Dr Journal – Tagged "exercise" – Slimatone

Dr Journal: exercise

Muscle Cramps

By Hampton Pharmaceuticals

Muscle Cramps

Many of us have experienced this debilitating pain either during exercise or at rest, these are muscle cramps and affect the majority of the population.

Muscle cramps are described as an involuntary muscle contraction that has a sudden onset (Mayo Clinic, 2017). A contraction is defined as the tightening of a muscle; this tightening happens and inflicts the pain felt. The cramps can be found in any muscle but normally occur in the legs.

There are different types of muscle cramps. Firstly there are true cramps which are cramps that affect a group of muscle that generally act together to perform a movement, for example the quadriceps are comprised of the rectus femoris, vastus laterallis, vatus medialis and vastus intermedius. These muscles are responsible for extension of the knee. The onset of a true cramp is initiated by hyper excitability of the nerves that trigger the muscles.

True cramps occur as a way for the body to protect the muscle or bone from re-injury, the cramp provides a mechanism of stability. Fatigued muscles will often result in cramping, after extensive exercise. A common type of true cramp experienced is the rest cramps which suddenly occur when you are not engaging in any physical activity. These cramps generally occur in the calves and feet and can be incredibly uncomfortable.

The second type of muscle cramp is the tetany cramp. A tetany cramp happens when the muscles in the body are triggered by every nerve cell in the body being activated.

The third and final type of cramp is a dystonic cramp, this happens when you are performing a movement and the muscles that are not required to help perform the movement, contract when they should be relaxed.

There are a variety of causes that contribute to muscle cramps such as fatigued muscles, the muscles become tired and cramp as a response to the fatigue.

Dehydration is a large contributor to muscle cramps, as exercising in extremely hot temperatures place more strain on the body and requires more fluid to perform the activity.

 A lack of the vital vitamins and minerals need by the muscles and a lack of sodium contribute to muscle cramping.

 A lack of adequate oxygen can lead to muscle cramps as oxygenated blood is need by the skeletal muscles, especially during exercise. A pinched nerve can cause a muscle to cramps as well as not stretching before or after activity.

Preventative measures can be taken to avoid the risk of muscle cramp incidences. The measures include constant hydration regardless or exercising.

Increase your sodium levels by consuming more salt, but only in moderation as too much salt has many negative side effects. If you are exercising consuming carbohydrates will reduce the risk of muscle cramps, as carbohydrates are used for energy production.  

On a final note always ensure that you are executing all the exercises correctly, to decrease muscle cramping and prevent injury. Every training session should be accompanied by a 10 minutes warm-up, some appropriate stretches and a cool-down of 5-10 minutes at the end.

If you frequently suffer from these excruciating muscle cramps, try Slimatone Strong. It helps ladies achieve there muscle toning and fitness goals whilst providing you with added energy. Strong supports muscle and strength development and promotes muscle recovery; therefore reducing the likelihood of cramping.

Read more


The Benefits of exercise

By Hampton Pharmaceuticals

The Benefits of exercise

Exercise is becoming more and more important for overall health and well-being. Exercise is an important component in the reduction of many diseases and detrimental health issues. It plays a significant role in your mental and cognitive functioning.

Exercise is described by the Oxford Dictionary as any activity that requires physical effort, which is carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness (Oxford Dictionary/English, 2017).

Exercise has a vast array of beneficial aspects, as stated by Mayo clinic; exercise controls our weight, which decreases the likelihood of obesity and the associated conditions that are known to accompany obesity.

Exercise decreases our risk of, hypertension. Hypertension is known as high blood pressure. The average rating for blood pressure is 120/80. A high blood pressure is detected when these values reach around 140/90.

Regular exercise decreases the risk of hypertension due to the fact, that like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs to be strong in order for it to function optimally. When the heart is strong it requires less energy and makes it easier for it to pump blood around the body. This therefore puts less strain on the heart.

To reduce high blood pressure, regular aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is recommended. This includes walking, dancing, cycling and swimming.

Exercise decreases your risk of Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes affects our body’s sensitivity to insulin, meaning that the body becomes resistant to insulin and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. The resistance to insulin makes it difficult for the body to transfer glucose into glycogen which is used for energy.

Metabolic syndrome is caused by a combination of issues such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.  High cholesterol and having too much fat around the waist, all these issues present together. Regular exercise decreases the occurrence of these issues.

Exercise contributes to the reduction of cardiovascular disease, which is a narrowing or blocking of the arteries in the heart. The narrowing and blocking is due to plaque build-up in the arteries, the plaque is formed by cholesterol and fats. This leads to heart attacks and strokes.

Regular exercise is beneficial in the reduction of cardiovascular disease as it breaks down the plaque and reduces the build-up of fat stores.

 Exercise is incredibly important for our mental health and overall well-being. Studies have shown that exercise reduces depression and anxiety. It reduces stress and helps to obtain a goodnight’s rest.

The reduction in these effects are due to the release of the chemicals endorphins, which have pain reducing aspects, and produce a feel good feeling, therefore, elevating your mood and contributing to positivity.

The recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise includes walking, jogging, swimming and dancing, to name a few.

Two to three days a week should be dedicated to strength or resistance training, incorporating all the large muscles groups. These include weighted exercises and 10-12 reps of each exercise should be performed at least twice a training session.

Flexibility and proprioception should also be included, as well a regular stretching to decrease the risk of sustaining injuries.

It is essential to incorporate exercise into our daily routine; we need to make it a habit. Although it can be very difficult to find the time to do some exercise, we must prioritise it, it doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, find a sport of hobby that you enjoy and start there. An exercise partner is a great way to increase your adherence to your exercise plan as this person will make your more accountable.

Find something you love to do or have always wanted to do and start to enjoy the benefits of looking and feeling better!!

Read more