Muscle and leg cramps can be prevented with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Eating food rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium is essential to limiting muscle cramps, notes WebMD. Taking a multivitamin each day can help provide the body with necessary nutrients.
An individual can also prevent or limit leg cramps by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, explains WebMD. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation or even avoided. Exercise is another healthy way to prevent cramps because it stretches the muscles in the legs. This can be done via running, riding a bike or stretching before and after exercise and right before bed. However, sudden increases in exercise can cause leg cramps, so a person should gradually increase exercise time.
If a person gets a leg cramp, mitigate pain by straightening and flexing the foot to stretch out the calf muscles. A person can also stand by a wall and place the heel of her foot on the ground right next to the wall with her toes on the wall. Then, she can slowly lean forward to stretch out the calf muscle. If leg cramps interfere with sleep and cause severe pain, contact a doctor.