FREE MASSAGE!! Caroline’s How to Foam Roll Guide

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What the heck is foam rolling and why do I NEED it?

Foam rolling is an inexpensive, super-versatile technique that can help you with  muscle tension relief, correcting muscular imbalances, allow your body an increased range of motion and aid in injury prevention. The best part? All it takes is 10-15 minutes of regular foam rolling to see results. Read on to learn the fascinating facts about treating your muscles with regular self massage work!

The Science behind it: Foam Rolling and Fascia

Foam rolling is an excellent way to treat your fascia and improve its quality on a daily basis. Healthy fascia is a critical element in releasing your potential. Imbalances in your fascial system need to be addressed directly, and with daily, consistent effort, foam rolling will restore your fascia to its pliable and relaxed form.

What is your fascia? It’s the most overlooked aspect of any system in our bodies. Fascia is a 3-D cobweb like substance that is intertwined around every muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, and bone in your body. From feet to fingers, left to right, we are one big fascial sheath. Fascia supports your organs and joints from head to toe, acts as a shock absorber, and is extremely rich in nerve supply. Your strength, flexibility, and fitness performance depend on its health.  To give you an idea of what it might look like, next time you walk by the supermarket meat counter, look at the web-like coating on raw, skinless chicken or the silver sinew on a piece of raw filet mignon. That’s fascia. Our human fascia is similar. And when your back, hips, knees, neck, or shoulders start to hurt, your fascia gets involved. It tightens. It knots. The body tries to correct itself, but cant figure out how and some areas compensate for others. That brings pain.

You need to address the fascia in your body to for ultimate performance potential and well being. And while you can always receive hands-on bodywork, you can save a lot of money just by working through foam rolling exercises regularly. These help to activate the nervous system and addresses mobility and fascia. Done on a regular basis,  a foam rolling routine will go a long way to reduce or eliminate long term pain and injury.

How to Start A Foam Rolling Routine

Not all gyms carry foam rollers and it might be worth while investing in purchasing your own tools for home use. Most of these foam rolling devices only cost 10-40 dollars and are MUCH more affordable than hiring your own masseuse! There are several different options when it comes to what foam rolling tools to purchase. Here are some of my favorites:

  • High density foam roller: A compact, high density roller designed to maintain its shape. The most common tool you will see at gyms and fitness centers.
  • The Grid: A travel ready roller with a foam grid designed for trigger point release.
  • Yoga Tune Up Balls: The Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls measure at about 2 1/2″ in diameter each and are made of a special rubber that grips at your skin, grabs at multiple layers of muscles, and rubs out adhesions and tension, providing a deep tissue massage. http://www.yogatuneup.com/product/therapy-ball/balls-tote
  • Rolling Pin: I use a standard kitchen rolling pin as an inexpensive on the go massage tool. It’s easy to travel with and can be useful in working out the kinks in my calves, quads, and IT band muscles.
  • Golf Ball: Perfect for getting all the tiny spots in your feet, a golf ball can aid in healing plantar fasciitis and other not so fun foot problems.

Before you roll away: Know that foam rolling a tight muscle may cause discomfort. This usually means the area NEEDS attention. Work at it slowly. Roll back and forth in small movements or simply apply pressure to create a release. Each time you use your foam roller makes the next time a little bit easier. Just don’t forget to BREATHE!

How to Foam Roll Like A PRO.

  • Always check with your doctor before using a foam roller for myofascial release.
  • Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout.
  • Position the roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.
  • Place body part on roller and apply pressure. Stay in place or gently roll your body weight back and forth across the roller while targeting the affected muscle.
  • Move slowly and take deep breaths.
  • If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens.
  • Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion.
  • Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. Expect some discomfort. It may feel very tender or bruised at first.
  • Stay on soft tissue and avoid rolling directly over bone or joints.
  • Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. About 15 minutes is all you need.
  • Rest a day between sessions when you start.
  • Choose to take a class featuring a foam roller or yoga tune up balls to learn more techniques to target specific muscles. I teach a class titled “RX Series” at EQUINOX San Francisco monday nights from 6:50-7:15pm that uses the yoga tune up balls to teach self-care techniques. Most gyms now have some sort of foam rolling class featured on the group fitness schedule – see if you can GO and learn how to fix your fascia! Heres a sample video of the RX Series class at EQUINOX:

 

Get started: Take with you Anywhere Foam Rolling Videos

To help you begin a regular foam rolling routine, I have included some of my favorite Caroline Jordan Fitness foam rolling youtube videos. These free self massage exercise routines can be done at the gym, at home, or while traveling to provide instant relief to sore, tired muscles. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Happy rolling!

