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I always get cramps when I run!

 
Why is this happening, and can I do anything to avoid them?

Running cramps are common—but totally treatable. They’re usually side stitches, which occur when shallow breathing restricts oxygen to the diaphragm. Another culprit? Too-tight muscles.

To run pain-free, here are a few tips:

1) Stretch for 10 minutes (this’ll prevent injuries, too).
2) Start slow.
3) Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth.
4) Drink lots of water throughout the day.
5) Avoid big meals three hours before your run. Opt for a snack an hour before.

Still feel a stitch? Slow down and press the painful spot, leaning forward a bit as you jog. Buh-bye, cramps!

BY GL ON 9/9/2010 11:15:00 AM

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