Leg cramps are excruciating, and are all too common during Pregnancy. Ready to feel better?
Stress, anxiety, sleeplessness and a host of other unpleasant effects are actually pretty “normal”. A key reason why you may be experiencing leg cramps however, is to be found in your calcium/ magnesium balance, (or imbalance more likely). I used to love a specific brand of powdered Cal.Mag. I’d mix it up in a soothing cup of pregnancy or bedtime tea, and voila! No more leg cramps plus a peaceful night’s sleep in the first evening.
Now that brand is sadly missing, there is another powdered one on the market. While I don’t love the flavors myself, many of my clients do report benefits right away, .And while you can certainly take tablets, the powdered kind absorbs much more readily into your system it seems. (By all means, if you discover a favorite brand, let me know!)
As well, be sure to add a banana, plus an orange or grapefruit to your daily diet. The Vitamin C & Potassium in these yummy treats work together synergistically for better absorbability of your other minerals. Beware overloading on fruit sugars as much as you would any other sugar 😉
Another handy tip – drink the juice of one fresh lemon squeezed into your water daily. The extra boost of Vitamin C is important for several reasons. My favorite reason is that it works with the calcium you are taking to support the collagen production that nourishes healthy skin from the inside to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks (which are really micro tears in the deeper layers of your immensely stretching skin). It also helps to neutralize extra acid in your system that builds up, especially if you still drink coffee, eat red meat or other high acid-producing foods. Read more nutrition support for leg cramps here.
- If you wake up with them, flex your feet upwards and stretch through your heels.
- NEVER point your foot. This will only make the leg cramp worse.
- A super simple preventative stretch that might also be useful for you, is to place the balls of your feet on the edge of a sturdy yoga block or thick phone book (remember those?). Squeeze the entire leg muscles, and lift your heels up as high as you can balance onto your toes. Keep the legs squeezed with the muscles pulled up as you slowly come back down again all the way past the edge of the block, bringing your heels to extend towards the floor. This counter stretch should feel pretty amazing. Keep going up and down on your toes with the leg muscles completely engaged to strengthen your ankles and calves and enjoy a deep stretch all the way into the tendons. Work up to 26 repetitions.
- Make sure to stretch your legs out well before heading to bed if you have been on your feet all day or have done lots of sitting, driving or walking.
- Practice Pregnancy Legs up the Wall pose with your torso supported gently upright at a 45 degree angle. Relax here and feel the fluid heaviness flow downward. The blood is guided by gravity back towards your heart helping to alleviate the strain on this hard working muscle. It also helps reduce puffiness and swelling that is common in hotter climates and seasons.
- Swimming, light hiking or walking and yoga are some of the best practices to cultivate for healthy legs, sound body and expansive mind during pregnancy.
Add these simple practices regularly, and you will sleep much better tonight and every night!
Sat Nam- Kristen