Ways to Exercise with Restless Legs Syndrome

Effective treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome could be subtle and most patients with this condition are usually eager to try anything to get relief. Studies have shown that leg stretches and certain cardiovascular exercise helps.

Engaging in mild to moderate exercise each day is one of the best and least invasive ways to ease the pain of Restless Legs Syndrome. Women who engaged in aerobic and lower-body resistance training 3 times a week had fewer symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome than in women who do not exercise at all. Getting exercise and maintaining a consistent level of activity that is not too strenuous are the best ways to lessen the symptoms of the condition.

Exercise lessens the pain of Restless Legs Syndrome in many ways. It triggers a complex biochemical process that increases blood flow to leg muscles and releases feel-good endorphins that decrease stress and promote sleep. Also, it increases dopamine that lessens pain. In addition, having regular exercise helps you lose excess weight and belly fat which is both associated with Restless Legs Syndrome. On the other hand, before starting any exercise program check with your doctor and get your medication for Restless Legs Syndrome under control.

Ways to lessen the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome:

1. Exercise at least three days a week

Lower-body resistance training and moderate aerobic exercise three days a week decrease the severity of RLS symptoms by at least 50%. Start with 30 minutes a day and gradually work up to an hour over six months.

2. Do not exercise too close to bedtime

Avoid exercising three to four hours before going to bed. It can trigger symptoms that can prevent you from falling asleep.

3. Avoid high-intensity exercise

Jogging and long-distance cycling are some of the high-intensity exercises. Strenuous exercise can aggravate symptoms by irritating and inflaming leg tissues. Also, avoid strenuous types of yoga.

4. Stick to low-impact exercise

Focus on gentle or moderate exercise. Go for gentle cycling, walking, or stretching. Low-impact exercises use moves that stay low to the ground, with one foot remaining on the floor.  

5. Train with carefulness

Avoid weight machines that overstress your legs especially if you have severe Restless Legs Syndrome. You can focus on machines that work on your abdominal muscles, shoulders, and arms.

6. Try mild squats

Squats increase blood flow to your legs and help decrease symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome. You may do just two to three squats at a time to prevent triggering the symptoms of the condition.

7. Try leg stretches

When you get up, stretch your leg muscles. Focus on stretches that apply tension to the thigh or calf muscles.

8. Dive into swimming or water exercises

Swimming or water exercises are a great way to lessen the pain of Restless Legs Syndrome. These exercises take the weight off your legs and feet.

9. Massages

To increase blood flow to your legs, get massages that target your leg muscles. Patients with Restless Legs Syndrome who receives massages twice a week for three weeks experienced a relief in symptoms for two weeks after treatment according to a study.

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