Muscle cramps can be the result of several things. They are uncomfortable, annoying, painful, and the good news is that most of all, they are avoidable. No matter where you are when a muscle cramp strikes, your local gym, at your home working out, or participating in your local soccer game, muscle cramps hurt. In order for us to be able to avoid muscle cramps, we must take necessary precautions to do just that. If you are not a heavy water drinker then you had better get used to the idea of becoming one, especially if you want to narrow your chances of getting cramps. When a person is working out, they usually sweat a lot, right? Well, sweat puts us at a higher risk of receiving muscle cramps because of the depletion of potassium and sodium.
What are potassium and sodium? They are the two necessary minerals that carry the body’s electrolytes. These electrolytes are what help your muscles to contract and relax. When they are depleted, the muscle loses its ability to contract and relax, therefore sending it directly into a cramp or spasm. The only way to prevent this is to keep your body furnished with fluids such as water and other healthy drinks, which helps maintain the balance between potassium and sodium. There’s not much excuse for allowing your body to become under hydrated. Bottled water is easy to carry along and easy to find. Here are a few more techniques we teach our Ontario health club members that will keep you from ever having to deal with muscle cramps ever again:
1) Take a zinc and magnesium supplement. Magnesium can also be found in dark chocolate, which is good for you. You can find zinc in most dark, green leafy vegetables.
2) Stay hydrated – not just at the gym. That is right, a cramp free muscle needs water all of the time, not for just a portion of your day.
3) Stretch up to 3 times per day at 10 minutes a stretch. This is going to be an effective way for avoiding cramps/spasms, no doubt. By stretching, you will release the tension in your muscles causing them to relax – not to mention this will help you feel much better all over, too.
4) Try to take a deep breath and relax. The tenser an individual is, the more than likely they are to be getting those unnecessary muscle cramps/spasms. Make sure you are doing things that will help you release stress.
5) Sometimes, cramps can be caused by a medical condition or by certain medications. If you feel that this might be your reason for getting them, consult with your physician as soon as possible.
By taking good care of your body and muscles, you increase your chances of not getting muscle cramps. Beware although, that even doctors are still not sure 100% of the exact cause of them, so they do remain a medical mystery. With a little examination, however, the reason is obvious. Dehydration + nutrient and mineral deficiency = muscle cramps. We must be sure that we allow some time into our day to properly take care of our muscles by stretching and relaxing. You might even consider getting a massage to ease tensed up muscles from time to time. Just do not forget to stay hydrated, no matter what you do.