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Cramps while working out

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What are you suppose to do when you get a cramp while working out?

I sometimes get a cramp while running on the treadmill.

Should I stop? What can I do to get rid of it? What causes it?
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I'm no expert but I've always heard it was hydration and potassium that caused it.  I think the rule I've heard is take in 8-16oz of fluid for every 20 minutes working out.  The potassium is something I heard in High School but never heard anybody confirm that.
if you add a little bit of salt on your dinner the day before you work out you shouldnt get any cramps. I learnt this from my soccer coach...seems to work!
Well, i'm defenitely hydrated when I work out. I drink 4L of water a day. I find I get more cramps if I drink water and then work out.

thanks for the help :)
Where are you getting the cramps?  Upper body cramps I find are from starting out too fast.  If I have a warm-up period and a nice slow warm-up (10 min for running), I go just fine, but if I start out too hard . . . . stomach/side-ache cramps develop.

For those cramps I just slow down, straighten up, breath deeply and they 99% of the time go away.  If they persist, I walk it out then try to get back into it.  Rarely have I ever had to walk out the return trip.

My latest is - I get side-ache cramps because I am not relaxing my upper body enough and my breathing is off.  I do the same thing mentioned in the middle paragraph.
There's a few websites out there on this
One could be food. Leave at least an hour break from food and heavy drink. Have light sips withint that hour. 2 hours is suggested for heavy meals.

One could be dehydration as they said above
Another could be running style. Where is the stitch? Is it the same place/side each time. Listen to your breathing. Perhaps you exhale on every right step, and as your foot his the ground, your bending slightly, Try and run upstraight, balanced and control your breathign. Swtich the patter around
it could be pure unfitneess (nto saying YOU are unfit, jsut not used to this level of exercse) So with your breathing, really force the air out. LIke those silly people who make noise on machines/birthing women. Force it out like you're blowing on soup, slow breath in for two jogs, push it out in one jog and jog another step, then in. So its In-in-OUT -pause, in-in-OUT-pause.
When you first get the stitch, slow down. if you slow down to a walk, push in on it and bend over slightly. If it doesnt go away or gets worse, slow down more

I too battled with stitches. I just found out tho I may have a problem with my gallbladder, so if it doesnt go away, get it checked out. Things to note tho, mine got worse no matter what, to the point of it hurt to breath, and it felt like I was being torn inside. Walking sometimes set it off. And eatin had nothing to do with it.
Common leg and arm cramps are generally pathological in nature  - hypokalemia - potassium deficiency- best relieved by dietary changes - more bananas and geen leafy vegetables- cramps can be brought on by psychological tension - controlled respirations may help with side and stomach cramps- excessive perspiration is the chief cause of electrolyte imbalance - can be aggravated by coffee, alcohol, and ambient temperature-------------------------------for what it's worth
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i get cramps on the treadmill sometimes...i think usually its due to a late lunch or not enough water in my body. Sometimes i can squeeze on my side where it hurts as i run and control my breathing (very slow controlled deep breathing) and it'll go away. And then there are days when it'll never go away and i just have to stop.
i have the same problem in my calves whenever i run or swim, regardless of how much i stretch. it's so frustrating. turns out i have a potassium deficiency and so i take supplements and try to eat as many potassium rich foods as i can. where are your cramps?
I get cramps sometimes when I just try to stretch in my chest and shoulder area.  These are really scaring me because I have not been exercising much and just started trying to get fit.  When I exercise I also get these cramps and they just take my breath away.  I am a smoker and I don't know if that is causing it.
My cramps are in the lower abdomen area. I'll try the breathing tips.

This may sound a little weird, but when I get cramps in my lower abdomen while running, I just raise my arm (just like if I had a question for the teacher - lol) and keep on running. I probably look like an idiot but I don't care, it works for me. Good luck!
check this link out - it's super informative about side cramps!
Mine is higher abdomen, but i used to get lower. Push in on it. Focus onthe air getting to that part. You may need to slow down a bit. if it gets a lot worse, slow right down, but many people push thorugh it

take deep breaths - i used to get those too. deep breathing really works.
Tina, Thanks for the web site.  Some very good info. I noticed a few things I should be doing.
you're welcome joanne, glad it helped! :)  someone showed that website to me when i first started running and it made a world of difference for me as well.
When I get cramped (side stitches) I try to breathe comfortably through and out of my nose... until I get tired then i get force the air out of my mouth but always breathing through the nose!

Also try not to eat anything heavy before exercising... it's a sure cramper.
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