Foot Cramps Doing Pilates?

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.

  1. 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).
  2. Lack of sufficient salt (sodium) – Add a little more salt to your diet or take a supplement (see #1 above).
  3. Dehydration. Water is preferable and is certainly less caloric than other beverages. Sports drinks can also help.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Green Tea Thirst Quencher

Well, before you know it, summer will be here – tropical heat where even the shade doesn’t offer much relief. Be sure to “stay hydrated” (or, as they used to say, just drink plenty of fluids). Gatorade and related sports drinks are great for replacing lost electrolytes, etc., but that’s not always necessary.


Make Your Own Sports Drink

For me, they actually sometimes upset my stomach, which is NOT  good. If water alone is not particularly your thing, then maybe you should consider my husband’s solution for a tasty, thirst quenching sports drink that’s also economical to make.

There are many reasons for drinking green tea, including this list of 20 ways a beverage based on green tea helps your body.

Drinking Green Tea Is A Good Thing

This process is the same as making “sun tea,” which doesn’t really need the sun in order to make, just the hot tap water. Proportions are approximate and can be altered to taste – make it your own and customize. (Fresh mint is always a good option.)

2-1/2 quarts (80 oz.) hot water (from the faucet is OK).
2 large Luzianne brand family size green tea bags specially blended for iced tea.
(Just think of all of those lovely antioxidants!)
1/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
Allow the tea to steep on the countertop for 2 or more hours.
Remove the tea bags and give it a stir to dissolve any remaining sugar at the bottom.
Now it’s ready for the refrigerator, to use as needed.

When you’re ready, pour some into your glass or sports bottle and add any of the following for additional nutrients and flavor. (For our taste, proportions are usually 3 parts tea plus 1 part juice, but go ahead and customize to make it your own.)

  • A) Motts natural fresh pressed 100% apple juice – no sugar added
  • B) Northland 100% cranberry juice – no sugar added
  • C) Florida’s Natural 100% pure Florida orange juice

Experiment and see what you like – just remember to read the label and watch for additives and things like added sweeteners that are not particularly desirable when you’re talking about a healthy, refreshing drink.