Quick, Effective After Workout Massage and Stretching Video (14 minutes)

After Running Foam Roll Routine

Full Body After Workout Foam Rolling Routine (20 minutes)

Simply by taking time to work through foam rolling exercises on a regular basis will pay fantastic dividends. Your body will be able to move more fluidly and freely. You will be able to perform better and feel better.  I challenge you to invest time into learning  self care massage techniques that will aid you in maintaining a healthy, strong body!! There is NO right or wrong when it comes to foam rolling – and the best way to learn is just to START. You will feel awkward at first – but go slow and just ROLL with it!

Yours in health,

Caroline

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Stop Stomach Bloating. Beat Stomach Bloat and Keep Your Tummy Feeling Tight!

Do you have a bloated stomach? Stop stomach bloating with these helpful wellness tips to help keep your abs feeling tight!

bloat

Having tummy trouble? Headed to an event this weekend and want your abs to look and feel their best? Stomach bloating is something I get asked a lot about as a health and wellness coach. No one likes feeling bloated: it causes physical discomfort and hurts your ability to live life to its fullest. The good news? Experts say stomach bloating is a condition you can avoid pretty easily. I’m not talking about extra pounds of stomach fat, I’m referring to  the temporary abdominal distention that plagues most everyone from time to time.

Here are a few quick suggestions to help digestion, reduce bloating, and make your gut a happy, healthy one.

stomach bloating

 Cheers to a Bloat Free Belly!!

Stop Stomach Bloating. Beat the Bloat and Keep Your Abs Feeling Tight with these health tips:

    • FIBER. Too little fiber can lead to constipation, which can result in bloating. Avoid tummy trouble by eating a diet high in fiber (25 grams per day for women and 38 for men) from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. But be careful, too much fiber may actually cause bloating too! Ive known a lot of people who overdose on fiber  and their good intentions turn around to bite them by causing belly bloat. Use the recommended dose as a guide and figure out how much you need to keep your bowels moving and your tummy tight.
    • Drink Up! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids (aim for 6-8 glasses a day) to aid in digestion.
    • Exercise. When you aren’t moving, nothing else is either! This is why when we sit too much or travel things tend to get backed up and puffy! Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week. If your schedule is busy and you have a hard time fitting in 30 minutes of continuous activity, try doing 10 minutes in the morning before leaving your hotel or home. Any movement is better than none and will go a long way in helping you manage digestion. Even a walk can prove beneficial, do whatever allows your stomach to feel its best. When I am feeling a bit on the bloated side I like to do cardio to aid in digestion and core work to help “pull things back in”. To help with bloating, I filmed this home exercise video. This quick 8 minute routine that combines cardio and core for a fast on the go workout to help ease stomach bloating. Repeat the series 2-3 times through for a longer workout –  it’s a great solution to belly deflating on the go!!

