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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Side Stitches
By Raymond Lee
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A side stitch occurs when your diaphragm or another muscle in the abdominal region abruptly contracts, usually during vigorous physical activity. The spasm affects your breathing, and you can’t meet your body’s oxygen demands. You have to take a break from what you are doing and wait for the pain to subside before you can continue. It is yet know for sure what triggers a side stitch. Among the most common triggers are engaging in an activity that is too strenuous for your level of conditioning, breathing improperly, becoming dehydrated, and exercising too soon after a meal. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt for fast relief.
- Drink To Your Health
Make sure that you are well-hydrated, especially if you are working out in the heat. As a rule of thumb, drink 8 to 12 ounces of fluids before you can start exercising, then 4 to 8 ounces every 30 to 45 minutes while you are on the move. The best choices for proper hydration are water, fruit juices, and sports drinks such as Gatorade.
- Lighten Up
What you eat is just as important as when you eat. A side stitch is more likely to occur after a heavy meal than after a light one. So eat something light when you know that you are going to be exercising. And avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods, they slow down the digestive process. It is recommended fueling your body with carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta and bread. They are easier to digest, and they won’t give you a heavy feeling when you exercise.
- Put On The Brakes
Do not try to work through a side stitch. If you are running, for example, slow down to a walk or sit and rest. The stitch will gradually go away.
- Watch Your Breath
Proper breathing technique may help prevent side stitches. When you exercise, take longer, deeper breaths. Short, choppy breathing tends to overwork the muscles. It is better to regulate your breathing so you inhale and exhale in rhythm with the movement of your limbs.
- Reach For The Sky
Once you stop moving, raise your arms overhead. This allows your chest to expand and contract more when you breathe. It stretches the muscles too.
- Warm Up
Jumping headlong into vigorous exercise is an invitation fro a side stitch. Be sure to warm up enough. Stretch, loosen up, rev up your body before you work out.
- Restart Gradually
Once the pain subsides, you can resume your activity, but at a lower intensity. If the stitch returns, stop again. It won’t escalate into anything serious, but your body won’t let you continue.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 18, 2007