Rolling rest days

Hello everyone! Uff, I was up for a good chunk of last night due to crazy thunder and lightning storms in my area. Even with my fan on jet-engine high, and my black curtains, I could still hear and see it. I’m a little zombie-ish today!

Luckily it’s my rest day, so my body is very happy with me. One of my favourite things to do on rest days (besides eating, that’s um, recovery, right?) is foam rolling. Some of you may remember I bought a foam roller back in May to help with a hip injury.

Foam rollers are basically like your personal massage therapist. It’s a cylinder of dense foam, so quite light to pick up, but hard to the touch.

To use it, you just lay whatever muscle you want to massage on it and roll back and forth. Sometimes, it feels really good, sometimes it can be quite painful!

The foam roller is most commonly used for your back, calves, hamstrings, quads and IT band. All types of athletes and non-athletes use foam rollers to massage their muscles at home. For more info, check out reviews on Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine (my two bibles).

There’s also the question of when to foam roll. A lot of people like to do it right after activity to loosen up their stressed muscles. Personally, doing this usually leads to muscle cramps for me. So I like to wait until before I go to bed and just spend 5-10 minutes rolling out my muscles.

I especially like doing this on rest days, when my muscles are usually the most tense. I do a combo of rolling and stretching, especially my finicky IT band. It also helps loosen up my muscles for my upcoming days of planned activity.

Foam rollers are also relatively inexpensive and easy to transport and store. So it’s definitely something worth looking into if you suffer from a lot of muscle soreness and stiffness! I bought mine at a local running store.

I don’t credit my hip recovery to the foam roller, but I think it definitely helped. Hopefully regularly rolling out my leg muscles will help keep my hip from seizing up on me again :)

Question: What’s your favourite way to soothe sore muscles?

I also ice like a maniac. The slightest pain after exercise immediately gets the iced pea treatment! :P

 

Eats!

Just a few eats for today. I started off with a glorious batch of blueberry protein pancakes. It’s how I cheer myself up after a bad night, or when I have a rough day ahead.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax

All blended up! I’ve been making super fluffy batches lately. I think it’s a combo of the extra baking powder and fat from the flax.

My grocery store also started stocking one of my favourite Luna flavours again.

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Munchmunchmunch.

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This used to be my favourite flavour, but S’mores has taken over in its absence. My store only stocks three other flavours – Toasted Nut n’ Cranberry, Lemon Zest, and Caramel Nut Brownie. Decent flavours, but probably the lamest ones!

You’re going to be shocked by my dinner…

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Tempeh burger with butternut squash and almond butter. I got lazy, and the squash and fresh jar of AB were calling my name. If you haven’t tried this combo yet, I highly suggest that you do! Since I don’t cook with oils (cooking oils hurt my tummy) this is a great way to sneak in a little fat with my dinner :)

I’ve also progressed to 90% chocolate without the peanut butter.

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Straaaaaight up. This is so rich, all I need is a little piece after dinner to satisfy my after-meal sweet tooth (yes, I have something sweet after every meal, usually a hard candy). Now my 70% stuff just doesn’t taste right. It’s kind of like when I switched to drinking black coffee. Bitter at first, but now that I’m used to it, I can’t go back! I’ll be at 100% a la HEAB soon ;)

That’s all for me folks! I’m thinking of switching to doing two posts a day. I used to do it back before exams and term papers forced me to one update a day. But now that I’m only working 40 hours a week (it’s such a luxury now!) I’m thinking of going back. For me, it actually takes less time to do a couple shorter posts than one big long one. It’ll take you less time to read too ;)

See ya tomorrow! Maybe in the a.m.!! Until then, I’ll be twittering away ;)

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Posted on July 30, 2009, in Health and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. those pancakes look fantastic , i want to make them tomorrow !!!

    My favorite ( well not exactly fav) is ice. It numbs so well and reduces swelling. I found some awesome muscle soaking salts too…

    Your dinner looks fabulous too and far from lazy! I also don’t really cook with oils that often either!

  2. I’ve always liked to use heat to ease my sore muscles – a hot bath or a hot tub does wonders for my joints/aches!

    Your protein pancakes look like the perfect ‘rough day/night’ breakfast!! That chocolate? Once you go black, you don’t go back ;)

  3. Mmmm dark chocolate. Now I’m craving some!

    I like to take a hot shower to soothe my muscles. I haven’t tried foam rolling because I’ve never really had too much trouble with the areas people typically roll out. I wonder if it would be beneficial anyways.

  4. i need to get myself a foam roller, i think it would help with my DOMS so much! i love the nutz over chocolate flavor, i still want to try that chai one you featured awhile back. so is your hip totally better or what? love your pancakes, baking powder is a smart idea! that will fluff them right up. the best way to soothe my sore muscles is to recruit marshall! haha. glad you had a nice rest day :)

    • thegreatbalancingact

      Hip is 93% better :D I just get some nagging pains whenever I do a lot of activity without proper rest in-between. Usually a mix of running and lower body weight lifting. But biking (especially hills) aggravates it too. So tempermental! :P

  5. WholeBodyLove

    I had forgotten foam rollers existed! I know it sound silly. But, I haven’t run for over 2 years and I have lost touch. I soothe sore muscles mostly with stretching (boring answer, I know). I too switched to black coffee and I got used to it pretty quickly considering the massive amount of artificial sweetener I had previously consumed! I don’t know that I have seen 90% chocolate anywhere. I will have to check WF this weekend!

  6. Cute new pic!
    We just replaced our old foam roller actually…it started to become mis-shapen! I need to check out those sites because I don’t think I am doing my IT band right…it’s just all along the outside of the upper thigh, right? Thank you for the reminder; I haven’t used the roller in a while!

    • thegreatbalancingact

      Thanks Lara! It was taken in Cuba with a coconut fresh off the tree :) I usually can tell when I’m hitting my IT band properly when it starts to hurt :P For me, it’s sort of between the outside of the upper leg and the quad.

  7. rediscoveringlauren

    i really need to get a foam roller, i just always seem to forget when im out shopping!
    breakfast looks delicious :) cheering yourself up with pancakes sounds like a great way to start the day!
    thats some bitter chocolate! now im totally craving some dark choc myself…
    enjoy your friday :)

  8. My favorite pancakes! Except they’d be much better with pb ;) lol

    I bought this lame foam roller it’s a blow up one and it doesn’t really work sadly! so I’ve just been using the ones at the gym.. I really need to just buy a nice one already!

    I do epsom salt baths for my muscles and they seem to help!

  9. I should get a foam roller. I rarely ever get hurt (although my hammy is bothering me now) and I think it is due to the cross training I do. I rarely do the same exercise 2 days in a row.

    When my muscles are stiff, I do enjoy the jetted hot tub at the Y. Wish I were there right now!

  10. I always stretch which helps me a lot when I am sore. A nice warm bath is nice too

  1. Pingback: Stretch it out « The Great Balancing Act

  2. Pingback: Bananas Foster Pancakes, Strawberry Oikos and cautious pad thai - Body Mind Soul

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