Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

Improve Your Circulation with a Foam Roller

Among the various health benefits that you can experience with a foam roller, one of the keys to better health is the idea of better circulation. Good circulation can lead to lower blood pressure, better range of motion and better quality of life for the elderly.

What Is a Foam Roller?

The foam roller is a simple bar of elastic foam. When the body lies on it, it pushes against the body and provides resistance. When the user rolls up and down on the foam roller, they experience a kind of pressure-facilitated massage.

What Happens to Your Circulation

In any kind of massage, one of the good things that happens is that you naturally improve the circulation of blood through the arteries, veins and capillaries of your body. When the pressure is applied, it works to temporarily push blood through the various avenues of the body. When the pressure stops, the blood flow resumes its normal pace.

Along with this manual aid to circulation, there are also secondary effects of massage that help to improve circulation. These involve creating more action in lactic acid deposits that work to improve blood flow, as well as stimulation to lymph elements that push certain toxins through the body.

The foam roller effectively provides all of these benefits that a person would get through a conventional massage. When the body pushes down on the flexible foam, the foam pushes into the muscle and connecting tissues. It goes deep into the subcutaneous areas of the body and loosens muscles, while stimulating circulation in limbs and other body areas. Areas of the body that get good circulation get better oxygen delivery, and this can have a rejuvenating effect.

All this also goes along with what fitness experts call myofascial release, where the same roller activity helps straighten out blocked muscles and their relation to adjacent fascia tissue.

Improve Circulation with Foam Roller Activities

Some common fitness roller techniques help improve circulation in various parts of the body.

  • Thoracic Roll - This type of foam roller activity works the spinal areas. In some cases, rolling on the lower back can be a way to alleviate back pain, though results are different for each patient. Note that in some cases, using foam rollers can also aggravate a lower back condition.
  • Hamstring Stretch and Roll - In a conventional hamstring roll, the user sits on the foam roller extends the legs to stretch the hamstrings.
  • IT Band Roll - The IT band is a strand of muscle that runs down the upper leg. Some IT band exercises are done with the legs to the side, where using the roller loosens up this critical lower body muscle group.

These and other popular foam roller ideas can help work various muscles and improve circulation, by stimulating what's in the body tissue that gets the massage effects of the roll.

Charting a Foam Roller Plan

Working out with the foam roller is great, but a lot of the long term benefits depend on a properly organized schedule filled with specific sets and reps of activities. If you're one of those who is looking to boost your holistic wellness with a good everyday fitness plan including the foam roller, check out Fitday.com, where unique web site tools help you craft an individualized plan.

Article Comments