  • Rule Out Foods You’re Allergic or Sensitive To. While this may seem like a no-brainer, food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances can cause bloating, gas and stomach discomfort. Wheat and dairy are common culprits but it is best if you don’t self diagnose. If you think you have a food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance, see your doctor for allergy tests and how you can avoid allergy and sensitivity-aggravating foods.
  • AVOID Sugar-Free, low fat, artificially sweetened sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are lower calorie forms of simple table sugar. Because they are digested in a different way than sugar, many people find that they cause bloating. Sugar alcohols are most often found in chewing gum, soda and as filler in many processed foods (all that “low-fat” and “non-fat” stuff is dangerous!). Look for the “-ol” at the end of the word to recognize a sugar alcohol. Examples: Sorbitol, and xylitol. Toss out sugar free foods, chewing gum, and diet sodas to beat belly bloat.
  • Eat smaller meals more often. Eating more frequently can help control blood sugar, manage hunger, and keep you free of the bloated feeling that often follows large meals (think post thanksgiving fullness – not something you want on a regular basis!). Try five to six small meals each day and make sure the quantity of food and calories are proportionate to your needs. To create a daily meal plan that includes the recommended amounts of all major nutrients, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate web site or schedule a visit with your favorite nutritionist. Corrine Dobbas and Jae Berman are two of my favorites in SF!
  • Try healthy holistic foods and drinks to deflate. A few studies suggest that peppermint tea, ginger, dandelion, prunes, pineapple, parsley, and yogurts containing probiotics (“good” bacteria) may help reduce bloating. Probiotics can be especially helpful as they nourish the healthy bacteria in your intestines and keep things running smoothly. You can find probiotics in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and cultured dairy-free yogurt. You can also take probiotics in a supplement form. Or you can try my delicious detoxing apple cider vinegar drink! These are safe foods that are good for you when used appropriately, so give them a try and see if they help you de-bloat.
  • Take it easy on the beans. When it’s down the wire—such as several days before a big event—you may consider avoiding certain foods that are otherwise healthy for you. Beans and cruciferous vegetables can cause more gas than other foods, so stick to other vegetables and plant-based sources of protein when you need to cut bloating down even further.
  • SLOW DOWN. Eating too quickly and not chewing your food  can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating. If you are a speed eater, it might be a good idea to make it a goal to slow down and take the time to enjoy your food. Aim to make your meals last at least 30 minutes. When you take your time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying and you can avoid belly bloating.
  • Watch the salt. You knew this one was coming, you will want to limit your salt to avoid bloating. Get in the habit of reading food labels and being a mindful consumer. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving in any product — or a total of 1,500 to 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Look for labels that say “sodium free,” “low sodium,” or “very low sodium.”
  • Dont Stress. De-stress!! Too much stress can cause constipation, stomach upset, or stomach bloating. Along with resolving any lifestyle factors that may be contributing to anxiety (like too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or poor diet), here are some ideas for effective natural methods to ease and prevent stress. Getting rid of a tummy troubles may be a simple as a few deep, intentional breaths.

The suggestions above should not replace the advice of your doctor or health care practitioner. Should your stomach bloating last more than a few days, make an appointment with your doc and seek medical care!  Do you have any helpful ways to keep stomach distress away? I hope the suggestions above gave you a few ideas on what to do the next time you face tummy trouble. Eat well, exercise, and manage your stress and you should have a happy healthy belly for life!

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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LIVE WITHOUT LIMITS

tumblr_m85cefKwDW1r7pzd4o1_1280The #1 thing that holds people back from reaching their health goals? Limiting Beliefs. Often times we forget that we can be our own biggest obstacles when it comes to reaching our full potential.  Limiting beliefs can come from the way you were raised, the people surrounding you, a lack of self-confidence, or even fear – there are many causes. If you nurture limiting beliefs, they’ll rule your behavior ALL your life. Limiting beliefs sound something like this:

  • “I’m not athletic enough to have a regular workout program” (so I dont have to)
  • “I’ve never been able to lose the fat in my thighs or belly.” (So I wont try)
  • “Women shouldn’t workout with weights” (So I’ll stick to the treadmill).
  • “People my age cant run/bike/do yoga/lose weight” (so I wont attempt it)
  • “I have a bad back/knees/shoulder/hip” (So I’ll remain sedentary)
  • “I’m afraid to change because…..” (NOTHING changes!)

These examples illustrate how people allow self-defeating thoughts to rule their activity and in turn, their fitness, their well-being, their ultimate ability to succeed. It’s true, if you believe you are limited your actions will follow suit and you will prove your own beliefs right.

