Tips to help you do just that.
Sugar Free Russian Tea
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar-free orange drink mix
3 1/2 teaspoons sugar-free lemon drink mix
1/3 cup Splenda, stevia or erythritol
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container. To prepare one serving, add 1/4 teaspoon of mix to 3/4 cup hot water and stir well. Makes 48 servings.
Nutrition information <1 calorie, 0 grams protein, 0 grams fat, 0 grams carbohydrate, 4 mg sodium.
The sharp pain from a leg or foot cramp can stop you in your tracks or keep you from getting needed sleep. They are no fun. Cramps are typically harmless but can be a sign of an underlying medical condition–if they become regular, notify your doctor.
Read on to find the most common causes of leg and foot cramps and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
Download Healthful Tips: How to Relieve Foot and Leg Cramps
|Potential Causes of Foot and Leg Cramps
||Prevention and Treatment
|Exercising without warming up the muscles first.
||Warm up prior to exercise. Stretch and cool down afterwards.
|A deficiency of magnesium, calcium, sodium or potassium in the diet that keeps the muscle from relaxing properly.
||Eat a varied and healthful diet. Track your intake to insure you’re getting the daily recommended levels of calcium (1,500 mg after wls), potassium (4,700 mg), and magnesium (310-420 mg) Zero calorie electrolyte drinks provide sodium and potassium.
|Too much exercise can cause a buildup of lactic acid and overexcite nerves, triggering muscles to cramp.
||Ease into more intense exercise.
||Sip on calorie-free beverages between meals. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can lead to dehydration.
|Reduced blood flow from atherosclerosis, tight shoes, or even from cold feet sticking out from blankets constricting blood vessels.
||Be mindful of wearing shoes that have room for toes to wiggle, consider wearing socks to bed, and eat a heart healthy diet to keep blood vessels working properly.
|Nerves get confused and misfire. This is common with neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, or spine problems that compress the nerves of the lower back. It can also happen with common foot problems such as flat arches.
||Work with your doctor to minimize the impact of medical conditions on foot and leg cramps.
|Certain drugs, like diuretics, increase the likelihood of foot and leg cramps.
||Talk with your doctor about side effects of the medications you take.
|Fatigue can trigger leg and foot cramps—tired muscles and nerves don’t function at their peak.
||Get adequate high quality sleep nightly.
|Low thyroid or hypothyroidism overtime can damage nerves leading to leg cramps.
||Ask your primary care doctor to monitor your thyroid function. About 12 percent of people develop a thyroid condition.
|Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, can cause pinched nerves in the spine leading to leg cramps.
||Keep weight and blood sugar in check and exercise regularly to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
|Diabetes can cause nerve damage. Typically, this leads to a feeling of numbness or tingling, but can also produce leg cramps when the nerves in the legs are not functioning properly.
||Weight loss surgery improves or resolves diabetes and reduces the risk of further diabetic nerve damage
|Muscle mass is typically lost with age, requiring the remaining muscle to work harder and get stressed more easily.
||Keep up a regular exercise routine throughout life stages.
|A new theory about the cause of leg and foot cramps is that they are a result of motor neurons firing uncontrollably. Strong flavors like vinegar, ginger, hot peppers, mustard and quinine all stimulate receptors that can override the inappropriate nerve firing.
||Take a shot of 2-3 oz of pickle juice, tonic water, or apple cider vinegar when you experience cramps.
Fresh tips to help you do just that.
Let your differences go, at least for the holidays, and just enjoy the uniqueness of each family member, friend and co-worker. We often have the choice of being right or being kind–your kind words and actions often have a more positive impact than attempts to prove that you are right (even if you are).
Fresh tips to help you do just that.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A surprising choice impacts our health as much as the foods we eat and the exercise we do; an outlook of gratitude. This is something we all can have. It comes naturally for some, but most of us need to work at being grateful. You might be surprised to find just how important gratitude is and how easy it is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Most of us find it pretty easy to feel grateful when we land an amazing job, someone goes out of their way to help us, or we walk away from a car accident unscathed. Ordinary daily life presents a wealth of opportunities to feel grateful if we just tune in. At our frenzied pace, cultivating gratitude for the little things throughout the day takes effort, but you may find that it is easier than you think.
Science backs up this connection between our sense of gratitude and our health. Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough are psychologists who specialize in gratitude research and they have found a very clear link between being grateful and health. Their studies show the impressive benefits of keeping a gratitude journal or gratitude list. Those who journal their gratitude exercise more, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about life as a whole, are more optimistic, are more likely to make progress towards important personal goals, and have higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination and attentiveness. Quite a list!