Heartbeat 7-13-2014: Preventing Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are a pain, so the best way to deal with them is to avoid them in the first place.
LUBBOCK, TX -- Muscle cramps are a pain, so the best way to deal with them is to avoid them in the first place.

“A muscle cramp is when a muscle, after over exertion, or lack of hydration or something like that, just contracts,” said Tommy Parrish, the Director of Covenant Lifestyle Center.  “And once it contracts it just stays there.”

Parrish said muscle cramps are most common in the calves.  He also said there are ways to prevent them.

“Before exercise, make sure you warm up correctly, stretch, cool down and stretch [again],” Parrish said.  He also said proper hydration is important.

“Typically that’s 64 ounces of water per day or more,” Parrish said.  “If you are really exerting a lot of sweat then you can look into some of the sports drinks that replace some of the electrolytes you lose through sweating.”

Once a muscle cramp happens, Parrish said try to stretch it out.

“You don’t want to jerk on it or anything like that, but a nice easy stretch typically helps a lot,” he said.  “Other than that, just trying to get it to relax, and sometimes that takes a few seconds.  But it also hurts quite a bit too.”

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