Health & Fitness Calf Cramps – 5 Ways to Avoid the Pain Published 3 months ago on January 2, 2018 By Fitness Gurls Staff Share Tweet If you are a runner, then I am sure that you will know about calf cramps. Imagine this scenario if you will. Let’s say that you are 7.5k into a 10k run and the road starts to incline. Ever so slightly, but enough to put that extra strain on your legs as you try to maintain contact with the leaders. And the temperature? Well, it’s the morning, but it’s hot and liable to get hotter before the end. And to make matters worse, you were so desperate to maintain contact with the leading group, that you forgot to take on the liquid at the last feeding station. And did you use tight-fitting calf length socks? I know they are all the rage, but why did you do it? Also: Calorie counting done the right way So what do we have here? * Extra strain on muscles? * Dehydration? * Loss of essentials salts? * Restriction of blood flow? All in all, I think that we are describing running calf cramps, waiting to happen. I am not sure that anyone has definitive answer to the cause of cramps, but there are certainly several steps that you can take which could help save you from disaster during competition, in any sport. 1. A Proper Warm Up Ok, I know you know, but did you do it? If not, then those cramps could be coming. Seriously, if you have been involved in any sport to any level, then you will be aware of the importance of a proper warm up. And I don’t just mean a brisk walk up the stairs to the changing room either! A proper warm up should include a routine that gently stretches your muscles to get them ready for the increased exertion, and gets your blood flowing around your body. Not only will a warm help prevent calf cramps, they will also help prevent some of the injuries that might occur when you put sudden strain on cold muscles. And whilst we are talking of warm ups, don’t forget warm downs as well. Warming down after exercise can also help prevent cramping and reduce the risk of injury. 2. Train Hard, Run Easy Have you heard this, before? No? Well you should give it some thought, because it’s true. When you train for a sport, not only do you practice the necessary skills required to execute which ever event you are competing in, but you are also training your body for the rigours of the event. To given an exaggerated example, if you train for a sprint, and then try and run a marathon, your body won’t be ready. If you try it, I think you could be in for some serious cramps. Remember, train hard, run easy. 3. Water is Sport’s Life Blood Whenever you start to exercise, you start to sweat (or you should). Sweat is nature’s way of cooling you down when you get hot, so, it’s a good thing. And since your body is mainly made of water, then you should have plenty, shouldn’t you? Well, considering that you lose moisture from your body when you breathe, sweating does take a lot of fluid out of your system. And your body will demand that it be replaced! If you start feeling dizzy, or experience a rapid heart beat, then these could be signs that you are starting to dehydrate. I will take it as read that if your mouth and lips feel dry, then you should be taking water on board. It is not always possible to take on fluid during sport, but always have some available as soon as you are able to drink. 4. Sport A’int No Catwalk. It’s true! Sport is not a fashion parade. If you think it is, then you are hanging out in the wrong place! There’s nothing wrong with looking cool whilst you compete, but be practical. Don’t risk injury (or cramps) by wearing clothing that is too tight, and that restricts your body’s movement, either externally or via blood flow. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used tie up’s on my socks whilst playing soccer (not as a fashion statement you’ll understand), just to keep my socks up and my shin guards inside my socks. Three quarters of the way through a game, my calves would tighten up, and I would roll on the floor in agony. Once it was understood, that I ‘only had cramp’, I was the object of much derision, but believe me, cramp is far from funny if you are the one suffering. Wear appropriate clothing. 5. Eat Properly. When you are sweating and working hard, not only do you lose water, you also lose nutrients. There is speculation that that athletes who get calf cramps could suffer from low levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. I am not suggesting that you do low level analysis of your breakfast cereal, but the message is clear. Look after your body, and your body will look after you. Eat sensibly, and eat the right foods. Related Topics:CalfCalvesMuscle Cramps Up Next Abdominal Exercises For Beginners Don't Miss Savannah’s Guide to Your Holiday Hot Bod Advertisement You may like Muscle Cramps: Unmasking the Fitness Dilemma Comments Food & Nutrition The Importances of Great Supplements Published 1 week ago on March 14, 2018 By Fitness Gurls Staff Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health. Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements. Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage. Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found. Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location. Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise. Get more information on WrkEthicSupps: https://www.wrkethicsupps.com 💪🏼 A post shared by WrkEthicSupps (@wrkethicsupps) on Aug 18, 2017 at 1:51pm PDT Continue Reading Workout Wednesday Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos Published 2 weeks ago on March 7, 2018 By Fitness Gurls Staff Jade Atkinson has one of the most beautiful and inspiring physiques in the fitness industry. She’s an IFBB Bikini Pro Competitor and Fitness Gurls Athlete and she shares her secrets on how to tone your lower body exercises this session. Get Jade’s Last Article: Jade Atkinson’s Full Body & Core Workout Plyometrics involve power jumping, repetitive bounding, and quick force production. They are a fast movement that happens over a short period of time. Plyos help facilitates weight loss and is good for people who are looking to improve their muscular power, speed, strength, and endurance. They require a lot of energy, as they are high-intense. They help tighten, tone and define. Most importantly Plyos combine strength training and cardio exercises allowing you to burn more calories and improve muscle tone and definition. Perform all 4 exercises without breaks. Rest for 60 seconds. Perform 4 Rounds 1 Circuit 1 Jump Squats x 15 Plyo Jump Lunges x 12/leg Tuck Jumps x12 Plyo Step Ups x15/leg Plyo Up and Overs x15/leg 2 Circuit 2 Box Jumps x15 Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive x12/leg Long Jumps x10 Kneeing Jump Squat x10 Continue Reading Health & Fitness How To Create Your Own No-Guilt Travel Workout I like looking at training problems from angles most people don’t think of Published 1 month ago on February 15, 2018 By Fitness Gurls Feed I like looking at training problems from angles most people don’t think of – until they come up, of course. Take your typical travel workout, for example. The usual articles focus on killer bodyweight workouts in idyllic settings. But how often do you have a perfect gym while you travel? How often are you actually motivated to do any exercise? And how often do any of those travel workouts resemble what you do at home? Hardly ever, in my experience. I find that there are two main roadblocks to travel workouts: equipment and motivation. Let’s talk about jumping over these hurdles, and then I’ll tell you how to create your own perfect travel workout. Mastering Motivation Most travel workouts feed fears that if you don’t train while you’re away, you’ll lose all your. But I prefer to look at it from a more positive spin: If I work out while I travel, it will be much easier to bounce back when I get home. I found this out firsthand when I took two back-to-back trips over the holidays. Training to Bounce Back Normally, if I’m traveling for a week or less, I couldn’t care less about missing lifting sessions. I see it as a chance to let my body recover because I rarely miss a session at home. But two weeks is a long time to do nothing. Once you get into the 2-3 week range, it could take several weeks to bounce back. When you come back to lifting after a layoff, you have to back up a few steps. If you don’t lower the weight and decrease the volume upon returning, it’s very easy to find yourself with a pulled muscle or worse. This has happened to me on a number of occasions (see my tips for avoiding this below). I’ll add that sometimes you have to force yourself to train when you travel. You do it even though it feels like shit at first, and then it’s easier once you get started. Put on your clothes and shoes, pull out your resistance band or whatever meager equipment you have, and just do it. (Never was there a more apt marketing slogan.) Equalizing Equipment Recently, I stayed at a hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, that had a full gym and even a personal trainer. I was in pure nirvana. But this isn’t going to happen every time you travel. In fact, it varies wildly from hotel to hotel. The solution is to make equipment a secondary concern. Instead of focusing on what equipment you might have (it’s often unknown), focus on your goals. Do you want to maintain your strength or cardiovascular endurance? Make it easier to return to the gym when you get back? Stay regular? (A valid goal if there ever was one.) Once you know your exact goal, you’ve got everything you need. Creating A Successful Travel Workout Traveling isn’t the best time to start a whole new style of