Muscle Cramping & How To Combat It
By: Carol Keesey, Aquatic Fitness Instructor
Muscle cramping in different parts of the body such as calves, hamstrings, lower back, and the feet can be an extremely painful condition and is a frequent “bugbear ” in an older adult class .
Unfortunately older people are more susceptible to muscle cramping due to normal muscle loss. It can start as early as the late 40’s and accelerates with age and inactivity. Reoccurring cramping could be signs of much deeper problems and should be checked by a doctor.
For an occasional occurrence of muscle cramping, relief may be found by some gentle stretching and massage of the area.
Wearing shoes in an aqua class may be helpful for foot cramping, as people in bare feet often use the toes to grip the pool floor for traction or curl them up when they are suspended on a pool noodle. This leads to fatigue and overuse resulting in cramping of the toes.
Other possible causes of cramping could include muscle fatigue, inadequate stretching, or overall poor conditioning. Plus factors of dehydration, depletion of electrolytes, salts and minerals.
What can you do when cramps strike during class?
- Drink water to stay hydrated and work at your own pace.
- Try eating bananas for potassium.
- Check with your pharmacist to go over any medications you are taking for their compatibility.
- If cramping persists, a visit to the doctor is in order for a checkup.
Finally , eat right and exercise to stay fit and be comfortable !!