Recently I had one of those very early morning starts to my day and wouldn't you know it I woke to a strong pain between my shoulder blades that I knew would be a problem if I didn't treat it right away.
On this particular day I had a 2 1/2 hour drive to my destination, then 5 hours of sitting in a meeting, then a return drive home. So what this meant is that I had to wake at 4:00 a.m. and If you're anything like me instead of getting a good nights sleep for this long day, I tossed and turned all night because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up in time! I'm pretty sure this was the culprit of my pain that morning.
Granted over the years my body has absorbed a bit of punishment, from major back surgery to my fill of nasty falls from my early days of off road mountain biking, my body is reminding me that I'm just not as young as I used to be and it doesn't take as much for those aches and pains to make their appearance.
A quick fix to my recent morning was a few yoga moves.
Eagle Pose: whether you do this sitting down or standing up this is a great exercise to open up the shoulders and feels really good, especially when, like me that day, I woke to a piercing pain in that area. I try to hold this pose for 1-3 minutes. Make sure you do both sides.
Supported Fish Pose: this is great for the spine. To support your back use a block, ball or pillow. Again I try to hold this pose for 1-3 minutes and it's actually very relaxing.
When I have more time and want to get an all over massage or want to loosen my muscles before or after exercise, especially after completing a few challenge poses, I pull out my foam roller.
More specific uses of my foam roller:
Whether I feel tightness right after I workout or it creeps up the following day, the massage foam roller has been a great addition to my routine to loosen specific tight areas and it's a way to give myself an inexpensive massage to head into a good nights sleep.
While there are numerous options for selecting a foam roller and at various price points, I urge you to consider what you want to gain from using one and do your research and purchase (if you choose to do so) the best one for you needs.
As with any purchase of health/workout equipment or engaging in a new exercise routine it's always best to check with your physician especially if you have certain conditions that may be adversely affected by a new routine.