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Warm up your feet before you exercise.
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You're in the middle of a 10-mile run when a stabbing pain in your foot makes you stumble and slow to a limping walk. Arch cramps are spontaneous contractions of the muscles on the middle bottom of your foot that can be extremely painful. Foot cramps can be caused by a number of factors including dehydration and an inadequate warm-up. With a few modifications to your routine, you should be able to work out pain-free.1.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps, according to MayoClinic.com. If your workouts are long and strenuous, drink a carbohydrate-based electrolyte beverage too.2.
Warm up the muscles of your feet before you work out. A simple exercise is to write the letters of the alphabet with your toes. Perform the warm up with bare feet and exaggerate the movements to challenge your muscles.3.
Wear properly fitted shoes. Visit a sporting goods store and get your feet and arches measured. Ask for help selecting a pair of shoes to fit your workout. For instance, if you play soccer, you need cleats, not running shoes.4.
Take a break. Cramps can be your body's way of telling you you're exercising too much, according to MayoClinic.com. Rest for a few days, then resume exercise and see if you can complete a workout without arch cramps.5.
Stretch. At the end of your workout, perform a few stretching exercises to keep your muscles from tightening and cramping. Sit down, lean over and grasp your toes. Pull the toes toward your body until you feel tension in the arch of your foot. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Another easy way to stretch your arch is to put a towel on the floor, curl your toes around it and pull it toward your body.
- Use ice or heat to alleviate muscle cramp pain. Soak your feet in a hot bath after you work out. If the arches are still cramped, massage them with an ice pack.