training. Improvise on what you normally do with quick workouts that deliver a nice burn. It also helps enormously to plan what you’ll do ahead of time. Write it down or put it in your phone before you leave (you’ll thank me). Just remember your goals. Full Body Works Best A full-body workout is perfect for traveling because you get a lot of bang for your buck. A 30-60 minute workout that trains your whole body might even feel more challenging to you than your usual training split. During the two weeks, I was Texas and Mexico, I did three full-body workouts. I was pleased with this and felt it helped me come back strong when I got home. (I didn’t train at all the first week and it didn’t affect my strength.) I normally do upper/lower body workouts, so I enjoyed the noticeable challenge of full-body workouts. I ended up doing more volume than I’d do at home because I trained each muscle three times instead of twice. How to Create Your Own Full-body Travel Workout here are certain things that will give you more bang for your buck in a travel workout. You may not think of it once you get there, so plan ahead. Supersets. Doing two exercises back-to-back lets you save time, burn more calories, and get stronger. To increase the calorie burn, rest as little as possible between exercises. Examples: Hamstrings/glutes and quads (hamstring curl and reverse lunge) Chest and back (chest press and bent-over row) Anterior and posterior shoulders (overhead press and rear delt raise) Chest and shoulders (push-ups and lateral raise) Calves and abs (standing calf raise and plank) Biceps and triceps (cross-body curl and overhead extension) You can do any of these exercises with either a band or dumbbells. Or if you don’t have any equipment, do push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and bodyweight lunges, squats, and hip thrusts. Low-risk exercises. You don’t want to strain your low back or pull a groin muscle on vacation. Risky exercises for your low back include deadlifts, good mornings, and even barbell squats. Bent-over rows can tweak your back too. If it feels iffy, don’t do it. If you feel strong and like your normal self, go for it. You might want to avoid upright rows, too, or any other shoulder exercise that might get wonky. Keep your form pristine and don’t rush. Back-healthy exercises. Do face pulls, cobras, scapular retraction, and any other exercise to strengthen your upper back. Bunching up in planes and over pina coladas can tighten you up good. Core activation exercises. Get more bang for your buck by doing exercises that engage your core big time. Unilateral, full-body, or standing exercises will do the trick. Think squat to presses, lunges, single-leg planks, or military presses. Unilateral exercises. It’s always smart to do exercises one leg or arm at a time to improve your balance and stability. But unilateral exercises are especially useful if you don’t have access to heavier dumbbells. Do lunges, Bulgarian split squats, and single-arm presses and rows. Don’t forget to warm up thoroughly, either on a cardio machine or with dynamic warm-up exercises. Two Ready-Made Workouts Here are two workouts I created that can work while traveling: I bet you hadn’t thought of some of these tips, had you? Now go enjoy yourself and come home feeling strong. This article originally appeared on www.workoutnirvana.com. Continue Reading Advertisement Facebook Latest Popular Videos Food & Nutrition1 week ago The Importances of Great Supplements Workout Wednesday2 weeks ago Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos Food & Nutrition3 weeks ago How to Get The Most Out Of Your BCAA Supplement? The Fitness Gurls Podcast3 weeks ago The Fitness Gurls Podcast: Heather Marsh Pop Culture4 weeks ago Megan Fox New Spring Collection for Frederick’s of Hollywood Workout Wednesday2 weeks ago Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos The Fitness Gurls Podcast3 weeks ago The Fitness Gurls Podcast: Heather Marsh Food & Nutrition1 week ago The Importances of Great Supplements Pop Culture4 weeks ago Megan Fox New Spring Collection for Frederick’s of Hollywood Food & Nutrition3 weeks ago How to Get The Most Out Of Your BCAA Supplement? Videos2 months ago Arianny Celeste Fitness Gurls Cover Shoot Teaser Videos4 months ago Brittney Palmer Cover Model – Fitness Gurls Swimsuit Videos4 months ago Hope Beel & Heather Marsh – Fitness Gurls Swimsuit 2017 Videos5 months ago Arianny Celeste Zoo Official Music Video Gym Motivation8 months ago Stephanie Marie | GYM MOTIVATION Advertisement Trending Workout Wednesday2 weeks ago Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos The Fitness Gurls Podcast3 weeks ago The Fitness Gurls Podcast: Heather Marsh Food & Nutrition1 week ago The Importances of Great Supplements Food & Nutrition3 weeks ago How to Get The Most Out Of Your BCAA Supplement?