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The Buzz About Foam Rolling

Let’s dive deeper into the reasoning behind the encouragement to foam roll. Last week, we talked about different methods to combat soreness, which included foam rolling. This is probably not ground breaking news to you, but foam rolling is widely used in the fitness industry and has quite the benefactors we fitness trainers want for every exerciser out there.

When you receive a massage, how many of you think to yourselves, “I wish I could do this to myself”? Good news and money-saving news, the foam roller works in ways a deep tissue massage works.

Some benefits of foam rolling:

For starters, it breaks up scar tissue, or tissues that replace normal skin after an injury. This is one reason why last week’s blog post is so important, because if we don’t combat muscle soreness with proper pre and post-workout habits, then our muscles won’t rebuild themselves to the best of their abilities.

Foam rolling releases tension in the muscles. Taking that tension, or pressure, off the joints allows muscles to move more freely, giving the body a greater range in motion. In addition, by rolling out your muscles before exercise, you’ll get the blood flowing and circulation will kick in! So when it’s time to perform in the gym, you’re heated up and your body is ready for action!

The process of foam rolling also stimulates the lymphatic system. Foam rolling wakes things up and releases toxins, making room for better oxygen delivery into the body during a workout, which in turn improves circulation and recovery.

Is it making more sense why our coaches instruct you to come early for a session and stay after to roll out your muscles?  We really want our members to stay and utilize there time at Ellipse. Some of our locations sell foam rollers, and again, they are a great way to save a buck on a massage! It’s worth it and your muscles will thank you!

5 Strategies to Reduce Muscle Soreness

Exercise induces free radicals, boosts serotonin, and energizes. It aids us in burning fat and building muscle. If all goes as planned, we leave the gym feeling awake and accomplished! Exercise also causes our muscles to contract and our bodies to sweat, increasing our chances of muscle cramps, fatigue and dehydration. This is why it is equally important to not only exercise, but to take care of yourself before and after a workout. A large part of getting fit is dealing with muscle fatigue and soreness. Here are 5 Ellipse tips to help reduce muscle soreness and keep you heading back to us for more!

Foam Rolling

What an inexpensive deep tissue massage, am I right? At Ellipse Fitness we encourage members to foam roll for 5 – 15 minutes before and after each workout session. Foam rolling can inhibit overactive muscles by breaking up adhesions and loosening up muscle knots. Before a workout, foam rolling hydrates the tissue and gets blood flowing. After a workout, rolling over tight spots and trigger points can relax the muscle. By rolling them out, you help to clean up some of the lactic acid that builds up when you exercise.

Foam Rollers do not break the bank, but even so, a tennis ball will also do the trick. Heather Trevarthen, Owner and Trainer of the Allouez location, says they keep tennis balls at the studio and hand them out to members to use at home.  Heather says, “Tennis Balls help to grind into those hard to reach areas of the body, like the Piriformis.”

Stretching

Like foam rolling, stretching is a must do when it comes to combatting soreness. Intense training contracts muscles and shortens the fibers. By lengthening them before and after a workout, you’re increasing your mobility and recovery. A post-workout stretch series is excellent for bringing your heart rate back down. Use your breathe to guide you and stretch into each move.

Recovery Fuel(s)

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery. BCAAs preserve the bulk of muscle fibers through increased protein synthesis and reduction of muscle breakage. BCAAs can be added to your diet easily by adding a scoop into your water bottle before you workout. Sip during your workout and finish afterwards. Ask your Ellipse trainer to hook you up with some from the pro shop!

Eating Right

Getting those BCAAs is a big part of proper nutrition intake for a healthy post-workout recovery. However, you also need to actually eat. Though you might be trying to consume less during your fitness journey, it is what you eat and how you prepare it that matters. Make sure to be getting enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats in order to repair muscles.

Ultimately when we experience soreness, it is because of inflammation. After your post workout protein, add foods such as salmon, avocado, or flaxseed. These foods are rich in Omega-3s and have anti-inflammatory compounds; Properties that will help to dial back inflammation and soreness.

Movement

When your trainer tells you to cool down, we usually don’t listen because we have to run and pick up our kids or get to work. The cool down instructions are to encourage you to keep moving, even when you have finished your sweat session. The importance behind this is that circulation promotes healing.

Active recovery is something we talk about at Ellipse often. A low-intensity exercise that gets your blood flowing without taxing your muscles is what we consider active recovery, such as yoga or walking. Though you may be tempted to hit the couch after an evening workout, try to keep the movement going for a bit to avoid muscle cramps and enhanced soreness.

Ellipse Fitness Chocolate-Watermelon Wedges

Ingredients
8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
5 lbs seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ wedges

Directions
1. Place chocolate in heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Stir until melted.
2. Dip watermelon in chocolate and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired, and refrigerate.

