Muscle cramps are no joke.
And while they seem like something you just have to deal with while on a fitness journey, there are a handful of things that you can do to relieve and prevent these not-so-savvy spasms.
Hydration may not be an immediate fix for muscle cramps, but ensuring you are drinking enough water everyday can be an effective preventive measure.
While water should always be your hydration go-to, drinking a beverage with notable electrolytes can also be beneficial to those who deal with regular muscle spasms and cramps, especially after a workout.
A cramped muscle is actually just an involuntarily contracted muscle. So when these painful moments strike, it is important that you force the opposite... relaxation.
Work to ease the muscle that is tense by gently stretching it out. You don’t want to introduce anything strenuous, and may want to massage the muscle during and after you stretch.
Muscle cramps are common in the quads and the calves. If you tend to get spasms in these areas, try moving into a gentle runner’s lunge to target your quad or dangle your heels off of a slightly raised platform for a light calf stretch.
From hot showers and epsom salt baths to dry heat from a heating pad, applying some warmth to a muscle cramp is always a good idea.
If you apply dry heat and don’t feel relief immediately, try increasing the temperature.
Something as simple as taking a walk once a muscle cramp comes on can provide relief. More so, movement throughout your day can help prevent the onset of spasms and cramps.
If you work from a desk, finding frequent movement can be challenging. Make it a priority to stand up and move around throughout your day or invest in a standing desk if you have the opportunity.
Curious as to why epsom salt baths are recommended for muscle cramps? Their benefits stem from the magnesium found in epsom salt. While magnesium can provide relief when applied to the outside of the body, it also poses benefits when digested.
This is not to say you should eat epsom salt -- in fact, please DO NOT eat epsom salt.
Rather, foods like nuts and seeds are fabulous sources of magnesium. You can also try out a nutritional supplement that has high magnesium content. These supplements can be anything from metabolism boosters and replenishing amino acids to sleep formulas and daily multivitamins.