Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to avoid, treat muscle cramps on a hike

To avoid muscle cramps, drink plenty of water. Photo by HckySo/Photoree.
Cramps occur when a muscle is repeatedly stressed, usually because it is not receiving enough oxygen. Because of this, children who are hiking for the first time may suffer from cramps. This problem typically occurs during the first portion of the hike.

Avoid muscle cramps by exercising regularly so you are fit enough to hike. Whether fit or not, don’t overexert yourself by walking too fast. Drink plenty of water but don’t overdo it as too much can give you cramps. Breathe slowly and through your nose when walking. Take frequent rest stops as well.

To treat a cramp, stop to rest, stretch and massage the effected muscle, and drink water.

Related articles:
g How to prevent and treat hypothermia in children
g Avoiding and treating child dehydration on the trail
g How to avoid and treat nosebleeds

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.