Why You Should Use a Foam Roller

Many of you have seen them: at the gym, at the chiropractor, yoga class, or maybe you’ve heard people talking about them.  So what’s all the hype about the giant foam rollers everyone seems to be using these days?

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It’s what some may say “hurts so good”.

Warming up your muscles before any physical activity is crucial to maintaining healthy muscles throughout not only strenuous, kick-ass workouts, but also during routine, daily activities.

Orthopaedic surgeon William Levine, MD, director of sports medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, explains that to increase range of motion and and to avoid injury, it is best to warm up properly before any stretching or exercise. “Warming up increases blood flow, which increases the temperature in the muscle, which makes the collagen fibers more elastic like a rubber band,” he says.

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In the morning, as well as before exercise, take the time to warm up and stretch your body. The great thing about the foam roller is that it helps you stretch muscles and break down tissues, mimicking a certain technique used by therapists called myofascial release. Facia is a thin tissue that covers every muscles and every fiber within each muscle. So at a basic level, when we stretch, we are actually stretching the fascia.

The foam roller also helps to decrease soreness and tightness as a form of recovery.

Myofascial release is done by placing pressure on the area that is tight and applies pressure to the area, lightly stretching it. Once the tissue relaxes, the therapist moves to the next tight area and performs the same pressure-stretch technique. The goal of this therapy is for the body’s muscle tension to equalize. When the body is not symmetrical, nerves and muscles can become compressed easily, causing pain.

The foam roller is a more individual approach to this tissue release. Self-myofascial release is excellent, because it allows the user control over the pressure and the pain. Users also then become responsible for the speed of their healing and recovery process.

1. Increases flexibility
One study concluded that using a foam roller for five minutes increased flexibility in the sit-and-reach test.

2. Reduces soreness and tightness
Another scientific study concludes that a foam roller is an effective recovery tool after exercise-induced muscle damage. Because the roller stretches the user’s muscles and tissues, it leads to an increased range of motion (ROM), making daily activities become more natural and easy.

3. Prevents injuries
Exercise can become bad for your body if you don’t take care of it. Specifically, your muscles develop knots through activity, and the knots lead to more injury and decreased mobility. Releasing the knots in muscles prevents them from becoming trigger points for injury.

4. It hurts so good!
Similar to a massage, the pain we feel during foam rolling may seem counter-active, but once you feel the magnificent results of the roller you won’t question it again! Also, if you maintain a good practice over time, foam rolling becomes less painful because the muscles and tissues are in better, flexible, shape.

The foam roller has recently become my favorite remedy of pain, alone with traditional stretching.

Stay happy and stretchy, folks. 🙂

☮ ✌

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Hey Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend, I would like to dedicate this post and this week to my incredible mother. Her family has always been her first priority and she almost seems perfect in her motherly ways. Her dedication to my family’s happiness is insurmountable, and for that she is my best friend.

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My mother knows almost everything about my life, and probably understands me better than I understand myself. She has always helped me explore my options when contemplating a decision and has guided me toward being capable of making good decisions for myself. I will always need her help because she will always understand what is best for me more than anybody else. Never has my mother pressured me to do anything less than wonderful for me, and never has she rejected a healthy pathway to my happiness.  Her desire is for her children to be happy and healthy and loved. My aspiration is for her to live a fulfilling life, and I know she is capable of such happiness, regardless of physical limitation.

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I would also like to dedicate my completed senior project to both of my parents, because they have always taught me to be good to others and to ooze goodness. For them, I am infinitely thankful.
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I love you ♡
Stay cool.

And we could all use a little change

“Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas I need to get myself away from this place. I said yep, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself and we could all use a little chaaaaange.”

It turns out Smashmouth was right: the years start coming and they don’t stop coming, so we become fed up will all the rules and “hit the ground running”. Our brains become intelligent with knowledge from our learning experiences, but just because we have all this information doesn’t make us head smart or happy.

Thursday Thoughts

Many things don’t make sense in life, but I can agree with this 90s band from California, that what really doesn’t make sense is to not to live for fun. One thing that I can certainly say makes sense, is that we should be living our lives having fun.

“So much to do so much to see so what’s wrong with taking the back streets. You’ll never know if you don’t go, you’ll never shine if you don’t glow” So how do you glow? Embrace the changes that are bound to pop up in your life.

