The feeling of a muscle cramp can be debilitating and therefore put a stop to any workout session. Are there things we can do to reduce the amount or severity of cramps? The answer is yes.
Muscle cramps are when the muscle forcibly contracts involuntarily. It can happen anytime of the day, but especially frustrating during exercise or sleeping at night. Fatigue is a common cause of cramping because the muscle may be stimulates (during exercise) causing it to contract and lengthen. Or the muscle can contract when it becomes tired, usually occurring at nighttime when you’re resting.
If you experience cramps during a daytime workout, especially in summer, it can be a sign of dehydration. Your body is losing fluids quicker than it can supply sodium and electrolytes, which are vital for functionality. It causes the muscles to contract because of the nerves that are affected.
Unfortunately there is no direct way to stop cramping from occurring but there are some ways to reduce it reoccurring in the future.
Plenty of water
Hydrating with water can reduce many negative effects on the body including cramping. Drinking water during and after your workout helps replenish lost fluids.
Warm up and cool down
If you’re just about to launch into a huge cardio session, ensure you take the time to stretch and assist your muscles for the workout and recover afterwards.
Adding foam rolling to your routine helps increase circulation, boosting the blood flow to your muscles and cells.
Tips to treat muscle cramps:
- Gently stretch the muscle that is cramping.
- Take a break from the pace of your workout and rest until the cramp stops.
- If it’s not too painful, give the muscle that’s cramping a massage. That can help to relax the area and stimulate blood flow.
- Regular training can also be really helpful for keeping muscle cramps at bay, by slowly building your fitness up.
- Foods that help with muscle cramps, such as watermelon, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables.