How to Prevent Foot Cramps

Three Methods:Staying Hydrated to Prevent Foot CrampsExercising Properly to Prevent Foot CrampsChoosing the Right Shoes to Prevent Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can put a damper on your day or make it difficult to sleep at night. You may get cramping in your whole foot or just your toes. A variety of things can cause foot cramps, but the good news is that they're often preventable.

Method 1
Staying Hydrated to Prevent Foot Cramps

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    Check for symptoms of dehydration. Many people suffer from dehydration and don’t even know it. Foot cramps are one common symptom, but there are others. Learn to recognize the symptoms so that you can nip dehydration in the bud. Some common symptoms include:[1]
    • Little or no urine, urine that is dark in color
    • Fatigue
    • Severe thirst
    • Dry mouth
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
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    Determine how much water you need. There’s no universal answer for how much water a person should drink each day. The amount you need depends on your weight, age, diet, and activity level. Though it’s possible to drink too much water, it’s fairly difficult. Err on the side of drinking a little too much, rather than not enough. [2]
    • A good rule of thumb is to drink 6 to 8 8oz glasses of water per day.
    • Drink more than that if you are physically active, live in a hot climate, consume excess sodium, or are pregnant or nursing.
    • When tracking your water intake, beverages such as soda, juice, coffee or tea can be counted. However, these drinks may contain sugar or caffeine, and so plain water is a better source for pure hydration.
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    Drink water throughout the day. Don’t try to drink all of your recommended water right at breakfast. Instead, sip it throughout the day. Carry a refillable water bottle so that you always have water when you need it.[3]
    • Know how much water your bottle holds. That will help you keep track of how much water you’ve drank during the day.
    • If you don’t like the taste of water, you can add sprigs of fresh mint, or cut up fresh ginger, citrus fruit, or mint and let them infuse your water with a subtle flavor.
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    Eat appropriately to stay hydrated. Some foods can dehydrate you, but some can actually help you stay hydrated. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be excellent sources of water.[4]
    • Processed foods often contain excess sodium, which can dehydrate you. If you’re trying to stay hydrated, avoid these.
    • Leafy greens, melons, cucumbers, and apples are great hydrating foods.
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    Continue to look for dehydration symptoms. If you’ve already become dehydrated it may take a little while for your body to return to a state of hydration. Track any symptoms you might have had and see if they improve. If they do, keep doing what you’re doing.[5]
    • It’s much easier to prevent dehydration than to recover from it. Stay on top of your water intake as much as possible.

Method 2
Exercising Properly to Prevent Foot Cramps

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    Set a reasonable exercise goal. Even if you’re not very athletic, it’s important to get some exercise each day. This will help exercise the muscles in your feet to prevent cramping. It also helps improve poor circulation, which is another cause of foot cramps.[6]
    • Walking is a great way to exercise to prevent foot cramps.
    • Make sure your choice of exercise involves your legs and feet. For example, don’t simply choose weight lifting for your arms and shoulders.
    • If it’s difficult to support your weight while standing, try swimming or water aerobics.
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    Stretch regularly. Cramps are muscles spasms, which means that the muscles are clenching involuntarily. Stretching the muscles out helps to ease and prevent this. Develop a simple stretching routine and practice it regularly.[7]
    • Try to stretch before and after exercise. Even stretching for five to ten minutes offers significant benefits.
    • Incorporate yoga into your exercise regimen. Take a class or follow a video at home at least twice a week.
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    Avoid fatigue. For some people, foot cramps signal that they need to up their activity level. However, if you’re extremely active, foot cramps may be a sign that you’re actually overdoing it. Make sure you’re exercising in a way that is healthy and safe, or you could develop an injury.[8]
    • If you’re new to exercise, increase the length of your workout by 10% per week.
    • Look for other signals that your body is fatigued. Do you feel lightheaded after a workout? Are you very sore the next day? Make sure to rest and take it easy when you need to.
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    Replace lost minerals. When you sweat, you don’t just lose water. You also sweat out important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A lack of these minerals can cause cramping. Make sure to get enough of them to make up for what you lost during a workout.[9]
    • You can take a supplement each day to help replace lost minerals. Drug stores, natural food stores, and nutrition centers often sell a variety of supplements.
    • Some sports drinks may contain the minerals you need. Read the nutrition label to make sure.
    • There are plenty of foods high in potassium and calcium (such as bananas and dairy). These can be great sources of these minerals as well.

Method 3
Choosing the Right Shoes to Prevent Foot Cramps

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    Choose shoes with plenty of support. When your feet and ankles are properly supported, the muscles in your feet have less work to do. Supportive shoes also keep your feet and ankles in proper alignment, which helps prevent fatigue and cramping.[10]
    • If your feet have high arches, you’ll want shoes that also have a strong arch.
    • If your shoes don’t provide arch support (or provide too much for your feet) you can replace the insoles with ones that are appropriate for the shape of your foot.
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    Make sure the shoes fit you properly. Even if the shoes are technically your size, they still may not give your foot enough space. You should be able to stretch or wiggle your toes a bit with them inside your shoes.[11]
    • High heels and shoes with narrow spaces for the toes can squeeze the foot and cause discomfort and cramping.
    • Visit your local shoe store for a proper fitting. Even if your shoes are a good shape, it’s possible that you’re not wearing the right size.
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    Switch shoes whenever necessary. It’s okay to want to wear high heels or other dress shoes from time to time. However, remember that these shoes are not for everyday wear or the cramps will continue.[12]
    • Even if you wear comfortable shoes regularly, it can still be good to switch between pairs from time to time.
    • If a pair of shoes causes you pain after half a day of wear, they should be discarded.


  • If you are pregnant, you’re more likely to get foot cramps due to the pressure being put on your blood vessels and circulation. Drink lots of water and do your best to stay active.
  • Certain medications have the side effect of causing foot cramps. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be what’s causing your cramping.
  • It's possible to get custom insoles made by a podiatrist as well. These may help shoes fit better to support you when you walk.

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Categories: Body Tricks