Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Q & A

What can you do, while running, to alleviate the pain of a side ache? I've tried breathing out on the side of the pain as I step down, and I've tried contracting my abs(which works pretty well) but is there anything else?

From my experience, there are several types of side aches and each can be alleviated in different ways.

Nutritionally, there are several things you can do. Make sure to drink enough water during the day and limit food and beverage consumption to a few hours before exercise. Make sure you're getting enough calcium and potassium(high sources of potassium include, in order from highest to lowest: avocados, potatoes, bananas, broccoli, orange juice, soybeans and apricots) to help reduce side cramps.

Warming up properly, increasing core strength, and running on soft surfaces may also help you.

I also get really bad side aches, that can actually last for days, if I am not eating enough. I get these a lot when I'm 5k training because I run faster lighter. However, because I don't eat as much, I do a lot less training, especially due to these killer side aches.

Other times, it helps if you just stop for a few seconds or a minute and let the cramp go on its own. Most of the time I try to run through a cramp, but if it just isn't letting up, I'll walk and give it some time to pass. Often this is more time efficient because with a cramp I run much slower and am better off getting rid of it in a minute than ruining my whole workout or race trying to run with it. Mostly, try to be in touch with your body. Do the things before hand that will help, but when the cramp comes, let your body tell you if you should stop or if you can run through it.

Are "organic foods" really that much healthier for you? Do you really see significant differences in 'organic' food and your health?

Whether or not to buy organic food usually comes down to the price. Organic food sounds nice to everyone, but the price difference from conventional products might leave us questioning how essential it is to our health.

Organic foods have shown to have higher levels of vitamins and nutrients and fewer antibiotics, pesticides, and other potentially harmful substances than conventional foods. Based solely on these findings, I would say, yes, buying organic really does make a difference in our health. Just thinking about milk spiked with growth hormones gives me the ebbies.

So, back to the price of the situation…hopefully having cleared up that YES buying organic is safer, regulated (by the USDA), and more nutritionally beneficial than buying conventional foods. In an effort to make the most of your organic spending the Environmental Working Group has provided a few lists to show us when it’s most important to buy organic.

These 12 fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticides; buy organic to reduce your exposure (by eating the organic versions of these “dirty dozen”, you can reduce your exposure to contaminants by 90 percent):

Apples, Bell peppers, Celery, Cherries, Imported grapes , Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Strawberries

Also buy organic meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy to limit your exposure to antibiotics and growth hormones.

The pesticide levels of these 12 fruits and vegetables are low to undetectable; okay to buy conventional:

Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kiwi, Mangoes, Onions, Papaya, Pineapples, Sweet corn, Sweet peas

Choose organic breads, pastas, cereals, and other processed foods when cost and availability allow it.

Of course there are about a million other pros and cons to organic foods…but I think I’ll keep this simple.


abby & paxton said...

Thanks for the help kelly. The info on organic foods is interesting, and grosses me out to think of the amount of pesticides is on lots of food we eat. !!

Keri Hibbard said...

Is there a difference between labels that say all natural compared to ones that say organic????