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October Newsletter

13 Nov
October is almost over, the weather is turning autumnal with temperatures dropping and rain falling don’t be tempted to slack off on the exercise. Food offerings and temptations are usually more calorific as the dark nights draw in, the pies and mash out weigh the light pasta salads of summer. The puddings with custard and cream are creeping out to tempt us, as is the sofa and slippers.
It’s at times like this it is so easy for people to slip up on healthy living plans and promise to get back to the gym next week when its not raining or not so cold. Let me remind you how great you feel the minute you complete a workout, and how sluggish n fed up you feel when you over eat! Yes it’s cold but its not forever its literally a few minutes before you get to the gym and when you leave, or first few minutes of a a run.
I’ve been training for the half marathon which took place on Sunday 20th so believe me I understand how cold it is and how the dark dreary nights are far from motivating, but for me personally less of a motivator was the prospect of walking my half marathon! Which I’m pleased to say I didn’t. I completed it with two friends and as a team we have raised just under £800 for Acorns Childrens Hospice. The link is here and at the bottom should you wish to make a donation.
Not all winter warming food is bad far from it, why not make yourself a soup packed full of seasonal vegetables with so many being at their best right now I’m sure there’s a soup for everyone! Here’s a few of this seasons vegetables;

Broccoli, butternut squash, celery, chicory, chillies, courgettes, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, leeks, marrow, parsnips, peppers, pumpkin, radishes, rocket, runner beans, shallots, swede, sweetcorn, turnip watercress and wild mushrooms.

Making a soup is a great preparation tool to ensure you don’t go out for lunch while at work to either get fast food with little nutritional value or be lured to the pub with over portioned plate full’s and pointless calorie laden alcoholic beverages.

I have been upto lots in my working life, having joined the team at New Hall Spa back in September. I look forward to teaching classes and helping members with programs and pt sessions at this great location. If you have never been and enjoy the luxury of spa treatments whilst in the surroundings of an exclusive members club feel then New Hall Spa is definitely worth a look. The team and members are all genuinely lovely people and have made me feel very welcome.

My personal training clients are all doing extremely well with a few new recruits two of which are brides to be, Smita and Elaine who are wanting to be body beautiful on their big day and if they continue with their great technique, enthusiasm and efforts they have shown so far this will be a simple and easy task. I’ve welcomed back some pre existing clients who are back on board with pt so a big ‘lovely to have you back’ at Shradha, Louise, Denise and Suzanne’.

Why do we sometimes get stitch is a question I get frequently asked. In scientific terms, a side stitch is referred to as “exercise-related transient abdominal pain” or “ETAP”. Side stitches are a sharp, often intense pain you feel below your rib cage when running or swimming. They are a spasm of the diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle that separates your chest cavity from your abdominal cavity.


Scientists are unsure of the exact cause of stitches.  For some time, they were thought to be caused by a reduction in blood supply to the diaphragm, a large muscle involved in breathing.  It was suggested that during exercise, blood was shunted away from the diaphragm and redirected to exercising muscles.  This theory has now lost favour with scientists as both the diaphragm and the limb muscles need to work harder during exercise, so it is unlikely that an inadequate blood flow is directed to the diaphragm.  
Another theory is that stitch is caused by organs pulling on the ligaments that connect the gut to the diaphragm.  
Jolting during exercise may cause these organs to pull on the ligaments and create stress on the diaphragm, however this theory does not explain the occurrence of stitches in athletes involved in sports not involving a significant jolting action e.g. swimming 
A more recent idea is that stitch is caused by the two layers within the stomach one on inner edges of the stomach/abdominal cavity wall and one that covers the abdominal organs both are separated by a lubricating fluid which allows movement. It is thought stitch occurs when friction is caused between them, this can happen by having a full stomach or a reduction in the lubricating fluid.
So what can we do if we get it, stopping exercise usually always works. However if like me you are not too keen on stopping, then I find pushing down on the stitch for a few seconds whilst bending forward at the hips and slowly straightening back up helps. As does changing breathing patterns, breathing deeply from your stomach and not from the chest helps, to do this try pursing you lips as if blowing up a balloon or blowing out candles. 
How can we avoid it in the first place? Avoid eating to soon before exercise as  its digestion will interfere with your stomach thus resulting in cramps and stitches. Stick to familiar foods that are easily digested. If eating a full meal make it low fat and allow atleast 2-3hrs before exercising. A small snack about an hour before a workout or run is ok, but this snack should be comprised mostly of carbohydrate and fluid, not fat. Eg 1/2 deli sandwich and a sports drink, or a granola bar and a sports drink. If all else fails,try different sources of pre-workout foods (energy gels, sports drinks, bread, pasta, oatmeal, fruits) till you find something you can tolerate without getting a pain in the side.
Breathing can be the cause if too shallow this can happen easily if you begin to pick up your pace too soon into exercise or especially when it’s cold, try breathing through a running scarf or neck warmer as it will warm the air you take in and allow for deeper breathing. Whatever you do, drink plenty of fluids, non-carbonated ones are better, water or isotonic sports drinks are favoured to aid hydration whilst working out and avoid help to dehydration. Remember if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrating.
I’m not going to tell you how many weeks days or hours there are left until Christmas, as I’m guessing you know someone who is doing that already!! I will say if you have an outfit in mind for the Christmas shin-ding then there’s still time you make sure you look your best.
As always for further information on personal training sessions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The link to donate to Acorns Childrens Hospice, great local charity doing great work for children and young people suffering with life limiting illnesses.
Yours for good health