There are many quick and effective ways to help maintain your body's tissues as you endure the rigors of your workouts and the wear and tear of daily living. Foam rolling is one of these popular modalities. I find myself teaching this to people every day in the clinic.
Why use a foam roller? The easy answer is that it will make you feel better. Grab one and give it a try the next time you're at the gym, and see for yourself how it can help reduce your post-workout soreness and leave you feeling more flexible. This answer falls into the anecdotal, non evidence-based bucket. But since we are always looking to validate our interventions with research, here is an excellent summation of the current literature on foam rolling, done by strength and conditioning researcher Chris Beardsley.
I am always cognizant of keeping people's home programs simple and inexpensive, and foam rolling fits that bill. The one I'm using in the clip above is a high density, 36" x 6" diameter roller. They also come in smaller sizes, and in lower densities (softer). They can be picked up at your local sports store, but your best bet is to go to Amazon where you can purchase one for nearly have the price at about $22.
A little self-maintenance will serve your body well. Foam rolling is a nice place to start, so give it a try and experience the benefits for yourself.
Because I'm always demonstrating how to use a foam roller, I made a brief video to readily share with my patients. It focuses on how to roll out your lower extremities, and here it is: