Thursday is my self care day. It is a day I slow down from my busy schedule and purposely set aside time to focus on me – my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Today, I started my morning workout with a spin class and ended it with an amazing foam roller class. My tender yet sweet spot today was my IT band (the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin).
Stress, tension, dehydration, physical training/exercise, poor posture, poor nutrition, lack of rest and other lifestyle factors can leave you in knots and your muscles tight.
Hello, foam roller! The foam roller is the perfect tool to solve this problem. Foam rolling can assist in breaking up these muscle knots, resuming normal blood flow and function, increasing flexibility, and reducing pain. Here is a great article from Men’s Health magazine that shares some of the common pains foam rolling alleviates.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release, which is just a fancy term for self-massage, used to alleviate muscle tightness or trigger points (knots that form in the muscle). Using a foam roller is like going for a deep tissue massage at a luxury spa, except you don’t have to deal with the hassle of traveling because it can be used in the comfort of your own home. By applying pressure to specific points on your body, you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
When not in a foam rolling class, I love to use a Trigger Point foam roller at home, especially because they carry The Pro’s Kitchen orange colored foam roller. I love to stay matching. I was never able to get into the color blocking trend, it just doesn’t fit me, it doesn’t look good on me.
I feel like John Witherspoon on the movie Boomerang (2008), “you’ve got to co-or-di-nate!” But to me, coordination goes way past “things” and leads to me. The body, mind and spirit of me. I want my body, my mind, my spirit to coordinate, to match, to be in balance. One thing I’ve realized over the years is how important it is to be pliable and able to stretch beyond what you think possible. Yet at the same time, giving yourself that same flexibility to adapt and change as life sprays Matrix bullets that catch you by surprise and may come at you from all directions. The ability to do this lies in assuring that your body, mind, and spirit are matching, coordinating, and in balance. Although we always state “body, mind, and spirit” with the word body first, the key to gaining this balance starts with your spirit man and your connection with God.
That relatioship just begins with conversation, its that simple. Being able to bend and come to your knees in prayer is all it takes. Once you establish that connection all things will begin to come together. Just like an interior designer would encourage you to pick one piece and allow everything in the room to be guided by that inspiration and have its connection to that item, so too should be the way we model our lives. Your “piece” should be your spirit man. Let the Lord roll you out like dough and make you into who He has called you to be. In this process you will gain the ability to adapt and be flexible to all the things your busy life will throw at you. While in class I reflected on this very fact, and I was left with one thought for Body, Mind and Spirit Thursday –
Note: It is always recommended to consult with your physician, physical therapist, or chiropractor and receive approval before starting self-myofascial release. For most people, you will be cleared immediately and your doctor will encourage this practice.
What do you do to promote flexibility in your life? Post your answer in the comment section below.