Why muscles cramp and what to do about it

There is nothing worse than finding yourself mid-run on the side of the road with a calf muscle cramp that wrenches through your leg causing intense pain. Or perhaps you have rolled over in bed mid-sleep only to find yourself wrenched from slumber by the cramping of your calf. There are several causes of muscle cramps, and luckily there are natural ways to treat them.

Dehydration is a highly common cause for muscle cramping while exercising. Ensuring that you consume enough water each day and more during high exertion exercise is highly important. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends 48-68 ounces of water be consumed each day. Additionally, it is recommended that you drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes during exercise exertion.

Electrolyte imbalance is another root cause for muscle cramping. Pregnant women in particular may experience inadequate calcium intake leading to muscle cramping. Magnesium and calcium deficiency may also lead to muscle cramping in non-pregnant females and males. Speak with your physician before supplementing these entities. You may consume them naturally by eating almonds and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Electrolyte supplementation through sports drinks can be beneficial during actual exercise, though coconut water is a more nutritious choice. Coconut water contains fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than sports drinks.

In the heat of the moment, stretching the muscle that is actively in a spasm is the best measure. For a calf cramp or spasm, keep the knee straight, and flex the ankle bringing the toes toward your shin bone. Ease into the stretch slowly and try to hold for greater than 60 seconds. Repeat as needed.

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Enjoy and make your day great,

Amanda

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About runningyourbody

I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Certified Pilates instructor, and runner with celiac disease. I am passionate about educating people on running, pilates, and women’s health topics. I am trained in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as pre and post partum impairments. In my free time I can be found anywhere outside. I enjoy training for races with friends, cooking gluten free meals, and traveling with my husband. My goal is to share information with you in a lighthearted and enjoyable forum. I am always contributing fun and interesting posts on my blog. Feel free to check it out @ https://runningyourbody.wordpress.com/
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