Sixty minutes with a massage pro is a wonderful thing. And expensive! But you can give your muscles regular self-massage with some simple tools. A tennis ball is great for rolling the bottoms of your feet (and preventing plantar fasciitis), and it just plain feels good. A massage stick (aka muscle roller) is small enough to keep in a desk drawer and provides the perfect five-minute break, especially if you spend much of the day sitting.
For the best do-it-yourself results, however, nothing beats a foam roller. One of the best favors you can do for your body is some foam rolling every night in front of the TV (you can do it anytime, anywhere, of course, but in front of the TV is so-o-o convenient). Just run through the following basic rolling routine—after a couple of times, you'll have it memorized—and you'll be done before the first commercial break.
A few quick notes about foam rolling: Just 30 to 60 seconds on a muscle should do the trick, roll the muscle, not bone (so stop, for example, before the roller hits your knee), on some areas, you might feel discomfort as you roll. That's normal and, in a way, a really good sign—it's proof that the area is tight and needs the work. Regular rolling will reduce or eliminate the pain over time as your muscles loosen up.
This article was originally published by our partners at Rodale Wellness.