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Exercise for Restless Leg Syndrome

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Last updated on May 25, 2019

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Exercise.
Some of us love it, most of us hate it, and many of us have a love-hate relationship with it.
But, we all know how important it is for our overall wellbeing and health and that it comes packaged with countless benefits.  For free (if you disregard the little bit of effort you need to put in)!
Thus, exercise for Restless Leg Syndrome will spiral out and improve more areas of your life.
Double bonus!

Healthline lists the top 10 benefits of exercise as follows:

  1. Makes you happier
  2. Helps with weight loss
  3. Good for muscles and bones
  4. Increases energy levels
  5. Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
  6. Helps with skin health
  7. Helps with brain health and memory
  8. Helps with relaxation and sleep quality
  9. Can reduce pain
  10. Promotes a better sex life

With all of these benefits, it should come as no surprise that exercise will definitely help to improve the symptoms that come with Restless Leg Syndrome.

AnxietyPanda Warning! With RLS, you shouldn’t overdo it, though. Strenuous exercise will cause your symptoms to get worse, so stick to light or mild activities only.

When you have RLS, you may experience an irresistible urge to move your legs a lot due to itching, tingly or crawly sensations in your legs during periods when you are trying to rest.
The sensations usually start at night, leaving you sleep-deprived and cranky.
Lack of sleep also comes with its own set of disadvantages to your health, so take heed and do something about it before you fall too deep into this stage.
RLS is not curable, but there are many avenues you can follow that will lead to major relief of the symptoms associated with it.
Medication is an option if the condition is extremely severe, but there are natural alternatives available as well, of which exercise is one of them.

There are two types of RLS, namely Primary RLS – caused by genetics and is hereditary – and Secondary RLS – caused by underlying conditions such as pregnancy or kidney failure.
Read more about the causes of RLS by clicking THIS LINK.
Exercise is beneficial for both types.

Exercise for Restless Leg Syndrome – Keep it Simple

Exercise increases dopamine and releases feel-good endorphins, which reduces pain and stress and promotes sleep.
When you exercise for Restless Leg Syndrome, be sure to keep it simple.
Don’t overdo it.
Overdoing it will only cause the symptoms to worsen.
Your symptoms will also worsen if you don’t do any exercise, so find a nice balance and you’ll be fine.

It is recommended to exercise at least 3 times a week and you can expect to start seeing results within only 3 weeks.
Start with short sessions, with a combination of both cardio and strength exercises, and gradually work your way up to an hour over the next few months.
Also, don’t exercise too close to bedtime as this will also cause your symptoms to worsen.
Don’t exercise for at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Here are some examples of exercises you can try to help you with the condition:

  • Beginners Yoga and Pillates
  • Aqua Aerobics
  • Argentine Tango
  • Stretches – especially those that affect the leg muscles
  • Walking
  • Cycling

Since the turn of the century, there have been quite a few clinical trials on the effects of stretching and exercise on restless leg syndrome.
All of them confirms that there is a definite reduction in the symptoms of RLS in the exercise control groups compared to the placebo control groups.
But, exercise alone is mostly not enough for effective treatment of this condition.
Combine it with some diet changes – such as an uptake in iron and magnesium-rich foods – and consult with your doctor to find the best steps to take to combat your symptoms.

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