Back in the day I was a serious foam-rolling-teenager.
I discovered this random blue foam roller at the local LA Fitness ( all of us high school girls would go after 5th period to flirt with older guys— we’d roll our cheerleader-esque, black tiny shorts up way too high & ‘pretend’ to sweat on the Elliptical while drinking lemon flavored Propel ). The foam roller would sadly sit in the corner, un-touched. One day I asked a trainer about it.
Long story short Mr. Foam Roller & I became fast friends.
Fast forward to about a month ago: I had forgotten about my old high school crush/foam roller…that is until Kayla Itsines mentioned it on Instagram.
Let’s just say we picked up right where we left off: I now use my foam roller all day, every day.
Well, not really all day but you get my drift.
Basically I’m obsessed ( like, OBSESSED ) with how powerful this therapeutic tool can be when it comes to overall physical health.
When you foam roll, you use your own body weight to roll against specific muscle groups ( it kind of feels like a deep tissue massage…YUMMM, right?! ).
This article says that “when we experience physical health challenges like pain & stiffness around weight-bearing joints ( hips, knees, and spinal joints ), for many of us, the instinct is to get some sort of treatment – if not a conventional pain killer or some invasive surgical procedure, then at least some alternative therapy like acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, ultrasound, laser, or electrical stimulation.
A less obvious and often times more effective approach is to work at improving blood circulation around the problematic area through deep pressure work and dedicating oneself to stretching the muscles and ligaments around the affected joints.”
Hmmmm…so basically: before popping a pill or trying a quick fix, address the issue & give it some TLC with soft tissue work & stretching. This is work you’ll have to do multiple times a day on.your.own.
A lot of people want pain to go away but they don’t want to put the work in…
Foam rolling requires a bit of daily dedication but comes with some amazing, life-changing results.
Before you roll on the sensitive area, roll on an indirect spot first & then roll on the direct spot of pain. Then you want to foam roll on the sensitive area for 20 to 30 seconds ( or until the muscle starts to relax ).
Sometimes it can be uncomfortable so experts say to use your breath.
Not only do foam rollers help with pain, apparently they also really, seriously works for reducing cellulite appearances. Fitness expert Kayla Itsines says: “cellulite does not only affect people who are overweight. In fact, these annoying fatty deposits also affect people who are underweight, or even people at a healthy weight. So what exactly is cellulite? It’s when fat cells congregate under the skin, thus creating the dimple-like appearance above the skin. One of the main causes is poor circulation. This can be caused by a high stress lifestyle, as well as poor nutrition and of course not enough time put into stretching and recovery after workouts. Foam rollings helps to improve cell recovery and circulation plus feels great. Around 10-15 minutes per day will really help. I recommend The Grid by Trigger Point Performance.”
♡Improved blood circulation throughout your skin, fascia, muscles, and even tendons, and ligaments where you can access them with a foam roller.
♡Through improved blood circulation, more efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products at a cellular level, leading to better overall cellular function and inter-cellular communication.
♡Lengthening of short ( tight ) muscles, tendons, & ligaments.
♡Some muscles ( such as hip flexors) & ligaments are prone to shortening, and are difficult to effectively stretch and apply therapeutic pressure to using standard massage and trigger point therapy techniques. But with a foam roller, you can apply deep pressure massage to such areas and lengthen shortened tissues, thereby preventing physical imbalances that can predispose you to injury.
♡ Promotion of optimal spinal range of motion. You can accomplish this by slowly rolling your spine against a foam roller and pausing whenever you feel restrictions to allow your joints and surrounding tissues to stretch.
Sheesh— is there anything foam rolling doesn’t do?!
Before you hop right in to FR, read this article on foam rolling mistakes to avoid ( AKA: don’t roll too fast, don’t roll too long, & NEVER use it on your lower back ). Listen: if you’re going to take time out of your schedule each day, make sure you’re doing it right! Don’t waste any time! Life’s busy enough already.
I spend a total of five minutes, twice a day foam rolling. Easy.
And remember…for foam rolling to show its sexy magic, you gotta show up & put in the work for best results. You get what you give!!
Have you tried foam rolling before? Thoughts? Do tell.
My dad introduced me to the sport when I was little & I fell madly in love. Through my tweens, the court totally became a therapeutic space ( the ball to racket sound is ahhh-maze )…so to me, tennis is sentimental.
