4 Ways That Seniors Can Get Rid of Leg Cramps
As a track athlete, particularly during the summer when it was hot and humid, getting a cramp was a real possibility if I wasn’t properly hydrated. As a runner, cramps can be debilitating because they make it very hard to run as you either feel a sharp pain in your ribs or in one of your muscles. Those who know the remedy for cramps as a runner or athlete is mostly different from others who suffer with leg cramps, but what is shared is they both cause discomfort. For seniors, leg cramps usually happen during sleep which can make it tough to get a good nights rest which in turn can affect how rested and energetic you feel the next day. As a Senior Personal Trainer in Toronto, I have asked my clients how many suffer with leg cramps and surprisingly it is quite often; which is why I want to share 4 ways seniors can get rid of leg cramps.
- Stay properly hydrated: I know I said that the remedies for cramps in athletes and seniors were mostly different but the one solution that is similar is being properly hydrated. When I speak to most of the people I work with, it is surprising how dehydrated they are. There are many people who drink very little or no water through out the day. One little known fact about seniors and dehydration is that as we get older it is harder for our bodies to recognize when we are thirsty. If you don’t like to drink water, my recommendation is to add either some lemon or some flavouring to encourage you to drink more.
- Stretch: One solution that is often forgotten when it comes to leg cramps is stretching. Stretching your calves in particular is great for leg cramps because that is the area that is often affected. Before you go to bed I would recommend facing the wall with your hands on it, staggering your feet then bending your front knee to feel the stretch in you calves. Hold the calf stretch for 30 seconds to a minute so that your muscle can relax and feel the stretch.
- Drink Tonic water: If you don’t have a reaction to quinine, drink tonic water because it has been known to help reduce night time leg cramps. Quinine is the ingredient that is in tonic water which helps with cramps but just be warned that this solution should be used as a last resort.
- See your doctor: Sometimes people suffer from leg cramps because they lack certain supplements, particularly magnesium, and your doctor will advise as to whether you are getting the right amount.
While leg cramps can be painful, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer in silence; with a few simple solutions you will either be able to run around the track or get a good nights sleep without a cramp.
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About the Author: Eric Daw is an Older Adult specialist and the Owner of Omni-Fitt. Omni-Fitt is committed to the health of seniors through fitness and all areas of wellness. Eric motivates and encourages seniors in Toronto to take responsibility through positive mentoring experiences. You can find Eric’s work at Omni-Fitt or follow him on Facebook