Makes 25 wedges.
NUTRITION (per wedge) 77 cal, 1g protein, 12g carb, 1g fiber, 10g sugar, 3g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 3mg sodium

Quick and Easy Power Waffles

Ingredients:
1 frozen multigrain waffle, toasted
1 tablespoon raw almond butter
2 strawberries, sliced
1/2 small banana, sliced
2 teaspoons agave nectar

Preparation:
Spread waffle with almond butter. Top with strawberries and banana; drizzle with agave nectar.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 245; Fat 10.4g; Saturated fat per serving 1.1g; Monounsaturated fat per serving 5.8g; Polyunsaturated fat per serving 2.5g; Protein 7g; Carbohydrates 36g; Fiber per serving 4g; Cholesterol 3mg; Iron 4mg; Sodium 373mg; Calcium

Ellipse Fitness Shrimp and Avocado Summer Salad

Ingredients
 2 pounds boiled or steamed shrimp, peeled and deveined
 2 avocados, cut into large pieces
 2 tablespoons diced red onion

For the Dressing
 ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
 ¼ cup red wine vinegar
 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
1. Add shrimp, avocado, and onion to a large bowl.
2. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until well-combined.
3. Add dressing to shrimp avocado salad until it has the amount you desire. Serve additional dressing on the side.

Ellipse Fitness Greek 7 Layer Dip

Ingredients
 8 ounces hummus, store bought or homemade
 1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
 1 clove garlic, finely minced
 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
 Juice of 1/2 lemon
 Pinch kosher salt
 Freshly ground black pepper
 2 tbsp red onion, minced
 1 cup English cucumber (about ½ large), ½-inch dice
 1 cup Roma tomato, seeded, ½-inch dice
 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

Preparation
1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
2. In an 8”x8” or 7″ x 11″glass dish, layer the hummus, yogurt mixture, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta and olives. Serve with whole grain pita chips, celery, or cut fresh veggies

Nutritional Information
Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Calories: 93 • Fat: 5 • Carbs: 7 g • Fiber: 1.5 • Protein: 5 g • Sugar: 2 g • Sodium: 202 mg • Cholesterol: 6 mg

Ellipse Summer Ribbon Salad

Ingredients:
2 zucchini, trimmed
1/4 lb. All natural, thin, deli-sliced ham (no nitrates!)
1/4 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1/8 tsp. each sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preparation:
1. Run a vegetable peeler lengthwise along the edge of each zucchini to make long ribbons. Stack ham slices and cut into approximately 1 x 5 inch strips.
2. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, ham and cantaloupe. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, mint, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over zucchini mixture and toss gently to combine.

NUTRIENTS SERVING (1 cup)
Nutritional Information:
64 calories, 3g fat, 232mg sodium, 5g carbs, 1g fiber, 3.5g sugars, 5g protein, 11mg cholesterol

Ellipse Fitness Tomato and Feta Towers

Ingredients:
 1 ounce reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
 1 garlic clove, minced
 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
 1 large ripe tomato, ends trimmed and cut crosswise into 4 slices
 Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:
 Heat oven to 400 degrees.
 Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
 Combine feta, garlic, oregano, oil and zest in a small bowl.
 Place 2 tomato slices on the baking sheet. Top each slice with one-fourth of the feta mixture. Place a second tomato slice on top of each and cover with remaining feta mixture. Sprinkle with a little pepper.
 Bake until heated through and feta is lightly golden, 18—20 minutes. Serve hot

Makes 2 servings
Nutrition
Per serving: 70 calories; 4g fat (1.5g sat); 4g protein; 5g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 190mg sodium.

Ellipse Healthy Kale and Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients:
 4 cups, shredded green cabbage, packed
 4 cups shredded purple cabbage, packed
 4 cups stemmed and shredded kale, packed
 3 cups grated carrots
Dressing
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp minced jalapeno
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Toppings
2 scallions, sliced (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts roughly chopped (optional)

Preparation:
1. Combine cabbages, kale and carrots in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl
3. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste.
4. Serve topped with scallions and peanuts, if using.

Nutritional Information:
Makes 10 servings. Each serving: 110 calories, 6g. fat (1g saturated), 5g protein, 12g carbs, 4g sugar, 3g fiber, 288mg sodium, 1mg cholesterol

Ellipse Individual Skinny Strawberry Cheesecakes

Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
Filling
2 (8 oz) pckgs. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5 drops red food coloring
2 eggs
2 (5.3 oz) containers strawberry Greek yogurt

Topping
1 cup fat free whipped cream or whipped topping
15 strawberries
For the Crust
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place foil liners in standard size muffin/cupcake pans.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press 1 Tbsp of mixture into each liner.
For the Filling
1. Beat cream cheese with cornstarch, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add strawberry jam, vanilla and food coloring. Mix until combined. Add eggs one at a time mixing well. Mix in Greek yogurt.
2. Pour cheesecake mixture over crusts. Fill each liner nearly to the top. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are set but the center remains wobbly.
3. Cool in pans for one hour. Then place in refrigerator. Chill at least four hours before serving. Top with light whipped cream and strawberries.

Nutritional Information: 213 calories; 24 g carbs; 10g fat; 4.9g protein; 19g sugar