Most importantly prevention is always better than a cure. So here are a few ways you can prevent a cramp - don’t worry we’ll get to the treating part in case you forget to follow these tips:
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration can be a leading cause of muscle spasms, so make sure you arrive at class hydrated.
- Warm up and cool down. We have this covered in class already but a few extra stretches won’t go a miss before and after. Especially if you nipped out before the cool down started!
- Electrolytes. Low sodium and potassium levels can lead to cramps especially side stitches. A natural choice to lift up the levels is a banana or you can opt for a sports drink - just watch for the sugar content.
- Supplements. If you find you’re regularly experiencing cramps you may want to look at supplements. Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamins B, D and E can help limit the onset of cramps or at least lessen the severity.
Ok so you missed out on the prevention part, or you followed it to a T and still got hit by a workout dampening cramp. Try these tips to help ease the symptoms:
- Take a break.
There is no point pushing through when you get a cramp as it often just makes them worse. You can’t win every battle, so just take a break and let the cramp pass.
- Stretch it out.
Stop, drop and stretch. Often in cycling it will be the calf that is affected. So find a wall and stand about a metre away, lean forward with your arms outstretched to touch the wall while keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Hold this position for about five seconds before releasing, repeat 5 times.
Honestly it works and really since when do you need a reason to get a massage?