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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Electrolyte Imbalance and Leg Cramps

Painful muscle cramps in the legs are probably the most common complaint among runners and other athletes. Leg cramps affect many people, not just athletes.  There are many factors that can cause leg muscles to cramp.

electrolyte imbalance leg cramps

Dehydration Causes Electrolyte Imbalance and Leg Cramps

The loss of fluid leading to dehydration is common when exercising.  A really good workout or run causes you to sweat, sometimes profusely.  Sweat is loss of fluid and minerals from your body. Adults can lose up to 2 ½ quarts of fluid per hour through perspiration which includes fluid, sodium chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium.  If you have not had proper amounts of fluid in the days prior to intense workouts you are risking dehydration.  It is important that you consume proper amounts of fluid and electrolytes each day and replace those you lose through sweat to avoid dehydration which can lead to electrolyte imbalance and leg cramps.

It is important to note that at the other end of the spectrum you can hyper-hydrate by drinking excessive amounts of water leading to a condition known as hyponatremia which is abnormally low levels of sodium in the body. Water intoxication is usually due to a misunderstanding of the amounts of fluid required during exercise.

Supplements for Electrolyte Imbalance and Leg Cramps

Many athletes and people who work outdoors in the heat may require electrolyte replacement due to fluid and minerals lost through perspiration to avoid muscle cramps and dehydration. There are supplements available in either powder or capsule forms and through beverages such as sports drinks.  They can be purchased in supermarkets and health and athletic stores everywhere.  Some of these include caffeine, carbohydrates and various other herbal compounds, read the labels to make sure you are getting what you intend to get in the area of electrolytes.   The sports drinks are effective for resupplying energy for the muscles and lowering the risk for hyponatremia and dehydration.  Since flavoring is added to these the salty, bitter flavor of the nutrients is masked making them more palatable.

Medications and Medical Conditions Related to Electrolyte Imbalance and Leg Cramps

Diuretic medications such as those prescribed for people with high blood pressure can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance with excessive activity when they are not compensated for.  Some medical conditions such as diabetes, anemia, low blood sugar, thyroid, kidney and nerve disorders can cause muscle cramping as well.  If you are experiencing chronic leg cramping make an appointment to have this evaluated by your physician and check for underlying causes.

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Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.

Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.

Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.