Remedies for Cramping Feet During Workouts

Remedies for Cramping Feet During Workouts

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Letting your feet rest after a workout can help prevent cramps.

Sore feet during a workout can seriously put a cramp -- pun intended -- in your style. If your feet are constantly cramping during a workout, your muscles are the likely culprits. You may be able to prevent muscle spasms during activity by ensuring your muscles are properly hydrated and fueled before your workout. Once you're having a foot cramp, there are some quick fixes to help soothe crabby muscles so you can get on with your exercise.

Proper Shoes

If your shoes aren't supportive enough, or they're the wrong type of shoe for your chosen workout, you can over-fatigue your feet, which causes cramping and soreness. The shoes that you wear to run a mile may need to be different than the shoes you wear for weight training. If you aren't sure if you are using the correct shoe or choosing the right size, have shoes properly fitted by a professional, who will help you select shoes that allow for your personal instep, arches and pressure points.

Hydrate and Fuel

A lack of proper nutrition and hydration can cause your muscles to contract, causing painful cramps in your feet and other areas of the body. Always drink 8 ounces of water or sports drink for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise, as dehydration can lead to cramping. Similarly, a lack of potassium in the body due to excess sweating can also cause cramps -- the Foot Vitals website suggests eating foods high in both potassium and calcium, such as bananas, yogurt and cheese to help fuel your muscles properly.

Prevention Stretches

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society suggests foot exercises that can help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your feet. These can be done before a workout, during cramping or as standalone exercises to help create stronger, healthier feet and toes. Try toe raises and curls one foot at a time by first raising to the ball or your foot, then to your toe and finally, curling your toes under your foot from a raised position. Hold each position for 10 seconds. Or, try picking up a small towel from the floor using only your toes and repeating five times.

Rest and Recovery

Overworking your feet can lead to painful cramps that throw you off of your game. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, overexertion can deplete a muscle group's oxygen supply, which can cause spasms. If you've exercised in a way that requires heavy use of the feet -- such as running a long distance -- give your body time to rest when your feet begin to cramp. You could swap swimming for running instead, for instance. This can help recover sore feet so they're less likely to cramp. If cramps persist despite your best efforts, see a doctor for guidance.