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Yesterday my roommate and I were playing “Would you rather?” and one of the most interesting discussions came from the question: “Would you rather be able to pause your life or rewind your life?” We ended up making the rules for each decision very detailed, but ultimately we all chose to be able to pause life. If humans had the capability of rewinding life and changing our decisions we wouldn’t ever truly live life freely. And as a Sagittarius I am all about my free-eee-eeedom! Love it 🙂

Whether you’ve got to speak in front of a large group of people for the first time, or you’re moving to a new area, or you are in the beginning or end of a relationship, or you’re missing someone you cared about, the ability to ride the wave of change

Change is hard. Sometimes it’s really, really fucking hard. But then we learn, and we move on. Instead of resisting the changes that come your way because you are scared of their possibilities, embrace the opportunity to create new relationships, new experiences, and be able to find happiness in a variety of situations.

I haven’t had to make a lot of extremely tough and life-changing decisions throughout my life, but my changes have always made me a better, more adaptable person. I am more versatile in my ability to communicate and relate to other people, and with this versatility comes peace.

To be able to be balanced and grounded through change helps to keep your energy balanced, which is excellent for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

Change of scenery?
I am SUPER STOKED for the changes I’m about to make in my life. I have spent most of my life playing soccer, enjoying the people around me, and dedicating myself to getting a system education. And all of this has gone down the beautiful, monotonous Midwest. For the first time in my life, I am looking forward to not spending my summer in my hometown.

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I have always lived in the same town, with the exception of spending my last 4 academic semesters in middle-of-nowhere Iowa. Even so, since a child I have been intrigued by the idea of travel. I LOVE the airport. Picking people up from the airport, dropping people off at the airport, running through the airport to make my own connection flight- I love it all. The atmosphere is full of EXCITEMENT and CHANGE even if only temporary. One day in the next couple of years I am going to get on a plane with a friend and we are going to go CHANGE ourselves by changing the way we look at the world.

As an individual who embraces the chance to change my opinions based on something new I’ve learned, my heart beats stronger when I think about the opportunities I am going to have to learn about the way people throughout the world work.

Why do we fear change? I think a lot of the fear of change comes from our brains expectation for things to stay the same. Actually, Roger S. Gil, a relationship and family expert, explains how when our expectations from previously learned information fails what we believe, stress levels rise:

Both nature and nurture will influence how we form our core beliefs about how the world works and our roles in our respective worlds. When we experience the world or ourselves in a certain way for an extended period of time, we develop core beliefs that make up our paradigm for how life is supposed to be. The experiences we have as children tend to be the most long-lasting and influential because they represent prototypical experiences that future experiences will be compared to and will likely play a key role in the development of our worldview/paradigm for life. Since our brains are still developing, childhood experiences have a greater chance of influencing how future neural connections will develop. Whether good or bad, children tend to adjust better to change since they don’t have as much “legacy material” to overcome when encountering change (i.e. their worldviews/life paradigms are still developing). As we age and our brains become less plastic, we encounter more difficulties processing changes because our paradigms are more ingrained.

Change is going to happen, we’re going to have to deal with it. Instead of fearing the inevitable change and stress it brings, we should be aware of the changes that are happening in our lives and adapt our mentality and physicality to the changes in the best manner that we can. Being aware and accepting of the changes will reduce the stress they bring along with them.

Also, we could all make some FORWARD MOVING changes in our lives, so let’s start today! I vow to change my location 😀 What can you vow to change in your own life? EMBRACE THE CHANGE

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Peace and happy change 🙂

 

An Earth-like planet found in distant solar system

I imagine that since the beginning of Earth’s time, whenever that was, people have wondered what other planet(s) did or could sustain life. Tonight when I was doing my daily browse through the Washington Post, I found that NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a planet in the habitable zone of a distant star.

This planet, Kepler-186f, is assumed to be able to hold liquid water (as opposed to ice or vapor) for 2 main reasons:
1. Kepler-186f is only 10 percent larger than the Earth, holding the record for the habitable exoplanet that is closest to the size of the Earth, and
2. In the habitable distance from its star, Kepler-186, seems to be close enough so that the planet is neither too hot nor too cold. This zone is referred to as the “Goldilocks zone”.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/04/17/kepler_186f_earth_sized_planet_in_the_habitable_zone.html

Depitction of Kepler-186f and its sister planets

Kepler-186 is about 500 light years away from the Earth, and a team of astronomers have discovered five other placers also orbiting this star.

