Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by strong urges to move your legs when they are still. If left untreated, it can be very unpleasant and cause discomfort, pain and sleep problems. The good news is that regular exercise can be highly beneficial to people suffering from restless leg syndrome. In this article I’m going to be taking a deeper look at the role of exercise on restless leg syndrome and discussing how you can use exercise to treat this disorder.
How Does Exercise Help Restless Leg Syndrome?
Exercise is beneficial for preventing and treating restless leg syndrome. According to this article, people who don’t exercise are 3.3 times more likely to develop restless leg syndrome than those who exercise regularly. Additionally, this study from the Journal of American Board of Family Medicine measured the effect of exercise on people who had restless leg syndrome over a 12 week period and found that on average it reduced the severity of the symptoms by 40%.
Tips For Exercising With Restless Leg Syndrome
Although regular exercise generally has a positive effect on restless leg syndrome, certain types of exercise are much more beneficial than others. The tips listed below are designed to help you choose the best exercises for treating restless leg syndrome and create an effective workout plan:
1) Exercise Regularly: One of the most important things to remember when exercising with restless leg syndrome is that it can take weeks or even months before the benefits kick in. Therefore, it’s crucial that you stay consistent and exercise regularly, even if you don’t notice any immediate improvements in your restless leg syndrome. For maximum benefit, try to exercise at least five times per week for 30 minutes each session.
2) Exercise Early: Exercising too close to your bedtime can aggravate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and make it harder to sleep. To avoid this problem, exercise first thing in the morning if possible. If you can’t fit in an early morning workout, make sure you workout a few hours before you go to bed and reduce your physical activity levels in the last few hours of the day.
3) Choose Low Impact Exercises: Studies have shown that intense, high impact exercises can make the symptoms of restless leg syndrome more severe. Therefore, to get the maximum benefit from your workout program, select gentle, low impact exercises. Cycling, light weight training, swimming, walking and yoga are all excellent choices which will give you a good workout without aggravating your restless leg syndrome.
4) Incorporate Cardiovascular & Resistance Training: When starting a workout program, many people make the mistake of sticking to just one type of exercise. However, research has shown that both cardiovascular and resistance training can help reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. To get the best results from your exercise program, make sure you incorporate both these types of training into your workout routine and try to do each one at least twice a week.
I hope this article has helped you learn about the importance of exercise when it comes to preventing and treating restless leg syndrome. By following the tips listed above, you can minimize or even completely eliminate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome and stop it affecting your life. So if you’re currently not very active, get up, get moving and start treating your restless leg syndrome now.