I spend 4 to 5 days weekly at the gym, just added a spin class and am enjoying this healthy lifestyle change. However, now the downside: lately, 2 to 3 times weekly Ive been experiencing painful cramping in my legs. Am I overdoing it? (Joyce, Smithtown)Answer
Muscle cramps are often associated with dehydration. Are you drinking enough water to replace sweat loss? Cramping is also related to overexertion, inadequate conditioning and electrolyte imbalance particularly: potassium, sodium and calcium which play a role in muscle contractions. Here are some guidelines:
- Water before during and after exercise session. 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.
- Calcium low fat milk or yogurt 1 to 2 x daily.
- Potassium - focus on fruits and vegetables, particularly bananas and cucumbers.
- Sodium even if your diet is sodium restricted, reintroduce a little salt in your diet.
- Overexertion reevaluate your exercise regimen are you overdoing it and are you resting your muscles in between strength training sessions?
Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page3.html