We’ve all suffered from a stitch while we’re exercising.
They suck and never make exercising fun…
But according to professionals, there’s a way to help prevent them that we’re definitely going to try!
So, what causes a stitch?
According to Aussie scientist Dr Darren Morton, the exact cause of a stitch isn’t fully understood.
Latest research has revealed that it’s most likely caused by an irritation of the membrane lining the abdominal cavity.
Sugary drinks have also been linked to an increase risk of stitches (sports drinks do not have this affect, however).
How can we prevent them?
Dr Morton revealed to ABC some tips to avoid a stitch:
1. "Make sure you're well hydrated by drinking lots of water in the 12 hours before you exercise.
2. "In the two hours immediately before, drink only small amounts so you stay hydrated, but your stomach's not bloated (and therefore less likely to press on the lining of your abdominal cavity).
3. "Don't eat large volumes of food for at least two hours before exercise (perhaps even three to four hours before if you're especially prone to stitches).
4. "Avoid very sugary drinks, such as fruit juice or soft drinks, before or during your exercise. Sugary foods like lollies may also be a problem.
"There's less evidence for these, but they're still worth a try:
5. "Get fitter: Some evidence suggests the fitter you are, the less frequently you get stitches. Exactly why isn't understood. But plenty of very fit athletes are still plagued by them.
6. "Strengthen your core: Strong trunk muscles, especially the deeper abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominus, may help ward stitches off, probably by offering more support to abdominal organs. Pilates and exercises using a stability ball may help.
7. "Improve your posture: "We haven't yet done intervention studies to see if changing people's posture makes a difference but we have anecdotal reports of people who've done that and it's been helpful." A physiotherapist may be able to help.
"If you do get a stitch, you might find the following techniques can bring relief:
- Deep breathing
- Pushing or stretching the affected area
- Bending over forward."
Why not give these a try?!