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What is self-myofascial release (SMR?) And, more importantly, how can it assist you in you in your health, fitness, and wellness journey?

This article breaks it down and explains why you should be adding regular SMR sessions into your weekly routine.

First of all, what is SMR?

Self-myofascial release, otherwise known as foam rolling, is an alternative medicine therapy useful for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.

How do you do it?

You begin SMR by placing a foam roller, ball, or even rolling pin under the affected muscles and releasing body weight into the chosen tool. From here, you have the option of either holding this position to release or rolling back and forth for 20-30 seconds.

By releasing one’s full body weight into the foam roller, the muscle is restricted. As you roll through, past, and over the muscle, blood flow will return to the area that had been previously restricted and aid in the process of repair and recovery. This restriction improves the muscle’s extensibility factor, making it more pliable and less prone to injury in the future! A healthy muscle is a flexible muscle.

But, if that isn’t enticing enough for you, here are some of the other incredible benefits to SMR:

Correction of muscle imbalances

Muscle relaxation

Improved joint range of motion

Improved neuromuscular efficiency

Reduced soreness and improved tissue recovery

Suppression/reduction of trigger point sensitivity

Provide optimal length-tension relationships

Decrease the overall effects of stress on the human movement system

Some studies have even proven SMR effective in reducing cellulite

Take a look at some of the basic foam rolling exercises to easily filter into your week and improve overall muscle recovery and function.

Want to learn more about exercise related tips and tricks? Check out other topics on our blog!

How often do you foam roll after exercise?

  • After every challenging workout in my weekly routine

  • Whenever I remember too!

  • Only when my muscles are super sore

  • On occasion, when I happen to come across a foam roller

You can vote for more than one answer.

This article was written by Katy Fraggos, owner and founder of Perspirology, NJ's premiere dance cardio and trampoline fitness studio based in Sea Bright and Middletown NJ.


National Academy if Sports Medicine

Certified Personal Trainer - NASM

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Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Exhausted throughout the day after you work out? You might not be refueling your body properly.


When you work out, you break down muscle. In order to build muscle, you must have a consistent and healthy protein intake. Now, too much protein can cause issues like gout; however, it takes a lot of protein to get there. (Patton)

Studies have shown that you should eat within a two-hour window of your last workout. This food should have a carb/ protein ratio of 3:1.

This may seem like a lot of carbs, but if you look at the breakdown of your food in grams, there is often more carbs to protein per gram.

Do some research and look into what you are putting into your body after you workout. (Patton)

Some food is labeled as great for refueling and energizing, but there is often a lot of BS in this food that is marketed as healthy. Wondering how to find if your food is clean or not? Download the Trash Panda app and scan the bar code of your foods! (Patton)

I dropped in the recipe for my go-to protein shake below ;)


If you have time, find your zen and refocus after your workout. Give yourself moments of peace to reinvigorate yourself before busting into your next task. I like to drink green tea and make a to-do list. If you don’t get this moment, your day may feel more hectic than it needs to be.



Speaking of replenishing the body… holy cow - we all sweat so much at Perspirology, which is awesome for detoxifying and alkalizing the body. However, we must rehydrate! You don’t have to grab a Gatorade or electrolyte tablet if you are trying to avoid refined sugars. You can put a small bit of salt in your water, or blueberries in your water (all fruit is filled with amazing electrolytes), or you can always opt for natural/organic coconut water! If you have found the right electrolytes to replenish you, I suggest you stick to what works!



Most people do not eat before they workout, but it’s fine if you do. If you are one of those morning fasters, you should know that when you wake up, your body is actually in need of deep hydration. To be able to bring it at your workout, make sure you get salt/fruit/coconut water/Gatorade/electrolyte tablets in BEFORE you workout! Besides your electrolyte intake, you should consume a large amount of water (with nothing in it) throughout your day to continue replenishing your body of fluids and flushing out toxins.



Recharge with my go-to Protein Shake!

Note: I am a vegan so there will be no dairy in this.)


-1 cup of water

-1 cup of almond milk (I prefer Elmhurst with no additives)

  • 1/4 cup of blueberries

  • 1/2 cup of Drink Wholesome protein powder

  • 1/4 cup of Sun Warrior non-flavored collagen building powder

  • 1 tbs flaxseeds (blended)

  • 1 tbs chia seeds

  • 3 tbs of hemp seeds

  • 1 banana (if you don’t want it to be so sugary opt for a green banana!)

  • 1/4 cup of raw cashews

This has about 60 grams of protein in it and keeps me full for a very long time (and I like to eat a lot!). I will also eat a salad or Ezekiel toast if I have to be active in the evening; if not, I am good until dinner (I normally eat a large dinner).

Source out the post work out refueling and protein hacks that work for you. A nutrition coach and/or other health professional can also be a fantastic resource in optimizing your workouts and your overall health.


At Perspirology, we train you for overall, life long health. Our workouts efficiently optimize results for improved cardiovascular and muscular performance, as well as other bodily system functions and mental clarity. Proper hydration and other forms of refueling are essential to the success of this or any other quality exercise you add to an active lifestyle.

You can check out more tips and tricks for optimizing your workout on our blog & on instagram.

Our studios are located in Sea Bright, New Jersey and Middletown, New Jersey with additional classes available for at home streaming.


