Don’t Neglect Your Feet – Here’s How To Treat Them Right
Complaints about foot cramps while doing Pilates ? Here are some common causes and possible solutions.
- Lack of Potassium. The most common solution is to eat bananas which are a good source of potassium. Can’t eat them (or don’t like them) then you might try another good source such as maple syrup, honey or agave. Sometimes supplements containing “ium” can help i.e. potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium, etc. (Note: foot cramps can also be associated with taking statin drugs).
- Lack of sufficient salt (sodium) – Add a little more salt to your diet or take a supplement (see #1 above).
- Dehydration. Water is preferable and is certainly less caloric than other beverages. Sports drinks can also help.
- a) Insufficient mobility in the feet. Pilates can sometimes require more flexibility in the foot and ankle than you’re accustomed to. Women who live in high heels with pointy toes take note! More footwork with stretching and strengthening exercises for the toes, metatarsals and ankle may help resolve this issue.
b) Foot cramps occur most often in the prone position. In plantar flexion of the ankle some people tend to curl their toes causing an overcontraction/muscle spasm. Think about relaxing the feet and lengthening the legs. Also, try pointing and flexing feet slowly for 8-10 reps on a regular basis and hold the final point for as long as possible.
- If cramping occurs during rest and not during activity, this may occur because of an imbalance in potassium, sodium and calcium which are needed for muscle activity and relaxation. (See #1 above). Sometimes drinking tonic water can be of help with this.
- Oxygen (or lack thereof). Last but certainly not least – breathe!!! Get oxygen flowing through the body to help reduce the build up of lactic acid in the muscles.
Hope this helps you have “Happy Feet” during your next Pilates session.