Sunday, September 15, 2013

Side stitches and fruit body shapes

Just about all week except for one day DH and I have been walking after work. I always go the same route: out of my neighborhood, around two gated developments, up a side street, and back to my house. Previously, I figured it was around 3 miles. Today I timed it walking alone at about 10 am on a Sunday. It took me about 1 hour.

I thought I was walking at a pretty good clip until close to the end but that only equates to a 20 minute mile. Pretty average for me. I will have to time it when DH and I walk, I feel like I walk faster to keep up with him and his long legs. A general online calendar estimated I burned 345 to 386 calories during my walk, depending on how fast I was actually traveling.

Last night I started to feel a cramp in that darn same spot on my right side. DH mentioned maybe needing to eat a banana, but we thought those were just for leg cramps, or drinking more water. I have been off on my water consumption lately. But I used to get the stitches before when I was hard core about my water.

Jenny Side Stitch Four Ways to Stop the Dreaded Side Stitch

So I did a bit of research on side cramps, also called side stitches, among many other names. It is a cramp in the diaphragm (a muscular membrane that moves the air into or out of your lungs so you can breath). They have no idea why it happens but there are a couple of theories about how it could happen. This is the gist that I got from it:

  • Tugging from organ movement
  • Exhaling on a foot strike, liver pulls down when diaphragm pulls up.
  • Exercising may restrict blood to that area
  • Running (or fast walking?) pulls the knee higher which squishes the belly which squishes the diaphragm
  • Not pushing a whole breath out can build up pressure and cut off blood flow

Not related to the diaphragm directly:

  • A build up of gas, sped up by exercise, in the large intestine. 
  • Eating or drinking within the last 2-3 hours before exercising

When I get the stitch I usually throw my hands on my head and run, or walk, like that. Instantly, it improves. Arms down, pain. From my reading, and the above bullets, it looks like I am stretching the organs out and giving my diagram more room. It might even change up my breathing on which leg I strike, so who knows? I found this arms-up method mentioned only once, on the Prevention website. It suggests doing this as a stretch every day. Once upon a time I used to do yoga quite often, and before my runs I did a similar stretch.

Runner's World mentions foods high in fiber and fat take longer to digest and can cause a number of stomach area issues if still moving around in there during exercising. One person's perfect is another's pain. Both How Stuff and Core suggest lips as away to help with breathing. Either grunting on the exhale or pursing your lips. Both make you focus on breathing and the forceful exhaling.

Now that is particularly interesting because I try to not look like a mouth breather when I walk. Running, oh well, open mouth it is. I try to do deep breathing through my nose, but maybe I need to start extending and pulling in my belly also. I kind of like the idea of the blowing out birthday candles idea. Sure I probably look and sound goofy, but if it works I am all for stopping the pain.

Interesting, wikiHow has something that uses water on your skin, or a bath, to get rid of them. See the link for the how-to.

I figured all of this walking would have me at least dropping a few pounds. When I weigh myself on the weekend, its less, during the week, back to normal. I do eat and drink less during the weekend so that is probably it. And I know the exercise will be building up the muscle I let go slag recently.
My motivation to start running (ha, let's see if it holds true!) came at a Girls Night Out potluck. I came in a few hours late due to working late and leaving my phone/gps in my office at work (ugh!), wearing a flowy style dress that had a stretchy top. The hostess, whom I know casually, was already into the wine by this point, and understandably so, hugs me and as we are walking in touches my belly and says, "OMG are you pregnant?" Now, this is not the first time this has happened in my life, although not in a while. Apparently, I had funny quips to let the comments roll off, after all, most women my age are well into multiple kids and we rarely all get out together so it's hard to keep track of who is and who isn't. I never feel bad because I understand, and I am  holding my weight right there. This time I just said no and moved on, she counted with, "Oh! I'm sorry! Don't feel bad," and we went on through the night as if nothing had happened.

So I wake up this morning and think, should I go walk or should I get on the treadmill and start my C25K training again? Clearly, it bothered me, just a little. I ended up going for a walk this morning and deciding to start running on Tuesday. Fingers crossed I do. I might actually get up regularly for work and "run" then head to work a bit later on. I realized just one hour later and highway rush-hour traffic almost doesn't exist, both to and from work. Which helps my stress level immensely.
I came across an interesting pic on an ad on facebook. This is a similar lay out. It uses fruit shapes overlayed on a female body drawing to show where the weight is held or to show the larger location of the body, if there is one. I liked it because I knew I wasn't pear-shaped, it's mostly in my belly. But what am I?  According to this I am an apple. Hey, we all can't be hour glasses or bananas like society dictates.  I am not fitting into my pants, my shirts are kind of all over the place because I weeded some out, bought some new ones for winter, and it's still hot, so they are too heavy, and just can't find anything that I own that looks good on me: hides the flaws, accentuates my curves. I pulled this image from My HighWaist That website is a good one to check out for celebrities in bikinis who have particular shapes, like the triangle, or inverted triangle. Not the most comprehensive and appears to be selling bathing suits. But hey, its a resource and the picture was informative.

Anyone else have cures for side stitches or complaints about which fruit you are and which you want to be?

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