How Long Does It Take For Foam Rolling To Work?

A little massage can go a long way towards helping you move better and hurt less. But the benefits don't kick in...

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The fish oil test

  • Minimum effective dose: foam rolling

  • Weekly wisdom

Arnold’s Podcast

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The Fish Oil Test

How often do you eat fish? Answering that question could determine whether you need additional supplementation.

Research suggests that fish oil supplements benefit those who don’t eat much fish — but there are also potential downsides for those who do.

Studies suggest that eating a 4 to 6-ounce serving of fattier fish (think salmon, mackerel, or sardines) at least twice per week can improve heart and brain health.

Because fish oil is good for you, fish oil supplements were created. But that’s where the research gets a little murky. As we previously shared, fish oil supplements might not be for everyone and could increase the risk for A-fib. 

Confusing, right? So here’s a simple way to assess what you need to ensure the pills you pop prevent issues rather than cause them.

Researchers found that fish oil was most likely to help if you eat fewer than 1.5 servings of fish per week.

If you’re going to use supplements, make sure you’re using an NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport product (here’s our Pump Club-approved recommendation). It’s also possible that the adverse outcomes result from poor quality control in supplements. Studies suggest impurities are found in 20 percent of fish oil supplements, and up to 67 percent have inaccurate labels.

If you’re going to take a supplement, research suggests that taking approximately 840 mg EPA/DHA provides cardiovascular benefits for people who don’t eat fish.

The Only Diet Book You Need

Just $2 might end your dieting woes.

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✅A foreword by Arnold
✅20 years of lessons crammed into one book
✅Meal templates, easy recipes, and takeout options from the 50 most-visited restaurants
✅Workouts that can be done in as little as 20 minutes

It’s on sale for a limited time!

Minimum Effective Dose: Foam Rolling

Have you ever tried foam rolling and felt it didn’t make a difference? There might be a good reason. 

Recent research suggests that the real benefits of foam rolling won’t kick in for most people for at least four weeks.  

The scientists reviewed 11 studies to determine noticeable improvements. You might foam roll and immediately feel better or have fewer aches and pains, but this was more about determining when you’ll significantly improve your movement. 

There wasn't much change in studies that were less than four weeks. But when performed consistently for four or more weeks, there’s a significant increase in range of motion. In particular, hamstrings and quads appear to respond best to foam rolling. 

And it doesn’t have to be an everyday habit, either. The study found that foam rolling led to improvements when done a minimum of two to three times per week for anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes per muscle group. 

This might not be good news for people looking for a quick fix, but it’s a good reminder that the best things typically require consistent effort.

Advice From Arnold
Weekly Wisdom: The Myth of Motivation

On Monday, Arnold did his 36th Q&A in The Pump app and answered nearly 100 questions. Here was one comment the community found especially valuable.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell