Jul 17, 2013

Prevent & Relieve Muscle Cramps

What the CRAMP?! There's nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with that shooting unbearable pain known as a muscle cramp. Cramping can happen at any time to absolutely anybody. And geez, it hurts so badly! I've always been susceptible to cramps in my calf muscles and when I first started taking barre classes, I got unbearable cramps in my toes. So why do we get those stupid muscle spasms and how can we fix the problem? The most common reasons for muscle cramps include dehydration, lack of minerals & nutrients and restricted circulation & flexibility. Follow these three tips to help prevent and relieve muscle cramps:

  • Stretching: The most immediate way to relieve a cramp is to stretch the muscle. Make sure that you are getting a good warm-up and cool down, which includes stretching after your muscles have been warmed up. 
  • Massage: Kneading the muscles increases circulation and can prevent spasms. You can try my version of the "poor mans massage" by using the tennis ball technique or foam rolling.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: Make sure you're getting enough potassium, magnesium and calcium. Bananas, broccoli, spinach, kale, nuts, beans are great foods to prevent cramping.
  • Water: You're probably getting so sick of hearing me say this but there's really no getting around it. If dehydration is a main cause of muscle cramps, drink up!
  • Toe socks: If you take barre or yoga classes, toe socks (like these ones) can help to improve circulation and alignment in our toes and feet. Also make sure when you're pointing the toe it's not a forced point but more of a natural point in the toe. 

Like I said, cramping can happen to absolutely anybody so don't be concerned if you get a muscle cramp in the middle of the night, a class or other activity. Try to work through it. If need be, stop and stretch it out. If it's still bothering you when you get home, give yourself a massage or you can even ice. Stay healthy, babes xo

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