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Good news is that limiting belief systems are learned behaviors and if you can learn it, you can also UN-learn it. When you are ready, you can overcome mental obstacles and make your goals possible.

positive thinking quotesHere’s the thing: fitness isn’t about how you look. Its about how you FEEL, perform, and what you can achieve. We’re emotional and spiritual beings. How you look is a side effect of how a regular workout program affects your physical capabilities, your mental toughness, your ability to achieve. And whats one of the biggest programs we all face? We are emotionally overstressed and physically under-stressed. We live sedentary lives while never dragging our emotional garbage out on to the curb – anxiety, disappointment, fear, sadness, frustration, anger – you name it. We steep in our own stress hormones, doing nothing to release the pain. In order to lead a happy, healthy life you have to train INWARDLY just as aggressively as you train outwardly. Health is an inside -> out process.

To attack limiting or negative belief systems, realize you must work on strengthening your mindset first. If your mental, emotional, and spiritual side – your inner self – is out of shape, you’ll never find the kind of success in life you hope to find – no matter how hard you work towards your goals. This means you have to condition your mind the same way you condition your body – with specific exercises designed to help you. Below are a few things you can do that will help you strengthen your MIND and live a positive life. Give your mind a workout with all of these exercises and you’ll see incredibly positive results!

Mind Workout Routine: Exercises to whip your inner self into shape. Work on your mental strength and positive attitude with these exercises daily, weekly, or as much a possible to strengthen your life from the inside -> out.

  • Get to know yourself and hang out on a regular basis. Get in touch with who you are, what you want, and what thoughts could potentially block you from going after it. Don’t push your desires and emotions in a back corner. Take time to regularly get in touch with your emotional self. Journal, meditate, go for a walk, work with a coach, make a vision board, paint, whatever works. Allowing time to feel your emotions and self-reflect will help you live in an intentional way and heal any mental wounds that may be blocking you from your goals.
  • Strengthen your Brain. This one is most important. You must train your brain to think positive instead of negative. Just like you would strengthen your muscles, your brain works the same way. Instead of self-destructive thoughts repeat positive, life affirming statements to yourself. Try affirmations like, “I am healthy, strong, and full of energy.”  The more you train the brain to think positive the stronger it will get on focusing on the good in life. And  since positive thoughts inspire positive results, by training your brain in this way you will bring more happiness into your life and will feel empowered to achieve your goals.
  • Surround yourself with people who LIFT you higher. Its hard to believe in yourself when you are around people who bring you down or discourage you from going after your goals. You MUST make an effort to meet and engage with positive-minded, high-performing people. They lift you up and show you the way every time.
  • Have an ATTITUDE of gratitude. Research has shown that gratitude is linked with positive emotions including contentment, happiness, and hope.  At some point during the day, make a simple list of five or ten things that you are grateful for in your life. We have talked about the power of keeping a gratitude journal in this space before. It’s amazing how simply taking the time to count your blessings goes FAR in helping you live a life you love.
  • Get Inspired. Is there a teacher, book, song, or photo that moves you at a deeper level? Next time you feel limited, connect to the people and things that inspire you most. When Im out of sorts, a class with Stephanie Snyder Yoga, article from Oprah, or talk from TED turns my entire day around for good. Make the effort to connect to the things that make your heart sing and inspire you to dig deeper and go after your goals.

I believe that the mental strength is the secret to reaching your FULL POTENTIAL. The first step is knowing who you are and what you want. And then the secret sauce to REALLY start making changes is a positive mental attitude. It’s so easy to slip into a negative mindset, especially if it has been that way for years. But if you commit to eliminate those tendencies in yourself, you will see your thoughts gradually change from negative to positive. I challenge you to train your brain to attack limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Get connected to your emotional and spiritual self – your inner strength. Do the work to be strong from the inside out and you will LIVE WITHOUT LIMITS.

Here to watch you fly free from fears and live the life of your dreams. Anything is possible when you believe 🙂

With love,

Caroline

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Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar: Clear Skin, Weight Loss, Energy, Detox.

What is the secret to clear skin, weight loss, energy, and feeling your best? Apple Cider Vinegar. Here’s what you need to know about this miracle health drink.

apple cider vinegar uses

I think I may have just discovered the holistic health secret to shiny hair, spotless skin, and toned abs: Apple Cider Vinegar.

What the heck is Apple Cider Vinegar???  Apple cider vinegar, known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple and has a pale to medium amber color. Unpasteurized or unfiltered ACV contains the “mother of vinegar” which makes the vinegar look thicker and amber colored.

Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and Yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria. Acetic and malic acid give vinegar its sour taste.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (AVC) is rich in minerals. There is a long history of its use in medicine dating back to 400 B.C., when Hippocrates used it to treat his patients. AVC is considered to be a potent remedy for illnesses and overall health. Apple cider vinegar’s strong suit is balancing pH levels, and creating a healthy, alkalized state when you eat or drink it—or use it a skin-care product. (You want to be more alkaline than acidic for a trillion health reasons, some experts say.)

It’s also pretty renowned in natural-health circles for curbing digestive issues, spiking weight loss, promoting great skin, and banishing a handful of other pesky afflictions.

And in the medical community, small research studies point to its promise for lessening symptoms of diabetes and obesity.

Want to know other incredible ways this wonder drink can help you? Here are a few more Health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:

  • Rich in potassium, a mineral that is often times lacking in adult diets. This mineral is key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc. It also helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.
  • Rich in acetic acid. This acid is said to slow the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals.
  • Rich in ash which gives ACV its alkaline property. This aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state. (It is particularly important if you drink a lot of coffee or wine.)
  • It can help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Rich in malic acid which gives ACV its anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  • May help improve bowel irregularity and helps to remove toxins from the body at a faster rate (hello detox drink!)
  • It can help clear up skin conditions and blemishes.
  • ACV helps with weight loss by breaking down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them.
  • A few lab studies have found that ACV may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

What kind of Apple Cider Vinegar do you buy?

Get the good stuff. By “the good stuff,” I mean raw, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. If you’ve got a good bottle of apple cider vinegar, you should see some strand-like sediment floating at the bottom. No, your vinegar hasn’t gone bad—that gunky-looking stuff at the bottom is the most important part! It’s called “the mother,” and it contains raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that promote healing. Clear vinegar is processed and doesn’t have any of the benefits that raw ACV has. There are different brands out there but I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, which I find at my local organic market or Whole Foods. If you want to buy more in bulk at cost, I recommend looking into buying your ACV on Amazon. 

How to add apple cider vinegar to your diet:

Drink it! Mix 1-2 tablespoons with a cup of water or herbal tea. (Apple cider vinegar is quite strong, and when taken straight can be harsh on the esophagus, so you’ll want to dilute it). Some people recommend taking 2 tablespoons before every meal, but if you are new to drinking it, I would start with 2 tbsp in the morning before your day begins. I like fixing up a “Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink” to get my day started with the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:

apple cider vinegar detox recipe

Caroline’s “Apple Cider Vinegar Detox” Drink Recipe 

This recipe detox drink will help your body burn fat, lose weight, fight diabetes, and glow with health. Lemon juice helps balance blood sugar and has an alkaline effect on your body helping to regulate ph. It contains vitamin C. Cinnamon is one of the best anti-oxidants on the planet. It is the number 1 spice/herb for balancing blood sugar. Cayenne pepper has been shown to drop blood pressure and increase . Stevia is an all nautical sweetener made from the stevia plant and is a great replacement for any artificial sweeteners.

Mix up this morning elixir and kick start your body for the day!!

Mix It! Apple Cider Vinegar is a classic salad dressing ingredient, which you can definitely get a little creative with! While olive oil, the most commonly used oil for salad dressing, you can mix your ACV with flax oil and lemon or orange juice, and perhaps even whirr it all together in a blender with a clove of garlic and a bit of onion. I even like to just drizzle it on my salad plain! If you want to experiment with a salad, try this raspberry vinaigrette Recipe:

Apple Cider Vinegar Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Instructions:
 1. Combine all ingredients into a food processor 
2. Blend until smooth
 3. Pour into a storage container, such as a recycled bottle of salad dressing
 4. Enjoy over a salad…Yum!


I strongly believe that combined with a clean diet, regular exercise regimin, and happy lifestyle, Apple Cider Vinegar has the power to provide incredible health benefits. Have you heard of any other great uses for apple cider vinegar? Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you enjoy these recipes – I’m off to drink my daily Apple Cider Vinegar detox drink!

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life. 

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