Kick Cramps to the Curb

Exercise-induced cramps keeping you from giving it your all in the gym or on the court? Not any more.

There you are, in the middle of an intense workout that is sure to give your abs, gluteus maximus, chest, thighs, and biceps an unforgettable toning. Then it comes. A cramp that leaves you unable to move your body, an arm, or a leg. And with that, your routine is finished before you could even get deep into it.

Is there a way to avoid these show-stopping cramps? Actually, there are a few of them.

Way 1: Keep Your Body Hydrated

As you know, drinking plenty of fluids is essential to keep your body from overheating when you’re working out. But fluids do more than keep you from sweating your way to dehydration and passing out as a result. They also help you avoid muscle cramps that are brought on by a lack of fluids. Keep your muscles from cramping up by drinking fluids throughout the day. The best option is water, but other fluids can lend a hand as well. Also, if you are suffering cramps and are exercising in warm weather, take warning. It may be a sign of an impeding heat stroke.

Way 2: Stay Full of Minerals

There’s a reason sports drinks are so popular. In addition to coming in a variety of great flavors, sports drinks are also chock-full of vitamins and minerals that make their way out of your body with great speed when you exercise. To replace these missing links to your good health, increase your vitamin or mineral intake. Just be careful that you don’t drink too many sports drinks when you’re not pushing your body, as they can result in adding extra calories to your diet. Some of the most commonly lacking minerals and vitamins that result in cramps include potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Way 3: Stretch First, Exercise Second

Want to get muscle cramps on the quick? Toss on your tennis shoes and start working out full force without any time to warm up or stretch. Want to keep your muscles from cramping up? Then you’re going to have to take some time warming up and stretching. While you may find yourself getting antsy for the hard work you’re planning on putting in under the barbell, spending a few minutes stretching will help you make the most out of your workout time and keep you under the barbell longer. In addition to keeping you from cramps, stretching will allow you to work out more of your muscle to ensure a stronger and healthier you.

Way 4: Note Your Limits

Everybody wants to do the impossible. Unfortunately, if you try to do this in the gym, you’re going to wind up with muscle cramps. Instead of pushing yourself to the level of cramping, get to know your body’s abilities, and keep your workout within those limits. Otherwise, you better plan on having some painful cramping in whatever part of your body you decide to push too far.

Curing a Cramp

Getting a cramp during exercise is sure to happen on occasion. But you don’t have to take the pain lying down. When a cramp hits any of your body parts from your feet to your neck, take the following steps to do away with your exercise-induced cramp:

  • stop what you’re doing and rest
  • massage the affected area
  • use a heating pad on the area immediately after the cramp begins, and switch to an ice bag soon after the pain diminishes
  • grab a glass of water and start drinking
  • take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • try to slowly stretch the affected muscle or ligament

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