Photo credit: Trevor Raab
Now that you invested in a foam roller, how do you take care of it so it continues to take care of you?
I recommend using a damp cloth with mildly soapy water to wipe your foam roller and let it air dry. Personally, I like to use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and dilute it with water. Follow the diluting directions on the bottle. Personally, I put this solution in a squirt bottle and keep it on hand to use as a mild cleaning solution for fitness and household items. I’ve also used eco-friendly wipes (e.g., Seventh Generation) to wipe it down. I do not recommend cleaning your foam roller with any harsh chemicals, because it my alter the texture of the foam roller.
Avoid storage at extreme temperatures (above 90 degrees and below 32 degrees) and keep it out of direct sunlight. Store in a ventilated area so it can dry out from use and after cleaning.
For those of you with infants and pets, I recommend storing your foam roller in a location your child or pet cannot reach it. Disregard if you purposefully purchased a foam roller for your child or pet. (smile)
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Who needs fancy gym equipment when you have several items in your home that could serve a similar purpose? Check out the list below to see if you already own any of the following creative fitness solutions in the privacy of your own home!
- Canned foods – Work well as dumbbells. They could also serve as mini-foam rollers. Be careful with the semi-sharp edges.
- Chair – Great for dips, inclined push ups, and reclined push ups. Use two chairs side-by-side with space in the middle to do some inclined push-ups .
- Broom or mop – A great alternative to a weighted bar. You can also hold up the broom or mop overhead with straight arms and wide grip and wide leg stance to do overhead bar squats. You can also let the broom rest on your shoulders while letting grabbing hold of either end and complete some torso twists.
- Paper plates – Who needs Valslides? Use paper plates instead!
- Milk or juice jug (filled with liquid or sand) – This makes a great replacement to several medicine ball activities, but don’t slam it…it will get messy! You can lug this around instead of something like a sandbag.
- Plastic grocery bags – Another great alternative to Valslides! Just place them underneath your hands or feet and start sliding. They work best on carpet or smooth surfaces. Double or trip bag something heavy inside and use these as weights!
- Towel – Fold up into a square or rectangle and use this instead of a balance disc. You can also do something like an overhead bar (towel) squat.
- Pillow – Work those abs with a lying (face up) hand-to-feet pillow exchange.
- Coasters – Another item to use instead of Valslides.
- Step / Stairs – Do some basic step ups and jump ups. Do a few calf raises. Bust out some inclined and declined push ups. Knock out an elevated plank. Depending on step height, you can crank out some dips.
- Dresser or counter top – Do some inclined push-ups!
- Books – You can also use these as an alternative to Valslides. Use a thick book to do some elevated push-ups. Heavy books could also serve as dumbbells and the different grip works those forearms.
- Old extra long phone cord – Use this as a jump rope. You could also use this as a stretching strap to help with some stretching exercises (be careful because the thickness of the rope may not be strong enough to support your weight).
- Wall – Do some wall sits or modified standing push-ups. Lie on your back, slide your butt close to the wall and do a leg inversion up against the wall.
- Sofa – Take those shoes off, lie on your back, and rest those legs up on sofa and do some assisted crunches. You can also tuck those toes underneath the sofa to help hold your feet down as you do some crunches. Lastly, do a plank facing your sofa and do some single arm punches into your sofa as you continue to hold your plank position.
- Bottle – You could use this as a mini foam roller for extremities (be careful, it’s GLASS).
- Water bottles (filled) – These work well as light weight dumbbells.
- Laundry detergent jug (full) – See filled milk or juice jug above (#5).
- Children – Small children make excellent weighted vests, sand bags, and large weights! Proceed with caution! Safety first!
Did I miss anything? Household items? Creative exercises? Please share!
Also let me know if you want me to provide details about any specific exercises using the items listed above.