Pain in the Abs

25 03 2008

LisaR asked a great question:

So i commented a few days ago about running and ALWAYS getting side cramps. Would not chewing gum make a difference? I’ve noticed I chew gum alot…everyday but only one piece a day (I chew 1/2 at a time). I know you swallow air when you chew but I don’t know if this would make much a difference!

thx )

Side aches are caused my an insufficient warm up.  When you do cardio exercises, your blood flow is shunted from the abdomical area in order to deliver it to the exercising muscles. This results in vasodilation, or increase in diameter, of the arterial blood vessels (the ones that deliver blood to the exercising muscles) and vasocontriction, or decrease in the diameter, of the blood vessels that supply blood to the abdominal area. A nice warm up will give you a gradual redistribution of blood flow, which will eliminate that stitch in your side.

Other benefits of a warm-up:

  • Slows the accumulation of lactic acid which will prevent high intensity exercise for long periods, and also cuts back on muscle soreness.
  • causes a gradual increase in muscle temperature, which prevents injuries and pulled muscles. Think cold taffy: if you pull it, it snaps, but if its warm, it stretches.
  • Increases the elasticity of the connective tissues (ligaments, tendons) preventing injury of those areas.

Your warm up should last about 5 minutes and be a lower intensity form of what you will be doing as your exercise. Stretching comes AFTER your warm up. Remember the taffy analogy.

 Im going to go to the gym tonight, and do some cardio and lower body. I will post lower body exercises, like I did with the upper body yesterday, probably Thursday.

My lunch was delicious today:

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  • Whole wheat pita
  • left over Easter ham
  • Part skim mozzerella cheese
  • Left over steamed brocolli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • Baby spinach
  • Onions
  • Mustard

I had it with a raspberry cottage cheese double and an orange.

How many of you guys only work out at home? Im trying to get a grasp on my audience here, because if a lot of you guys also go to the gym, i can try and get some gym workout encorporated, too.

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