Updated: Oct 13, 2020
Feeling muscle tightness at work or at play tells us to pay attention to the needs of our body. When we ignore the little niggles and twinges, they eventually turn into shouts; if continued to be ignored, this will shut us down for a while in the form of illness.
Here is a simple tip for summer that with a small action can have a big payoff.
Dehydration is a common cause of muscle tightness and cramping. We can easily get dehydrated when we are focused on a deadline, project, goal or lost in activity. Our body is designed to get our attention to remind us what we need. When we ignore these messages long enough our body will create tension which we experience as stress.
Pay attention to fluid intake especially when your mind or your body is active. You can check for signs of dehydration before you cramp with a simple skin test on the back of your hand.
Press on your skin quickly until you feel the bone, then release. If it bounces back almost instantly you have good hydration, if it is slow to bounce back you may be getting dehydrated.
And most importantly if you think you might be dehydrated no matter what the test, drink water. Recommendations on how much to drink seem to vary among healthcare and sports experts. A safe and happy medium is about 1/2 cup an hour throughout the day.
Of course, checking with your healthcare professionals for what is right for you is always a good idea.