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Need a quick fix to make your workouts the best yet? Exercise can provide almost immediate benefits to the brain: moderate to vigorous cardio can provide fresh blood and oxygen to the brain and increase memory and mood within 20 minutes. The side effects on your physique are a good thing, too, but the only way to get the aesthetic benefits of exercise is to make it a part of your lifestyle by making it a habit.

Habits are like comfortable beds; easy to get into, and hard to get out of. Of course not all habits need to be given up or changed. According to Charles Duhigg, author of “Power of Habit,” creating a habit takes three things: 1. A cue—something that stimulates a thought or action; 2. Routine—the action; and 3. Reward—something that makes a person feel good. What’s NOT a reward? PAIN. In fact, it is the exact opposite of anything the subconscious mind would consider to be a reward.

If you have been working out for a considerable amount of time, you may have come to enjoy a little soreness after a great workout. It’s sort of like the bad taste of cough medicine – it has to mean it’s working, right? But the human body is wired to make pain avoidance a priority. If someone is new to working out, it may be difficult for to see or feel pain as being a reward. By introducing foam rolling both before and after a workout, you can reduce some of this pain and possibly make working out the habit it needs to become, in order to get lasting results.

You only have to roll for a couple of minutes each time.

Foam rolling before a workout increases blood flow and helps to unstick “sticky” parts in the body.

Think of the hips, for example. After sitting for several hours, all the muscles of the hips sort of stick together. Using the foam roller in this area for one or two minutes can get things working better and increase your range of motion. If areas of your body are moving more easily, the muscles will fire better and you may increase your performance and decrease chances of injury.

When the workout is over, using the foam roller for another couple of minutes will help to speed up the recovery process and may reduce some soreness and get you back in the gym quicker. Studies do not suggest foam rolling will completely eliminate soreness after an intense workout (so don’t worry, you will still feel like you did something!). However, direct compression with the foam roller to the working muscles helps to “flush” out much of the by-product of muscle contractions that contribute to soreness.

So, if you want to increase your chances of success to achieve your goals, then give your body a fighting a chance by foam rolling.

Foam rolling will be a much deserved treat to your muscles. Just a few minutes before and after your workout can have a lasting impact on your response to exercise. Here are three key areas and how to videos to begin with:

1. Lower Leg

The calves have a surprising influence on movement. While you may feel pain in other muscles more than the calves, the types of shoes we wear and our walking patterns can often lead to very tight calves. If the ankle and foot don’t work well then the rest of the body will have a very difficult time functioning properly. Learn how to release your calf with TriggerPoint’s GRID Methods Lower Leg video.

2. Hips/glutes

The glutes (muscles in the hips) are some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body. These muscles work to help us walk, run, and even stand up straight. Unfortunately, sedentary lifestyles don’t give these muscles much of a chance. Sitting all day dehydrates these muscles and leads to adhesions that prevent them from working to their full capacity. Learn how to unlock your hips and glutes with TriggerPoint’s GRID Methods Hip/Glute release video.

3. Lats

The lats have a surprising impact on movement. They are the only muscle that directly connects the arm with the lower body. Therefore, if the lower body is not working optimally, it is not unusual for the lats to tighten in response and alter how the upper body is working. Learn how to release tight Lats with TriggerPoint’s GRID Methods Side Torso release video.

To learn more about the benefits of foam rolling and TriggerPoint’s simple GRID methods, check out the TriggerPoint site.