Although now I definitely don’t play as much I as I’d like to, I still have a soft spot for the sport.
But this post doesn’t really have to do with that though…this post is solely dedicated to the fact that TENNIS SKIRTS ROCK MY FREAKING WORLD.
But really, tennis skirts/dresses are sexy little things.
& us girls are always looking for a hottie tennis get-up ( it’s kind of nostalgic but Sporty Spice circa 1994 was literally everything ).
Plus having a cute, lil outfit that fits to the sporty occasion kind of makes participation that more interesting.
Anyway these are some pics I took over the weekend, pre-tennis match. We didn’t really play for competition…it was more for fun.
This Fila navy dress hugs my curves in the right places & paired really well with these white kicks & a black boyfriend sweater.
Because let’s get real: feeling cute really does make you play better. Right?!
P.S. Fila is offering all TSC readers 20% off with code: 20SKINNYCONFIDENTIAL…so shop your little heart’s out. xx.
If you don’t follow her on Instagram, come out from the cave you’ve been residing in & get to it!
This girl is major in the fitness community ( clearly obvious by looking at those abs…but OMG, those abs ). I really, really admire her because she pretty much kicks ass in every way!
So anyway, today she’s sharing with her top ten foods exclusively with TSC readers…aka YOU!
Ok, I’ll hand ya over to Kayla:
Hi! My top ten foods are packed with nutrients, they can easily be incorporated into so many other recipes and most importantly, they’re delicious!
♡ ♡ ♡ Berries, Bananas, Yogurt, & Mint:
Besides being absolutely delicious fresh berries are an amazing source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are what help our body to protect and repair our cells from damage made by free radicals. Our bodies are exposed to free radicals naturally through our metabolism. We can cope with SOME free radicals but an overload can cause things like arthritis, damage to the eyes, & increased risk of heart disease or even certain cancers. Free radicals are often caused and increased by smoking, stress, alcohol, & poor diet.
Yogurt contains something called probiotics. Probiotics improve digestive health and keep your tummy healthy! Make sure the yogurt you choose has ‘live and active cultures’ on the label.
Banana’s are the only fruit that contain the amino acid tryptophan & B6 together. In combination, these two nutrients help to produce serotonin which is a natural produced hormones in the body that helps to alleviate mental stress. Bananas are also one of the best sources of potassium and an awesome source of energy!
I absolutely LOVE mint! I have it with almost anything. Aside from the refreshing taste and the smell, it can also aid weight loss in the health way. Mint is a stimulant. It helps to stimulate the digestive enzymes which absorb nutrients from the good you eat. It consumes the fat and turns it into usable energy for your body, rather than being stored and contributing to weight gain.
One of my favorite smoothie recipes ♡:
1 ripe banana
2 cups of berries ( strawberries, raspberries…whatever you like! )
Avocado is one of those versatile ingredients that be used in or on, almost anything.
I personally like to use avocado instead of butter on my sandwiches/wraps. It’s full of healthy fats which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in the blood as well as lowering the risk of stroke & heart disease.
A local restaurant I like to eat at has the BEST mashed pumpkin on toasted rye bread. It keeps me full so long and tastes amazing. Pumpkin’s full of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is one of the plant carotenoids converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy, glowing skin, strong eyesight, & keeping the immune system strong!
We all need a good source of protein in our diet. I try to change it up regularly between red & white meat. One of my favorite white meats would be turkey. It’s so yummy & can be added to a lot of quick & easy meals. Turkey’s a huge source of protein. Eighty grams of turkey is equivalent to 65 grams of lean beef or lamb. Try swapping chicken breast for turkey next time!
Spinach is another really versatile veggie & can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add spinach into most meals or even in a smoothie. Just one cup of spinach has nearly 20% of your recommended daily requirement of fiber. Fiber helps digestion, maintain low blood sugar, & curbs overeating by keeping your full for longer. Try adding some to your next smoothie, or with your morning omelette. Add some tomatoes to your omelette for some extra zest too. A single tomato can provide about 40% of your Vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents again cancer-causing free radicals form damaging the body’s systems.
Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack as well. They’re among the healthiest of tree nuts. Almonds contain healthy fats & protein which makes them a natural energy booster. Give them a little roast in the oven for a warm, sweeter tasting snack!