Running can be a daunting task. When starting an exercise routine, many people are most worried about stepping on a treadmill or getting up the courage to run outside. While there are many reasons people do not want to start running, one is that they have either heard stories of getting running cramps, or they have run in the past and gotten a running cramp themselves.
A side cramp can also be called a side stitch. WebMD says that these stitches are most often caused by shallow breathing. This happens a lot in inexperienced runners. If you start to get a side stitch, it’s a good sign that you should start focusing more on breathing deeply. Another cause of side stitches are an imbalance of electrolytes (such as calcium, sodium and potassium) in your blood, which is usually due to poor hydration.
A stomach cramp can also be caused by incorrect breathing. Military.com suggests a breathing pattern of inhaling for three steps and exhaling for two. Another cause is running on a full stomach. To prevent this, do not drink large amounts of fluid or eat a large amount 2-4 hours before exercising. Right before, and during, exercise you can take small sips of fluid (1-2 swallows) at a time. This will help you stay hydrated for your full workout. A third way to prevent these is to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
A calf cramp can be caused by an imbalance in electrolytes, as with a side cramp. Make sure you are well hydrated. After a workout, be sure to stretch. You can find many resources online to see which stretches will best help your leg muscles. A third factor in calf cramps, are the shoes you wear. You will definitely want to invest in good running shoes if you plan to start running on a regular basis. To find out what shoe would be best for you and if shoe inserts could help reduce calf/ leg cramps, visit with a podiatrist, orthopedist, or physical therapist. If you don’t have a resources to do so, visit a local running shoe store and take advantages of any services they offer.
By implementing these tips you will hopefully reduce the amount and severity of your running cramps.
Doheny, K. (2013, August 22). How to stop runner's cramps. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-to-stop-runners-cramps?page=2
Paul, S. (2012, October 8). Help! i keep getting calf cramps. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/beginners/help-i-keep-getting-calf-cramps
Smith, S. (2013). How to avoid stomach cramps when running. Retrieved from http://www.military.com/military-fitness/fitness-test-prep/avoiding-stomach-cramps