As the summer season ends and the lockdown has been lifted, people rush toward entertainment points to have some me-time. However, several people are die-hard swimming fans and have a deep urge to feel the water all over their bodies. The water and its depth mean a lot; soul satisfaction, maybe? Anyhow, many get muscle cramps because they are not fully trained or lack physical activities in daily life.
WHAT ARE MUSCLE CRAMPS?
Muscle cramps are a condition of contraction of muscles in which specific nerves get pulled due to individual body movements that can be caused due to various reasons. Though nerve stretching is one of the main goals of muscle cramps, there are a couple of other conditions, which produce a particular muscle to contract. They can cause severe pain for a short time and are not harmful. As a result, you can’t use the affected muscle for a particular period.
CAUSES OF MUSCLE CRAMPS WHILE SWIMMING
It usually happens due to:
1. Dehydration: coaches generally ask their players to drink more and more water as they do intense exercise. And they lose more water than they ingest.
2. Muscle strain: overuse of a particular muscle while moving your arms and legs to and fro while swimming to maintain the speed with the competitors.
3. Muscle fatigue: The players go to the gym to swim better to make the perfect body tone. They lift heavy weights etc. And when they use their legs and arms in swimming, there are more chances of contraction of muscles.
They jump, bite you out of nowhere, and leave you gasping between the competition. Due to this, a person cannot use a particular muscle because of the contraction of that muscle. That contraction causes severe damage sometimes, and a person is unable to perform daily tasks with ease. It causes you discomfort by swelling or redness. Muscles become weak, and it causes the pulling of muscles on and off. This is the time to need to see a doctor and not to try self-medication to prevent more pain, although muscle cramps are rarely severe enough to see a doctor.
PRECAUTIONS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH MUSCLE CRAMPS
Muscle cramps that occur in the heel or toes are easy to overcome, but the ones in the calf, neck, or hamstring (one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee) are the worse and difficult to handle. After stretching out on the pool deck for a while, you slide back in the water and do the rest of the workout at half the speed. There are a few necessary precautions to take to avoid muscle cramps.
1. Stay hydrated: drink at least a liter of water 60 minutes before competition or practice, so all the fluids are absorbed and available at the time of need.
2. Use salt: if you sweat a lot, add a pinch of salt to your water to avoid cramping up
3. Stretching: gently stretching the affected area can help in soothing the soreness and immediate pain.
4. Be intense accordingly: cramps usually happen when we push ourselves way harder than required or more intensely than we are trained.
Therefore, it’s not suitable for an average experienced person to be more intense than needed. However, if you help yourself accordingly, you won’t be suffering from any pain.
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