Patton, Kate (2020). The Best Ways to Fuel Your Workout Might Surprise You. Cleveland Clinic.

Dimitratos, Sarah (2018.) The Shopper’s Dilemma: To Shun Or Embrace The Center Aisles? American Society of Nutrition.

Campbell-Falck D, Thomas T, Falck TM, Tutuo N, Clem K (2000). The intravenous use of coconut water. Am. J. Emerg. Med.

Harini, S, ASN Staff (2010). Coconut Water and Other Electrolytes. American Society of Nutrition.

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Choosing yourself everyday is a quest that never ends. Every morning and every evening we have the opportunity to mentally set ourselves up for success.

It’s up to us to make our day/our week, what we want it to be.

Choosing YOU, making changes for YOU, trying NEW things, is how we EVOLVE, GROW, and PROSPER.

Being a part of a community, be it at work, with close friends, family time, a book club, a fitness practice, these all may support you on your daily quest.

Choosing any form of movement, fitness style, checking back in with yourself, sweating, dancing, bouncing on a trampoline (as we do), these are all tools to boost your mood and most likely, with consistency, change your life!

“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”

- Guszkowska M.. Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood [in Polish] Psychiatr Pol. 2004

Below are a few steps, ideas, and thoughts on how to uphold a consistent wellness practice, both with your fitness routine and beyond.




Like many of us, as the New Year approaches or the School year starts and we suddenly get into, “start-over-mode”, wanting to do a life re-haul with everything all at once. We're throwing out every piece of clothing we own, donating shoes we haven’t worn in 6 months, purchasing that shake we keep seeing an ad for on instagram, swearing to go to the gym 6 days a week, maybe even 7, while also committing to a 30-Day Yoga Challenge because we keep telling ourselves that we need to stretch more.

Plus wouldn’t it be a fun party trick to have “the splits“ by the summer!?

Dial it back…

Narrow down the lengthy to-do-list and pick your top 3 to start with.

No matter the season, no matter the month, or the day of the week, it doesn’t need to be Monday or a New Year to start a new habit or push towards a new goal…just start :)


For an example, say you jumped into a fitness challenge and also wanted to journal at night before bed…before the week begins look at the class schedule, your gym’s hours, and be it in your google calendar, on your phone, or in an actual planner with paper and pen (this is me), write it all down. Book the classes, buy your favorite candle specifically for pre-bed-journaling, write down your schedule, plan your weekend around this, and make it your top priority.

Ultimately the priority isn’t just showing up to these classes, the priority is yourself. Show up for YOU and don’t let yourself down.


Every day, every week, will always bring something unplanned. Something happens to the car, the dog needs to go to the vet, you suddenly feel under the weather, whatever it is, you're plan will get thrown. Give yourself grace and patience to get back on track when it is reasonable to do so.


Of the many different mood boosting exercises out there, did you know that Cardiovascular and Aerobics are one of the best for creating the intensity required for the release of mood-raising endorphins in your body?

At Perspirology, we're all about dance cardio and trampoline fitness, but there are many other forms of exercise that are scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce depression and anxiety.

A lot of times, particularly in fitness, exercise is made out to be a chore when there is always an opportunity to find a type of exercise that fuels you and lifts you up!

• Also, ask yourself this, why is this important to me?

• How will I feel 6 weeks from now when I complete this?

• Will I feel better showing up or giving up?

• What is the version of myself that I am seeking after I achieve this goal?

Setting a roadmap for yourself of attainable goals with activities you enjoy, will undoubtably lead to change you want to see, both in your mood and body!


The #1 thing that matters when we set goals for ourselves is ourselves. Our well-being, our mental and physical health trumps anything else.

“Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.” (Glennon Doyle, Untamed).

Now this may come off as blunt/selfish/not a way to be a giving and loving person, but I see it as a reminder to not neglect ourselves and our needs.

• To never set aside our plans at the last minute.

• To choose ourselves.

•To stick to goals we set out for ourselves.

Wildly enough, doing this will create MORE space and willingness to walk into someone else’s world because you had the personal time you needed.

You didn’t jeopardize your mental fortitude and health in fear of someone being mad or disappointed in you. You made yourself a priority so that when you do show up for others, you are fully you, fully present, and fully ready to engage.


All change is a marathon, it’s a process, and the process should never be rushed or taken for granted. The process is the real beauty. The nitty gritty of learning and changing.

The sweat, the tears, the mistakes, the mental gymnastics of wanting to run in the other direction, but the beauty lies in lasting. When we outlast the self doubt, the brain tricks, the anxiety, and the worry, we rise far beyond the strength we ever thought we had.

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” (Marienne Williamson, A Return to Love).


Lean into your gut, your instincts, and what you love. If you try something and it genuinely doesn‘t feel like a good fit, then pivot, try something else.

Are you going to buy a pair of jeans that don’t fit just because you don’t want to go to another store?

Well, don’t answer that...Let's just say at some point we have all probably done that and well, where did those jeans end up? Given to a roommate, donated, or in the trash…am I right? SO head to the next store and the next store and the next store and get the size best for that BOOTY!

You know YOU best. Your inner workings are your guide to actual quality change and ONLY you can make that happen!

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them…Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

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