What’s that painful feeling in your ribs?

woman running with stitchSometimes when you’re running along a sharp pain can develop and often causes you to stop exercising (good excuse to tell your trainer that you can no longer keep running). This is known as a ‘stitch’ which is a sharp pain felt in your side just under your ribs. Although it is not clear what the cause of a stitch is, it is thought that breathing has a lot to do with it.

The diaphragm and intercostal muscles (located between the ribs) are involved in the breathing process and can become tight and not function properly if there is a lack of oxygen. So the sharp pain you are feeling in between your ribs are perhaps a result of inadequate oxygen delivery to the muscles that are involved in breathing.

So how do we treat a stitch? Most of the time, stitches occur on the right side of the body. When the side stitch is on the right side, try to exhale when you’re left foot lands. Also try and drop the intensity slightly and hopefully it will settle after a few minutes. Another recommendation is breathing through pursed lips is to ease the pain, but stopping your exercise activity is sometimes the only solution. If you stop exercise the pain will usually stop in a few minutes with no harm done.

Now that we have treated them, how do we prevent them?

Here are some ways:

  • Improve fitness
  • Strengthen the diaphragm by using exercises such as those that aid respiratory rehabilitation
  • Strengthen core muscles (abdominalslower back, obliques)
  • Limit consumption of food and drink two to three hours before exercising (in particular, drinks of high carbohydrate content and osmolarity (reconstituted fruit juices))
  • Drink water beforehand to prevent muscle cramps
  • Warm up properly
  • Gradually increase exercise intensity when running
  • Run on soft surfaces
  • Deep breathing with full exhalation
  • Slow the pace of the exercise.



Lazy Sunday Keeping Cool

Good morning, it would seem that summer has finally arrived with sweltering temperatures predicted for today so todays lazy sunday post is all about keeping cool and trying to escape the heat with a few of my favourite ways to keep cool.

Go to the beach – One of the best ways to cool off on a hot summer day is to head down to the beach and have a long splash around in the water to keep cool. But if you plan to do this make sure you slip, slop, slap. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to head down early to avoid getting stuck in traffic when everyone suddenly gets the same idea.

Watch a movie – A great way to spend a few hours in the cool is to check out a movie at the cinema. you can watch a movie in air conditioned comfort and it wont run up the power bill at home.

Ice Skating – The docklands ice skating centre is a sure way to keep cool especially if you havent skated much before as I’m sure you will end up spending a lot of time laying down on the ice.

Just a few suggestions to keep your body temperature down in the heat. if you can think of any other great ways to cool off we would love to hear them.

Have a great day and remember to keep hydrated & slip, slop, slap if your going to be in the sun.

View image at original source: http://bit.ly/fced6W



Do Powerbands and Powerbalance bands really work?

Do powerbands really work?The latest craze in the sport and fitness industry… Powerbands!

These days they are in every sports store and most athletes are wearing them. So how does a rubber band make you stronger and increase your balance? The answer is very simple… magic tricks from a sales person!

When a sales person is trying to sell you a power band they will get you to do a balance test. The test involves standing on one leg with your arms out and someone pushing down on your arm. The test is done first without the powerband and then repeated while you are wearing the band. Miraculously you will be able to balance better with the magic device known as the powerband!

Funnily enough this increased balance is not magic energy running through your body but a simple trick. During the first part of the test the sales person will push slightly out and away from the centre of gravity, hence the subject will fall quite easily. Now give the subject the magic device and push down towards the person’s centre of gravity they will then be able to balance much better. Also they will push down harder on the second part of the test which looks quite impressive to the on looker however it is actually causing an advantage. The harder you press down the more anchored the body is to the ground, therefore they are able to balance better.

Another reason for the increased performance can be put down to The Hawthorne effect. This has nothing to do with Big Buddy Franklin however.

The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.  In short, you learn how to manipulate the test.

So there you have it, save your $60 for something else that actually works! Although I believe they do look cool, so it might be worth getting the cheaper version and look fashionable, or go with a fundraising version. At least they are not posing as something they are not and the money is going to a good cause.

Bargain Power Balance Powerband

Or if the placebo effect of you believing they are helping you out and there for they are works for you keep wearing them! Who are we to tell you that’s not good enough! What ever gives you the belief to perform at your best stick to it.

If you liked this post don’t forget to keep checking back for Kiara’s Tuesday posts.

Kiara’s posts will be up each Tuesday morning so check back weekly.

