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Physical exercise plays an important role in preserving health. Physical exercise contributes to the quality of life and longevity, and serves to fortify the body against many diseases. Without doubt this is the most worthwhile investment and a growing number of people the world over are making physical exercise a permanent part of their daily routine.
Physical exercise such as walking and running cost nothing, though beginners may have to pay a price in the form of muscle pain, more commonly known as “muscle cramps”. Muscle cramps following sport is a common and normal outcome especially when starting to work out or resuming following a long period of inactivity.
Why does this happen?Muscle cramps are the involuntary contraction of the muscle accompanied by pain. In most cases the muscle cramps are a normal reaction by the body to extreme unusual exertion, as part of the process of adapting to the workout regimen.
Also intense physical exercise that exposes the muscle to heavy loads and fatigue causes muscle cramps. These cramps may occur during the course of activity or following it, sometimes many hours later. The chances of muscle cramps are greater when the muscles are not in shape and not used to the load.
Yet another reason for muscle cramps could be abnormal levels of salts and minerals in the blood such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. This situation may harm the transmission of the neural stimulant to the muscle and the involuntary contraction.
How can muscle cramps be avoided?
The best treatment is prevention. Following are several recommendations that will help you prevent muscle cramps:
Muscle cramps due to magnesium deficiency Muscle cramps may be the result of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in building muscle. It regulates and controls the innervation of the muscles and its function is to relax contracted muscles. Magnesium deficiency may delay the relaxation process.
A deficiency of magnesium is caused when the amount of magnesium absorbed by the body is smaller than the amount excreted by the body. During physical exercise minerals are released from the body through perspiration and if there is a magnesium deficiency, there is heightened chance of impaired functioning and muscle cramps. The intake of sufficient magnesium allows the muscles to function optimally, leading to improved performance.
It is advisable to take magnesium to prevent muscle cramps when starting to work out, when resuming following a long break or when trying a new physical activity to which the body is unaccustomed. In functioning as a muscle relaxant, magnesium is also effective as an anti-stress agent and helps reduce pain brought on by tension and emotional stress.