them.

The cool thing about mine is it came with two Better Posture Guaranteed DVDs hosted by Jason’s partner, Rob Smith. Because honestly, when you just look at these foam rollers, you think, “What the heck is this thing for?”

Here’s a video Jason took of me at JVAlert Live in June, where I’m demonstrating one of the moves:

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And I said it was “awesome” in the video because that was truly my reaction when I tried it the first time, and Jason asked me to repeat it. I did because… well, it is awesome, and I’ll say it again: “It’s awesome!”

So, why do I like it so much?

Rolfers recommend that their clients use either PVC pipes (which hurt like crazy) or foam rollers (which only hurt in a good way) to work their muscles in between sessions.

Kind of like “Rolf and Roll”. 🙂

I’ve talked about my Rolfing experiences a few times on this blog, and if you do a search to the left for “Rolfing” you’ll find the posts. And that’s why Barry ordered his rollers, because he’s been getting Rolfed for years now and can’t live without it. The foam roller just gives a daily treatment because obviously most of us aren’t going to be professionally Rolfed every day.

For me, the Better Posture Guaranteed sytem was my first experience with anything like that. Workouts to me have always involved machines (a stair climber before, and now an elliptical machine) and free weights and rubber bands; but now that I know about foam rollers, I’m hooked on them as part of my routine.

Basically by putting your weight onto the roller with either your leg muscles, groin muscles, glutes, back or other body parts resting on top of it, the roller melts away the tension. I’ve even used it to get rid of stomach pains. You can either hold your position steady for a few seconds, or a few minutes, or roll your muscle along the roller to work out the pain and tension you need to.

If you’re really tense, it will hurt at first… but if you just remember to breathe into it (which I often forget myself) and picture the pain melting away, you’ll feel great in no time.

And of course, some muscles will hurt more than others, because you hold your tension in different areas. But really, where it hurts the most is where you need it the most, and it feels great afterwards.

Sometimes you can just go with what feels like it needs to be worked out, but the Better Posture Guaranteed DVD called “A Foam Roll Approach” helps with that process too. Rob demonstrates the different exercises you can do with the roller, and you can either follow along or memorize them for later. I would have actually liked to see a cheat sheet of various positions to hang on the wall, but maybe they can add that in the future.

The “Foam Roll Approach” DVD is for using with the roller, and then there’s a second DVD that outlines posture exercises without the roller. Those are perfect for traveling, or if you want to do simple exercises at work, but don’t work out of your home.

Because of course… if you work at the computer, like I do, there are times your back is just killing you, and you need to stretch it out if you don’t want to look like a hunchback.

So for everyone who was laughing at Jason carting his foam roller around the set of The Next Internet Millionaire… well, it probably would have been more practical to have a smaller travel-size roller with him, but at least he does have good posture — especially for a guy who’s 6’11”. 😉

Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life!

Heather Vale