Have you ever wondered why you are doing crunches like crazy but never really get better? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you work, your core just doesn’t feel any stronger?
There is an explanation for that, and it has nothing to do with the exercises themselves. Instead, it may actually be related to the health of your gut. Let me explain:
Throughout my own battle with food allergies, I finally found out about the connection between core muscles and my gastrointestinal system. After a bit of research, I discovered that muscles (my abdominals, in this case) and internal organs (my the gut) share the same neural pathways, which means, if one of them is working, the other one is inhibited. This is called the ‘visceral-somatic-reflex’. What it means, is that if I eat something that triggers inflammation in my gut, my abdominal muscles will be turned off, unable to do the work required. The body will chose to battle the inflammatory response rather than activating my muscles. Perhaps you have noticed that before: the last thing you can/want to do when you feel bloated or have stomach cramps, is engage your abdominal muscles.
Now, not everyone has food allergies but some people do suffer from mild food intolerances or other reasons which trigger inflammation. This could be a recent round of antibiotics, consistent high-sugar intake or chronic illness (like Crohn’s). Finding the root cause and eliminating inflammation is a major step to successfully training your core.
If you are unsure, whether this is the case for you, talk to a healthcare practitioner to find out more.
Health and Fitness have always played an important role in my life.