4 Tips for Muscle Cramps

Prevent muscle cramps with these 4 key tips.

Muscle cramp and muscle spasms are an annoying condition that involves a sudden, involuntary contraction and tightening of a muscle that will not immediately relax.

If you suffer from muscle cramps or are seeking to prevent their occurrence follow the information in this article and it may help. In addition, adding a few simple stretches to your fitness program will also help. 

Muscle cramp and spasm Muscle cramps can involve part or all of a muscle, or a number of muscles within a muscle group and although a spasm or cramp can occur in just about any muscle, the most common muscle groups affected are:

The lower leg and calf muscles.

The upper leg, including both the hamstrings and quadriceps.

The feet and hands.

Muscle cramps and spasms can range in intensity from a slight twitch to a severe, agonizing contraction. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to over 15 minutes and can usually be seen visibly by the way the muscle twitches and moves under the skin.

People who are at the greatest risk of muscle cramps and spasms are those who ill, overweight or unfit. Those who take drugs or certain medication, and those who live or work in excessive heat and humidity are also prone to cramping. Muscle cramps are also common among endurance athletes and people over 65 years of age who perform strenuous physical activity.

What Causes Muscle Cramp and Spasm?

There are a number of factors that contribute to muscle cramps and spasms, the main ones being:

Poor flexibility and tight muscles;

Muscle fatigue and overuse;

Dehydration; and

Electrolyte and mineral depletion (I find this to be the most common reason)

A number of other factors include working or exercising in high heat and humidity, inadequate blood supply, injury or muscle strain and excessive use of alcohol, drugs and medication.

Treating Muscle Cramp and Spasm

Muscle cramps and spasms will usually go away on their own but there are a few important steps you can take to decrease the severity and duration of them.

Stop the activity that triggered the cramp in the first place.

Gently stretch the effected muscle or muscle group.

Keep the effected areas moving with light activity and gentle massage.

Continue to apply heat and massage to help promote blood flow.

4 Tips for Preventing Muscle Cramp and Spasm

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One of the most useful things you can do to help prevent muscle cramps and spasms is to work on improving your overall general health and fitness. Improving your cardiovascular fitness will improve the delivery of blood to your muscles, which will ensure that they have adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

Another key activity that will help to prevent muscle cramp and spasms is stretching. Keeping your muscles loose and flexible willhelp to stop them from tightening up and cramping. Be sure to stretch the muscles groups that are most prone to cramping both before and after exercise or strenuous physical activity. That is exactly why we stretch after each of our fitness bootcamp sessions at Fit Body Fitness. Please feel free to join us for a 3 Day Fitness Pass and check out our conbination of 3 Leading Edge Fitness Styles we use in our workouts for optimal results. Click right here to download your Fitness Pass. 

To do away with stiff, tight muscles and joints, and improve your full body mobility and freedom of movement, start a stretching routine that you can do daily. Click right here to see 10 perfect stretches to get you started.

The other important activity that is very effective in helping to prevent muscle cramp is ensuring adequate hydration and electrolyte replenishment. In general you should be consuming at least 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water a day and more if you’re involved in strenuous physical activity or live and work in high heat and humidity. Drinking a couple of Emergen-C packs added to your water will do wonders for you too. 

If you seem to be prone to muscle cramp and muscle spasms you should also look at increasing your intake of minerals and electrolytes. The minerals that are most important are Potassium, Sodium, Calcium and Magnesium. Adding a small amount of mineral salt to your cooking, (such as Celtic sea salt) will help to increase your intake of these important minerals.

Hope these tips help :)