Getting cramps from enjoying the water can be awfully painful. Youve experienced it you are bodyboarding, bodysurfing or swimming and after a few kicks with your fins, your calf and hamstring muscles roll into a tight ball, temporarily paralyzing you.
The cause of cramps stems from dehydration, lack of electrolytes, and untrained muscles specific to the activity you are performing. I have found with my personal experience that it rarely does not matter what fins you have.
Yet they may play a small role. Stiffer bladed fins that are more powerful (like Viper fins) take more effort and can lead to more cramping compared to softer bladed fins. Churchill fins have a medium power blade.
Lack Of Electrolytes And Dehydration
Early on I found out that I was depriving my body of nutrients that prevent muscle cramps. You should be fully hydrated and well-nourished before swimming. Many times we are excited to go to the beach and hit the waves that we skip breakfast.
Then we stay out in the water all day and only come to shore for a short period while we become more and more dehydrated by the intensely exercising under the sun. Electrolytes are made of potassium, calcium, and sodium. Most any healthy combination of food and liquids will accomplish this. Here are some tips:
- When your out of the water, relax and stay in the shade
- Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner (throughout day, depends on how long you are in the water)
- Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, fish, grains and poultry
- Stay hydrated with water, gatorade, or nourishing smoothies. (no soda or beer!)
Before learning of the importance of stretching, I use to go out in the water and bodyboard twice a day without stretching before and afterwards. Even if you bodyboard every day, you should stretch your inflamed muscles and bring them back to a relaxed state. Your calves and hamstrings should not be overworked!