How to Prevent Muscle Cramps

How to Prevent Muscle CrampsA hard workout comes with great rewards with very few side effects, but every once in a while, there is a side effect that can cause you some discomfort or pain.  If you have been working out regularly for any given time, you may understand what it feels like to have a muscle cramp later in the day after your workout.  If you are new to cramping, continue reading on.

A muscle cramp is one of the most common side effects of exercise and coincidentally, it is also one of the most painful side effects of exercise.  Cramps are the result of involuntary muscular contractions caused from a number of factors, with exercise being one of the top factors.  Given that these can often be very painful and persist for long periods of time, there is plenty of emphasis in the exercise world to promote proper lifestyle to help prevent muscular cramping.  Listed below are some tips on how you can prevent muscle cramps following your tough workout.

Effective Tips to Help Prevent Muscle Cramps

  • Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. Having an adequate diet with fruits and vegetables is one common way to help prevent muscle cramping.  The fact is having too little minerals in your diet can have a dramatic impact on your muscles’ functioning.  Eating adequate fruit and vegetables will ensure you will replace these minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of these play a crucial role in muscle contractions.
  • Be Cautious on Medications. Some heart medications have been known to cause muscle cramping.  Diuretics, which are often prescribed for blood pressure, have the tendency to deplete potassium, calcium, and magnesium from your blood, among others, and when this happens, your muscles feel the effects.
  • Hydrate Often. Similar to a diuretic, dehydration can be a quick way to have your muscles cramp up on you.  This is most common among athletes and recreational athletes who insufficiently hydrate during the day.  If you workout in a warm environment and sweat a lot, consider sipping on water or a sports drink for the duration of the day.  Chugging your beverage down will do very little for your hydration, as a chugging will merely cause the body to eliminate the fluids in a hurry.
  • Massage.  When a cramp comes on, it is very sudden and often painful.  One of the first things you can do is massage the area (if you can reach it) to help alleviate some of the spasms.  If it is in an area that is hard to reach, consider using a foam roller or assistive device to reach the affected areas.
  • Stretching.  This is one of the best preventative measures for your body.  Stretching is a great way to spread the muscle fibers so that they reach an optimal length.  When this happens, it can help keep your muscles from cramping because the fibers will be less likely to contract.  Stretch when your muscles are warm and it is generally best to do this when your finish your workout.  Stretch each major muscle group for 30 seconds each for a total of three sets.  Effective stretching can take you about 10 minutes, but it can really help prevent undue pain later on in the day.

What Next?

If you experience muscle cramps or have in the past, consider taking any precautions you can to prevent them.  First off, if you are taking any medications, discuss with a doctor or pharmacist to see if your particular medications can cause muscle cramping.  Secondly, make it a habit to start eating an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables every day to help keep vital minerals in good balance.  Lastly, start tracking the amount of water you consumer daily.  One of the best ways to do this is to purchase and use a water bottle with measurements on the bottle (they are easy to find).  Aim to sip and drink at least two liters of water daily and if you workout a lot and sweat much, consider drinking closer to three liters.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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