Running is not only a great form of exercise but is also a fun activity which a lot of people around the world do on a regular basis. But one of the most uncomfortable ailments that one can face while running is cramps. Cramps interrupt the exercise and can also lead to some form of serious injury, if not treated properly. Leg cramps, side cramps and stomach cramps can be treated and avoided in some simple yet very effective ways. The following are some ways to avoid cramps during running:
One of the best ways to avoid cramps is by hydrating yourself not only before running, but also during it and after it. Cramping can be caused due to shortage of fluids in the body and therefore hydrating yourself can prove effective. Water is the best choice of fluid to rehydrate yourself and one must have from 5 to 12 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of running and 4 to 8 ounces before as well as after the run.
Stretching Muscles Properly
The main problem areas for cramps are hips, calves and quads. Therefore to avoid cramps in these areas, eccentric stretching is often recommended. What stretching does is that it puts pressure and lengthens the muscle.
Make it a Point to Run When Heat is Low
When you run in high heat or very humid conditions, your body tends to lose fluids at a faster rate, thus leading to loss of fluids and therefore cramping. Therefore it is recommended that you should try to pick that time of the day for running when heat is relatively low and humidity too isn’t very high.
Maintain the Pace
Maintaining the pace of your run is also another wonderful way to avoid having any kinds of cramps.
Change your Diet
The food you eat or the drinks you drink are probably the reason for cramping. Therefore making some simple and subtle dietary changes can help avoid the cramps. You can follow some of the following given tips and suggestions:
- If you have too much of caffeinated beverages, then this may be one reason for cramping as excess of caffeine tends to reduce the fluids level in the body and therefore cause cramps. So avoid having caffeinated drinks like coffee.
- If you are in for a very long run, then make sure you include a lot of carbohydrates in your diet one day before.
- Potassium is one element which can help prevent cramps and therefore you must consume a lot of foods which are high on this element such as bananas.
- High protein meals can cause cramps and therefore not having anything high on protein is recommended at least 4-5 hours before a run.
- You should also avoid having foods with excess fat as these too may cause cramps.
Change the Shoes
In many cases, cramping is caused due to ill-fitting shoes which may put stress on not only the muscles but also the tendons. Therefore, make it a point to run only in those shoes which fit your foot well.
photo credit: (healthyliving.azcentral.com)