Can you prevent cramps?
If there’s one thing that really gives an unpleasant sensation in your body and can ruin a moment, it’s cramps! Ideally, you wouldn’t even notice or feel a cramp when it happens. Still, unfortunately, almost everyone experiences that annoying feeling, that twinge when their muscle cramps and in that moment, you think it will never go away. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent cramps or make them stop!
What is a cramp?
Cramp sees a sudden and unexpected tightening of one or more muscles. Muscle fibres are single muscle cells, and when grouped together, they help to generate movement of your body and internal organs.
Muscle tissue comprises cells that can shorten and contract, and that’s how we move body parts. Each muscle is made up of groups of muscle fibres that are well divided. While one section of those muscle fibres contracts, the remaining portion is at rest. They are not active at the same time and that helps produce movement. When you have a cramp, the nerves responsible for muscle contractions do not respond correctly, resulting in excessive signals sent to your muscles. The muscle fibres then contract, which you see and feel as a cramp.
Prevention is better than cure!
Having cramps is incredibly unpleasant, so you want to do everything possible to prevent them. We have listed a few things below that you can do to help:
- Don’t push your body to do more than it can handle during training – listen to how your body feels; rest is important.
- Stay properly hydrated.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before exercising.
- Incorporate warm-up and cool-down routines.
- Wear supportive shoes.
- Maintain good posture throughout the day.
What to do against cramps
Of course, you want to get rid of cramps as quickly as possible. There are several things you can do to relieve cramps. Check out our list below.
When you experience cramps, the muscles feel tense, and you may be in pain. Movement becomes less smooth, but the best thing you can do is stretch the cramped muscle. Stretching allows the muscle fibres to relax and prevents them from contracting excessively. If it helps, think of it as resetting that muscle. Breathe through it and stretch the cramping muscles the best you can.
Rubbing and squeezing
Sometimes, stretching the muscle is not possible or effective due to its location. For example, if you have cramps in your toes, neck, or back, you can try relaxing those muscles by rubbing or squeezing them. Massage and squeezing of the cramping muscle can provide relief and relaxation in the muscles.