Thought I would update this post with a funny photo I took on Friday night… It seems if you are in the market for a Power Balance Power Band and you have been able to wait it out this long you’ve done well.  Looks like you will be able to pick up one of these beauties for a bargain $4.99.  Interesting considering they were at around the $60 mark before they were shown to be ineffective. – Luke Scott

OK – I decided that given that a picture is worth a thousand words… Ah you’ll get the drift.

I would love some more examples of how far these things got… Please post more photos!



Exercise Myth Busters #43

I shouldn’t eat between meals

In fact the opposite is true, eating a small, healthy snack between meals will help keep your blood sugar at an even level meaning you will feel more energetic and prepared to face the rest of your day. It will also sustain your metabolism so any food you consume is digested and processed faster. Eating regular meals will help control your appetite whilst also reducing the likelihood of over-eating at your next meal.

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How Can Exercise Reduces Stress?

How can exercise reduce stress

In today’s society we try to fit so much in which leads to a busy and hectic life. Between work and family there is often a reasonable amount of stress that we need to deal with in our day to day lives. The stress begins to build and often there is no outlet for it, therefore, we carry it with us creating emotional and physical problems.

As you know, (because it has hopefully been drummed into you by now) there are many physical benefits of exercise – exercise reduces obesity, reduces the risk of heart disease and increases the longevity of life. But did you know that exercise is a great way to reduce stress. So how does exercise help reduce stress?

Exercise is a very effective stress management technique because it provides an outlet for negative emotions such as worry, irritability, depression, hostility, anger, frustration, and anxiety. You can dissipate these feelings by simply taking it out on the tennis court, by running, or punching a bag.

Exercise reduces stress in a number of different ways:

Exercise relaxes muscles. Have you ever felt ‘uptight’ when stressed? Well A typical symptom of stress is muscle tension. Exercise can help the muscles to use the pent up energy and is effective in releasing muscle tension before it can result in muscle pain or spasms. A good example t relieve muscle tension is a yoga class.

Utilizes the stress hormones. A number of hormones are secreted into the blood stream when stressed. These hormones if not used up these can lead to feelings such as irritability which can eventually lead to a number of stress related illnesses. Exercising can help you to use some of the stress hormones that can accumulate in the body in response to stress. An example exercise for releasing stress hormones is boxing (also a great way to punch your trainer for making you work too hard).

Exercise gives you a feeling of happiness. Exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which give your body a natural boost of happiness and positive well being. They usually peak about one hour after exercise. An example of a good exercise which gives you the feeling of positive well being is a long run or cycle.

Exercise can reduce pent up frustration. Stress can lead to higher levels of pent up frustration. Exercise can help to reduce this pent up frustration.

Exercise can take your mind off your problems. Exercise can help to take your mind off your problems. How often have you been stressed after a hard day’s work or worrying about paying a bill, only to have it all wash away as you take in a change of scene, kicking a ball, or running in a beautiful park.

Improve your resiliency to stress. Exercise can also improve your resilience to stress. Research shows that those who exercise are more likely to have less of a stress reaction to adverse situations. Fit people are more likely to handle the effects of stress and are less likely to ‘burn out’.

Now that we now how exercise reduces stress lets all go for a run and relax!



Motivation to Exercise!

motivation to exerciseIt’s now the middle of January and I can bet that one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to exercise more, for whatever the reasons; health, fitness, weight loss etc. Let me guess so far you haven’t because the motivation just isn’t there. Are you having trouble exercising regularly outside of your PT sessions? Here are some tips to get motivated!

Know the benefits of exercise. We are more motivated to do things that we’ll benefit from. The more we benefit, the more motivated we are.
Create your personal “reasons list.” Jot down EVERY reason you can think of that you want to get healthy/get fit/lose weight through consistent exercise. Inform your trainer of these so when they are pushing you to do that final hill sprint they can bring in these reasons to motivate you
Exercise with a friend. Statistics tell us that people who exercise with a friend are more successful at exercising consistently. You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to exercise with them can be great motivation to show up and get it done! Even get a friend to join in on your PT sessions for a bit more fun.
Exercise first thing in the morning, every morning. In between your PT sessions it’s important to keep exercising, our bodies were made to be active on a daily basis, and when we are, all sorts of wonderful things happen. We even get healthy and fit! Get out there and take a 30-minute walk.
Train for a local 5 km or 10 km walk or run in your area. This can be great motivation to exercise on a regular basis. Melbourne always has events happening and they always turn out to be a fun day. Also don’t let the thought of 10 km scare you, if you train regularly and are determined you can make this distance!
Keep records. Write down your exercise time (minutes) each day. Keep a running total for the month and year. Calculate your average exercise time per day. This will help your trainer periodise a program for you (this will help avoid injuries).

view image at original source: letsgetfit123.com