Don’t let leg cramps cramp your style!

By Lyne Desforges
Registered Holistic Nutritionist

There are many benefits to exercising. Hiking is a great way to get your body moving and your spirit soaring. The human body works best when it is moving. However, after long hikes or excessive exercising, there may be some discomfort including muscle soreness and leg cramping. Leg cramps/spasms can be mild to quite severe and can be attenuated by following these tips.

1. Hydrate: ensure you are drinking enough water during the day, especially hiking in hot weather. Always bring at least two water bottles on your hikes.
2. Electrolytes: as the weather gets hotter, you may be sweating more and losing some minerals. Drinking coconut water or adding some electrolytes to your water will ensure good mineral balance.
3. Move your body: sitting for long periods of time may increase cramping. Set an alarm on your favourite device (phone, Fitbit, etc.) to move every 30 minutes. Remember that “motion is lotion”!
4. Stretch those muscles: after a long hike, make sure to stretch the muscles of your legs. Add daily stretching to your fitness routine or attend some yoga classes regularly.
5. Balance blood sugar levels: eat lots of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes), good fats, and proteins to avoid dips in your blood sugar.
6. Magnesium deficiency: magnesium is an essential mineral for the body and helps to relax muscles. Ensure enough magnesium-rich foods in your diet (pumpkin seeds, other seeds and nuts, dark chocolate, leafy greens) or supplement with some Magnesium Bis-glycenate in the evening (follow the dosage recommended on the bottle).

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