FAQ: November 2015

By AFM Staff – November 1, 2015
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

Do I need to foam roll after every workout? Do I need to roll out longer after a run (as opposed to a gym workout?)

Foam rolling, which provides myofascial release, breaks up the tightness or knots that accumulate in your muscles. It increases circulation and also aids in speedy recovery after arduous exercise. Foam rolling isn’t limited to runners; rolling out is just as necessary and helpful after heavy lifting. If your muscles feel tight or you feel immediate soreness after your workout (regardless of what kind of workout), take it as a hint from your body to hit the foam roller. The process is different for everyone—some people may focus extra time and effort on a knot or two that needs to be broken up while others just do a general all-over roll out. It’s suggested that 10 to 15 minutes should be an adequate amount of time to dedicate to this process.


Is it tacky to create a holiday gift list to give to my relatives? I’d rather just give them a list (and request they do the same) to choose something that would be put to use rather than get a gift that’s just going to gather dust in a corner.

It depends. If it’s something that every single person in your family agrees to do, then it’s acceptable. However, if you’re the only one e-mailing a detailed wish list to your family members, it may send the wrong message. According to Miss Manners, the practice of exchanging gifts (sans list) is intended to produce that warm feeling of knowing that someone else has noticed you and wants to show that you are worth the time and effort of finding a gift they think you’d appreciate. When that element of thoughtfulness is eliminated, what is left? We are all so connected via social media these days that it shouldn’t be hard to scroll through someone’s feed, to get an idea of what his or her hobbies and interests are, and then find a gift they’d appreciate. Alternatively, you can request a donation to a charity or cause be made in your name. If you’re low on gift ideas to give your friends and family, check out our gift guide starting on page 34! Ultimately though, it’s the thought that counts.


What exactly does it mean when certain foods are labeled as anti-inflammatory? You’ve probably noticed that doctors and nutritionists encourage the incorporation of anti-inflammatory foods to round out a healthy diet. So, based on context clues we know they’re good for you. But what is inflammation and why are we trying to reduce it?

Let’s compare it to a common injury, just as an ankle sprain. If you roll your ankle, blood immediately rushes to the area in an attempt to start the healing process. Internally, your body is always working to fight off infections and illnesses, but when this immune response doesn’t stop, you could be at risk of chronic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods serve as an extra defense mechanism in warding off chronic inflammation that can lead to more serious issues. Many doctors consider inflammation a silent epidemic and may trigger a multitude of chronic illnesses such as arthritis, Alzheimer's, and cardiovascular disease. Anti-inflammatory diet staples include fruits and vegetables and lean protein like chicken and fish.


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