Dealing with Leg Cramps from Walking
While walking is an easy, beginner-friendly form of exercise, it is not without its risks. Some people experience leg cramps for a variety of reasons, but there are plenty of easy ways to deal with them and not have to skip your regular walking routine.
What Causes Leg Cramps?
Your leg cramps can come from a few different things, from medical conditions to just not preparing for your walk properly.
PAD – The first cause of cramping while you walk is actually due to a medical condition called PAD, which stands for peripheral artery disease. This condition is caused by plaque buildup in your arteries, which can then lead to blood clots. You are at a higher risk for this condition if you are an older age, overweight, or smoke. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be the cause of your leg cramping.
Magnesium Deficiency – Another potential cause of leg cramping during or after your walks is a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an important electrolyte you need in your body, which most people get from their diet. You can find this nutrient in bananas, almonds, avocado, and spinach. If you experience a lot of muscle cramping in general, it can be from a magnesium deficiency.
Failing to Stretch – And of course, the most common cause of leg cramps is not stretching properly. You might not experience the cramps during your walk, but afterward and up to 2 days following your workout. Just remember to stretch before and after your walks, and you can easily prevent this one.
What You Can Do for Leg Cramps
If you do end up with leg cramps on your walks, here are some tips to help:
Stretch and warm up – Everyone needs to stretch and warm up before their workout routines, even just a simple walk around the block!
Keep your body weight at the normal range – Losing weight can be hard, but worth it if you suffer from leg cramps or other physical issues when you are walking. The good news is walking is a great way to manage your weight.
Eat a nutrient-dense diet – This ensures you get all the important nutrients that can help prevent leg cramps, including magnesium. Focus on fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, and it should cover all nutrient-dense foods you need.
Talk to your doctor – Make sure you talk to your doctor if you experience moderate to severe cramping while you walk.
Quit smoking – If you are a smoker, you are going to have a lot of problems when it comes to your fitness routine. In addition to increasing the risk of leg cramps from PAD, it can also be hard on your heart and lungs.