Poor form, posture and wrong technique while executing an exercise can often result in a feeling of tightness in the muscles, cramps, tension, or stress in the body. While this cannot be classified as a workout injury, your body is indeed in distress on the inside and needs your attention.
Muscle cramps or spasms can occur almost anywhere in the body, but the more common areas include the hamstring, quads and calves. The pain can last up to 10 minutes, and sometimes the muscles can feel sore for almost 24 hours.
Recognised as Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC), they can also be brought on by dehydration, lack of electrolytes—minerals and vitamins—fatigue, no warm up routine, and other neuromuscular causes.
Easy & Effective Remedial Measures To Treat EAMC
- Stretching: If there’s a cramp in your calf, get in lunge position and stretch the leg. For quads, in standing position bring your ankle up and back to your butt and hold the foot. The basic premise is that stretching can help iron out the kinks in the area. While a thorough warm up routine serves as a preventive measure, light stretching will help alleviate the pain if the cramps have already come on.
- Yoga: Use the practice to relieve EAMC because it provides a series of asanas that help relax the muscles. Trikonasana or triangle pose, bhujangasana or cobra pose, palm tree pose or tadasana, half-moon pose or ardha chamdrasana and child’s pose or balasana are all prime examples of yogic postures that can treat the problem.
- Massage Oil: Wintergreen and mustard oil are active agents that relieve exercise-associated muscle cramps. The oils get readily absorbed and stimulate blood circulation. Wintergreen oil is rich in methyl salicylate that is renowned for its analgesic and antispasmodic properties. It’s a popular muscle relaxant and has the ability to eliminate pain almost instantly. Mustard oil increases circulation, oxygenation and removal of toxins, making it an excellent addition to a therapeutic bath.
On an end note, understand that in order to prevent EAMC, all you need is exercise juice—water. Get your fill of electrolytes through coconut water and load up on bananas, peanut butter, olives, milk, yogurt and nuts to replenish calcium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, sodium in the body.
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