Although the planet seems to be at a habitable temperature, it absorbs only one third of the stellar energy that the Earth receives from the sun, making it colder than Mars.

One part of this discovery that I have found particularly interesting is that it is possible this planet is tidal-locked, meaning it may not orbit it’s star in the same manner Earth does. As opposed to the rotation of the Earth which creates a day-night cycle, it is possible that the same side of the planet is always facing the sun. Life could still be sustainable on tidal-locked planet, but it would create a much different world and system that we are used to.

What do you think it would be like? To live on a planet like that? The calendar would have to be different and sleep may become evolutionary unnecessary like it is for humans on Earth.

The climate would be different, but what would it be like? What if it rained Nutella♡ hahaha.
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My boyfriend brought up the point that the dark side of the planet would not be able to sustain human life because Vitamin D is necessary for life. So what IF this planet really was habitable by humans? For some reason, which I can’t deem awful for helpful, Earth could use the planet for a sort of storage of plants and other resources.

Would we use it for the benefit of our species or our home planet, help it to create it’s own circle of life, or maybe leave it alone and let it run it’s course?  I’d like to hear what people think!  What do you think?

I hope that whatever we do as humans is in the best interest of Kepler-186f as well as for other environments. “For everything that lives is Holy” –> One Love (:

So, this is exciting, I think. There are many of Earth-like planets around, but now NASA is trying to find the closest one.

“Because the telescope can’t see exoplanets directly, astronomers use a technique called the transit method to infer their presence. The light intensity from a star will normally read as continuous and flat, but if a planet passes between the telescope’s field of view and that star, it will block some light and show up as a dip in the data.”

Because of this blip, study author and astronomer Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute, thought this blip might contain something special. Her team when scoured one patch of the sky continuously for four years until Kepler-186f was discovered.

This transit method that is used to find bumps in data would make it tough to even find Earth from afar, because it requires the planet “to be aligned edge-wise along the observer’s line of sight, passing between the observer and the star”. Therefore, many of these planets may exist but remain undetected.

I believe completely that there are other planets that can sustain some type of life as intelligent and capable as humans. Maybe some even do already and we just haven’t found them, but I’m interested for science and this study to continue!

One Love (:

Self-marketing does not have to be icky

This is wonderful for my own future reference! But it’s the same in anything- especially in the job search process. One of the greatest things you can do is “share the enthusiasm you have for your work” because passion is powerful 😉 I think effective self-marketing nurtures positive self confidence, and I think positive self confidence makes self-marketing more comfortable and natural.

Go forth and be great! Support your hard work,

Live to Write - Write to Live

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about self-marketing.

self-marketing does not require gloves self-marketing does not require gloves

She readily admitted that she was not strong at self-marketing her book, in fact, when she said the word “self-marketing” a visible shiver went down her body. Too many people see “self-marketing” as being boastful, as something that is icky and not to be touched unless wearing rubber gloves.

Oh not true. So not true.

Self-marketing is a chance for you to share the enthusiasm you have for your work. You don’t have to say that you are the greatest thing that has set foot on the planet earth, but you do have to say that your *idea* is a worthy one, deserving of being looked at.

I love to self-market.

It’s how I got my first egg noticed (I put it up on ebay at a starting price of $729.93 because that’s how…

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Lunar eclipse: Blood moon

Okay, so apparently the moon is supposed to look tinted red tonight. Here’s why!

“In a total lunar eclipse, the full moon turns a coppery red as it passes into Earth’s shadow. During the process, the moon’s bright glow dims, taking on a red hue because of shimmers of sunlight and sunsets seeping through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Dust and sulfur dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere can affect the size of the shadow. The moon has to be full for the total lunar eclipse to occur.”
CNN: ‘Blood moon’

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This neat little temporary moon-vibrance will happen 3 other times within the next year, so if you’re too exhausted from soccer practice and working on a senior project, you can be sure you won’t miss out completely! The eclipse process will occur between the hours of 1 a.m and 4 a.m Central Standard Time. I am crazy fascinated with soaking up the beauty that is the night sky, so I will for sure be taking a peek.

Set your alarms!

Peace and blood moons ♦