avoid muscle cramps

Avoid Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps come without a warning. They can strike you immediately after intense physical activity or while sleeping. The uncontrolled tightening of muscles can make you feel helpless. Tightening of muscles while exercising is the most common reason for muscle cramps. The muscle will feel hard and sometimes can appear distorted. Muscle cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and can keep reoccurring before they go away. There are some habits/precaution to avoid muscle cramps.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can easily be missed. Just pay a little extra attention to your body. It you have dry lips, dark urine, low energy levels, headaches and bad breath along with frequent muscle cramps, then your body needs an extra dose of water. Water helps every cell in your body to function optimally. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride are essential for muscle activity. Water is a rich source of all these electrolytes. When you are dehydrated, your muscles do not get their daily dose of electrolytes and go into a state of spasm. Therefore, it is important to manage your hydration to avoid muscle cramps. Aim at drinking 8 glasses of water every day. Also, sip on ORS to level up your electrolytes. This is a proven remedy for mild to moderate dehydration.

Eat Nutrient Dense foods

A few fruits and vegetables are naturally loaded with more water. Bananas are loaded with potassium, magnesium and calcium. These electrolytes from food can relieve nasty cramps. Also, add avocados to your menu. This creamy fruit can be the best addition to your breakfast. Top your toast with mashed avocado and experience relief from frequent cramping. They are rich in electrolytes that are critical for muscle contractions. Other foods that help to avoid muscle cramps are watermelon, potatoes, strawberries, grapes, apples, oranges, tomatoes and mangoes.

Never Skip Stretching

Warm-up and recovery stretching is as important as the actual workout. They actually help you push harder and lift more. Stretching will also improve your flexibility and reduce muscle fatigue while improving your range of motion during exercising. If you have sensitive muscles, try focusing on special stretches for the back, abdomen, hips and legs. It will enhance blood circulation and tone the muscles as well. Hold every pose for 30 to 60 seconds or until you feel comfortable. Doing HIIT and weight training every day can increase the wear and tear of your body. Reserve a day for stretching and yoga. It does not matter whether you are stretching right after waking up or before sleeping, the bottom line remains to stay flexible and active.

Try Relaxing Massages

Deep tissue massage helps to get rid of physical pain and lingering muscle cramps. It is a therapeutic technique that calms down irritated muscles by applying gentle pressure. Physical therapists can provide tailored treatment for your specific needs. Studies have shown massaging by foam roller reduces the delayed onset of muscle soreness. So do not forget to take out time for yourself and unwind with a relaxing massage.

Hot/Cold Shower is Beneficial

Warm showers has many touted benefits. If you have trouble falling asleep due to muscle pain, then it will calm your nerves, relax your muscles and help you to fall asleep. Warm baths and hot tubs can have a soothing effect on your body by relieving respiratory symptoms and skin blemishes. Heat applications works well in case of pain. But if the pain is accompanied by inflammation then stick to cold water showers. Athletes and heavyweight lifters often take ice baths to lower muscle inflammation. Cold and hot showers have their share of benefits. Stick to what you need the most.

Consider Supplements

Having supplements to avoid muscle cramps is better than having to take pain medication later on. But before you pick up some over the counter supplements make it a point to talk to your doctor first. Magnesium deficiency can be unpleasant. Many people suffering from it are not even aware of it. Low energy levels, insomnia, poor bone health and muscle pain are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Having magnesium can get rid of them. Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining muscle mass and preventing muscle weakness. If you do not get enough time to soak in adequate sunlight then a Vitamin D supplement is your solution. But remember, supplements should in no way be a replacement for a healthy diet. They just help to get rid of deficiencies.

Wearing Right Shoes

There are specific shoes designed for sports like football, cycling and running. Even walking shoes are designed differently. They have to be lightweight and have extra shock absorption. If your foot is supported poorly during physical activity then it can lead to joint pain, stress on the muscles of the lower legs and even injuries.

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