What the Cramp?
Cramping. Something that has been felt by all of us at one point or another. Partnered with the term “charly horse,” whether it was in your calf, foot, hamstring, no matter where you get them, it is your muscles suddenly tightening up when you don’t want them to. If you get them more often than not, did you know that there are things you can do to keep them from happening? Or at least not as often.
Possible causes: high temperatures, not enough water, certain medications, and exercise.
Ask yourself, when is the last time I had a glass of water? Did I warm-up properly before I began to exercise? Your answer may lead to why your muscles are cramping. It could be your bodies way of telling you that you are dehydrated. So if you are exercising, keep water with you. It is important to stay active, but if you do not pace yourself, or warm-up properly, your muscles can and will cramp. If you do too much all at once that your body is not used to, your body will let you know. So be progressive with your workouts, start with a foundation and build from there; do not go from A to Z in one shot. Exercise will help you become strong and cramp less, if done properly. So be sure to warm-up and do plenty of stretching exercises as often as you can. Stretching can help the muscles do their job more easily and will cramp less.
Are you on certain medications, for instance Statins or diuretics? Unfortunately, these type of drugs can cause cramping of the muscles more easily. If you feel that could be a possible cause, talk to your doctor and apply good daily habits of proper water intake, stretching, and incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet.
Lastly, high temperatures. Are you working out outside or in humid environments? Your body loses fluid when you exercise in the heat. The fluid, AKA sweat, has minerals or electrolytes, that help the cells in your muscles function properly. So, make sure to refuel your body as often as you can when exercising in the heat.
Cramps usually go away on their own, but apply these principles to help alleviate them faster or to lessen them: stretch or massage the area, take a bath, eat more leafy greens and bananas, and drink water.
Do this, cramp less.