As we venture forth to scout, fish, hunt, or trek into the outdoors, our bodies are not always ready for the challenge. Biking, hiking, and outdoor exercise uses different muscles than working or mowing the lawn.
Usually, these adventures happen at higher altitudes, thinner air, and aggressive areas. Initially we feel strong and hearty. Later, after the muscle pump, we may notice the stress put on our more dormant muscles. Legs and backs are usually the victims.
Muscle cramps are no fun! Just as you relax and try to sleep, you get awoken by a tightening knot of tired muscle fibers. You try to stand up, but the muscles are screaming no way Jose.
This was my problem after a day of scouting for archery elk season. My partner and I roamed over 12 miles at over 8,000 feet in search of sign and elk. We had plenty of fluids and have been active all summer.
The muscles that complained later, were sore over being pressed more than usual. This is your body telling you that these areas need some love.
Fluids help! Hydrate and make sure that you are getting the chemicals and hydration needed. Vitamin B, sodium, and potassium are 3 important ingredients. There are several commercial drinks available on the market. Gatorade and other Sport drinks are loaded with the right activity enhancers.
My favorite is Propel. It comes as a bottled drink or in a powder that you can mix. Try freezing the drink before you venture out. A cool drink tastes better than a warm one. The recipe of additives seems to work well for my metabolism.
Despite prevention tricks, you may still get a cramp. Try hydrating or take a quick Ibuprofen or two. Then, like in school gym class, “Walk it Off!”
Now that you know your weakness, exercise that area to prevent future issues.
For more Montana Grant, find him hiking at www.montanagrantfishing.com.