Most of you have already experienced it…the terrible feeling of the muscle hardening and cramping waking you up at night or even worse making you stop pedaling while you are spinning hard in class ! Cramps can be really painful. Only thinking about cramps makes me cringe !
First things first: what are cramps? according to our friend google : a muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. Your muscle is contracting without your consent and it is not willing to relax! It usually happens in your lower limbs: calves, toes.. and besides the pain you can also see a hard lump appearing while you are having a cramp (that’s your muscle contracting).
Cramps can happen at night, while working out or while you rest after your workout, and most likely they would have a different cause.
Disclaimer : Unfortunately there are NO WAY to guarantee you will never ever have cramps again, even if you follow those tips to the T. On the bright side, these tips will definitely limit the number of cramps you will be suffering from – and let’s be honest if you are « cramping » : a lot that’s already a relief.
Let me list out a few common causes of muscle cramps and how to avoid them :
This is the most common reason why you would feel a cramp during or right after your workout., especially during your first class as you are using a whole new set of muscles that might not be used to intense workouts.
How to avoid cramps in this case? Well the best way is to gently warm up and cool down ! I know it sounds basic but it works. Don ‘t go crazy from minute one, your body and your mind needs some time to adjust. Respect that.
Regular training will also help with that kind of cramps. The more your muscles are used to workout, the less you will feel the muscle fatigue. An other good reason to do more than one Aquaspin™ class a week :!
That’s also a pretty common cause of cramp, especially in Singapore ! We sweat A LOT in this country so please make sure you drink accordingly.
How to avoid cramps in this case?
Drink up before and during exercise to avoid cramping and drink before bed too. At night, your body is going to stay without water for 8 hours straight so make sure you fill up the tank before going to bed !
PS : This is gentle reminder to bring a bottle of water during your Aquaspin™ class J
3.Staying in the same position for too long
This kind of cramps usually happen to people who are standing up all day like teachers or sales people. This is also linked to overuse of your muscle.
How to avoid cramps in this case ?
Stretch ! You are standing up all day ? Stretch out your legs and change positon as much as possible. You can also use a foam roller at the end of a long day to avoid cramps during the night
4.Vitamins and / or minerals Deficit
Having a shortage of certain vitamins or minerals will make the cramps more frequent, a lack of potassium or magnesium are often the culprit for big cramps.
How to avoid cramps in this case?
You can buy supplements at the pharmacy or add potassium / magnesium rich foods to your diet ? Try to add bananas, sweet potatoes, pumkin seeds or leefy greens like spinach or chard.
BONUS : SOS I am experiencing cramps RIGHT NOW !
- Don’t panic : even tough it feels like this is never going to end cramps usually do not last long (usually) and not to worry even if your toes have the weirdest position right now they WILL get back to their regular position.
- Stretch : Stretch the area as much as possible. This is going to be painful BUT i twill make the cramp go away real quick. Stay at least 15sec in the stretch, if you can do more.
- Foam roll : if you have a foam roller with you, go for it gently. It will help bringing blood to the area and release your muscle
- Massage : if you do not have a foam roller nearby, massage gently the area to soothe your cramping muscle
- Drink up ! Drink a tall glass of water and you can even add a little bit of salt in it to resplendish your electrolytes.
I hope these quick tips would help to avoid cramping and give you hope when the cramps hit !
If you are subject to a lot of cramps, consult a doctor. There might be an underlying cause to your cramps. Keep in mind that you will experience more cramping while pregnant!
If you need more info on cramps or you have other questions to ask me for my next post please feel free to reach out~
In the meanwhile, keep the good work, stay healthy and join us by the pool !