Fitness is my way of life. During my 15+ years of training experience, one of the most common questions asked by pregnant women was about leg cramps. Nobody really knows the exact reason for leg cramps, but Leg cramps are painful muscle contractions that affect the calf and foot during pregnancy. It usually occurs at night and during the second and third trimester. While these cramps can occur during the day, it is probably noticed mostly at night, when it interferes with a good night’s sleep.
Leg cramp may be due to:
1) Additional weight gain during pregnancy
2) Aggravated by the pressure the expanding uterus puts on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and the nerves that lead from your trunk to your legs.
How to prevent Leg Cramps?
• Stretching exercises can help stop cramps before they occur.
• Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time.
• Walk every day, unless your doctor has advised against it.
• Avoid getting too tired. Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to and from your legs.
• Stay hydrated during the day by drinking water regularly.
What to do when you get a leg cramp?
• Stand barefoot on the floor and lift your toes up. This stretches the calf and can bring relief.
• If you can’t stand up, straighten your leg in the sitting or lying down position and gently flex your foot, with toes pointed up and heel down, to stretch out your calf muscle. Don’t point your toes up as this may increase the pain.
• You can also massage the muscle with long, firm strokes toward your foot.
• If the pain persists for too long or gets worse, consult your doctor.
Stretching the calf muscle daily goes a long way in alleviating and preventing leg cramps.
The main benefits of stretching are:
• Increased flow of blood and nutrients to muscle thereby preventing muscle soreness.
• Lengthens the tight muscles and prevents injury.
• Increases flexibility of the muscle.
Stretching exercises are easy to do and can be done anywhere, anytime. Please click on the link https://youtu.be/qSWtECSnjgo to watch how to do 4 easy stretch routines to prevent leg cramps.
I hope you will find this information useful. Have a joyful pregnancy.
REMEMBER- HEALTHY MOTHER HEALTHY BABY.
By: Ganga Raj, Co-Founder and Wellness Director