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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 02-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default Leg Cramps! Help!

I have been walking 5-6 times per week for about a year. I worked up to about 45-60 mins per day...and I walk quite fast.

2 weeks ago...I joined a gym. I am working on the elliptical...30 mins per day...and slowly increasing the tension each time. After I am done...I usually walk for about 20-30 mins...and recently I have started going in the Sauna afterward for about 20 mins...It is great for my arthritic knee. Things have been going great.

Until yesterday...

I went to dinner and a Movie after work with my DD so I got no excersise yesterday. When I got home last night...I could not sit for 5 mins without my leg and feet muscles cramping and spasming. This kept going on until about 3AM this morning. I couldn't sleep...I had to keep getting up to walk around the house to stop the cramps and spasms.

What could be causing the cramps? And why would the come on a day that I didn't work out? Is it nutrition? Excersise? Sauna? or do I need to go see a doctor?

Anyone else get these kind of cramps at night?
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:22 AM   #2
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I used to get leg cramps but haven't got them in a while. It could be a variety of things.

Do you drink plenty of water? Do you take a multivitamin? Sometimes it can be dehydration or even an electrolyte imbalance.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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I don't know why this would happen on a day that you didn't exercise but IMHO you are probably low on potassium. That is what causes cramps. Take a multi-vitamin, make sure you eat a banana everyday, or even a potassium supplement and that should alleviate the cramping. Good Luck!
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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I second the banana suggestion!! Banana's are super rich in potassium, which prevents cramping. Plus they're filling and make for an excellent snack or breakfast food. We swear by them!
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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The only time I get leg cramps is when I'm sitting for a long time (usually on an airplane), but I've heard it may also be do to dehydration.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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Thirding the banana suggestion.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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What they said about drinking & eating something rich in potassium. But also, I get cramps specifically in my calf & I learned to stretch my heels down frequently while straightening my legs. That really helped.

Now my trouble is foot cramps when I'm asked to point my toes in a full-body stretch in yoga. And I'm fully hydrated & fully banana'd, so I don't know why I get those.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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djay -- I have restless leg syndrome, RLS, and my legs, some nights, don't stop fidgeting it can drive me a bit batty ... Sups of calcium/magnesium help a lot but some nights not... When I started it was very sudden like what happened to you. Sometimes I get it because I exercised too much, sometimes because I didn't do a thing, no rhyme or reason at all... I have it much less now and in hindsight it think it may have been hormonal, I had it a lot more when I was perimenopausal than postmenopausal ... Potassium and hydration helps a lot too...
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I ate a bananna last night and they weren't as bad. I can still feel a cramp starting if I flex my foot though.

I don't know much about RLS...but it isn't an urge to move my legs. I just have to put weight on my feet and legs to stop the cramping. Is RLS cramps...or some different sensation?

I know I cannot be related to hydration...I drink water like a fish!
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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If I'm dehydrated I get leg cramps... did you drink enough water yesterday?
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:52 PM   #11
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Djay, here are the symptoms for RLS:
Quote:
Difficult to describe sensations
People typically describe restless leg syndrome (RLS) symptoms as unpleasant sensations in their calves, thighs, feet or arms, often expressed as:

* Deep-seated
* Creeping
* Crawling
* Jittery
* Tingling
* Burning
* Aching
So I guess it's not quite what you are describing ...

You also say:
Quote:
I can still feel a cramp starting if I flex my foot though.
Are you stretching enough after your workout, or are you doing the proper types of stretches? Just some thoughts
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:56 PM   #12
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Here's a good article I just found ...
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene View Post
Here's a good article I just found ...
Thank you Ilene. That was a very informative article. I'm going to try the streches at bedtime. That makes alot of sense to me.

I'm pretty sure it isn't RLS. No creepy crawley...it is pretty straight forward hard cramps!
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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I just experienced what you did yesterday! I have also been working out on the elliptical for about a week or so. Yesterday, my left calf was cramping up so bad, I thought a charlie horse was inevitable!

I did eat a banana, stretched out my calf, and ended up taking an advil, and it seems to have subsided.

I'm off to the store today to stock up on bananas! I think that's really the key!
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