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FluffyChicken's avatar

How can I get my legs to get used to all the excercise I've been subjecting them to?

Asked by FluffyChicken (5454 points ) July 28th, 2011

Lately, I’ve been walking 2–4 miles a day. not including at home or at work. I also go to ecstatic dance sessions once or twice a week. I’m really enjoying the weight looss I’m experiencing because of it (about 2 pounds a week), but my legs are soooooo sore. I started out by only doing this walk a couple times a week, and working up to almost every day. My legs hurt so much that today (I’ve already done my walk, but it was more challanging today) It is a chore to get up and walk around. All I want to do is take a hot bath or get a leg massage. Unfortunately these aren’t options right now. Is there anything I can add to my daily or weekly routine that will make my legs hurt less by the end of the day?

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18 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

You need to rest. Rest and recovery is a critical component of fitness. This is when your muscles stop being broken down, and start building themselves back up.

Also, try stretching after exercise and make sure you are wearing supportive shoes.

Finally, if you are really in pain, take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, naproxen).

chicklit's avatar

Try stretching in the shower, when the hot water is running. And sleep works wonders, too. :)

FluffyChicken's avatar

@nikipedia I’m alergic to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like the two you mentioned, but I’ll look into other anti-infammatory options. I’ll stretch more before and after walking, I guess.

@nikipedia and @chicklit, How much more rest do you think should I be getting? I have a hard time getting enough sleep. That probably has a LOT to do with it.

jonsblond's avatar

Your legs will get used to it, it just takes some time. How long have you been on this new routine of yours?

poisonedantidote's avatar

Go to the gym and do some leg exercises to cheat by speeding up how strong your legs are. When I first started the gym, I did 10 minutes on the exercise bike before my legs decided they had forgotten how to walk up stairs. Now I’m doing sets of 45 minutes.

It will get real easy soon, just keep at it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Take an Epsom salt bath. Seriously, relax in the bath before you put your jammies on at night and you’ll feel much better.

Are you stretching enough after your workout when your muscles are warm & pliable?

FluffyChicken's avatar

@jonsblond I’ve been working up to it slowly for about 3 months. I’ve only been doing it daily about a week. Once my legs get used to the current routine, I intend to increase the distance slowly.

@poisonedantidote The gym is not an option, but I did start with the stationary bikes when i was taking a PE class back in March

@SpatzieLover ooohhh that sounds amazing! and no, not enough stretching probably. I’ll step up the stretching.

Meego's avatar

I walk everyday also 45min-1hr. I have fybromyalgia. I am always in pain. You can buy stuff like A535 if you can’t take ibuprofen. My husband used one that he swore by that he also used on baseball players injuries but my mind has drawn a blank again…sorry.

I recall being told at first it will hurt but the more excercise you get the better you feel. I have felt a difference. I think you should stretch before you go also.

I bought these great shoes and everyone says my butt is more shapely.

Butt beware b4 you get a pair…if you think your legs are on fire now….

josie's avatar

Stretch, warm up, cool down, stretch, and keep exercising.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@josie no stretching of cold muscles…that’s way old school

Hibernate's avatar

You should have started smaller walks and work it up. You need to take a break or reduce it or the muscles / ligaments can be crushed [or so to say].

josie's avatar

@SpatzieLover Careless entry. Warm up, stretch etc.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@josie A lot of people were taught to stretch before warming up :/

JLeslie's avatar

I am assuming this is all muscle sore, not joint sore.

The most important thing to do is to stretch AFTER exercising. The stretch moves the lactic acid out of the muscle, and the lactic acid build up is what makes muscles sore. It has to be done immediately after. You can’t do it 30 minutes later, and especially not the next day.

If your dance class does floor stretches at the beginning of class, be really careful. Cold stretching can cause a pull.

If you tend to run low on iron, make sure you take a supplement. Iron carries oxygen to the muscles. I also suggest checking your vitamin D and B12 next time you have a visit at the doctor.

Lastly, don’t over do it. Listen to your body. If you are very sore skip a day of exercise.

FluffyChicken's avatar

Muscles and joints. Mostly joints actually, but the muscle pain is nothing to shake a stick at. I’ll stretch after from now on. I was taught the other way round growing up. The more I learn, the more I learn that I learned wrong first.

JLeslie's avatar

Joint pain, like tendon pain? Or, arthritic pain? Do the joints hurt most in the morning, and then as you use your body during the day they feel better? Or, is it the opposite? If your joints hurt from impact or twisting, that is really not something to play with.

Have you started any new medications, or any possibility it is not from the exercise? Like Lymes Disease? It sounds like it is from the exercise, especially if you are not stetching after exercise, but I just wanted to check.

JLeslie's avatar

I found this about stretching after, I thought you mind be interested in reading it. It names more benefits than just avoiding soreness.

FluffyChicken's avatar

@JLeslie In the mornings my muscles are sore and tired, and then after I’ve been moving a bit, they start to feel better, then after about 1.5 miles they start getting mildly sore again, and after about 2 my joints begin to hurt, particularly my right hip, and continue to do so for several hours after. Yesterday it was the worst it’s been so far. By the time I got to work (and I’d been sitting for about an hour, it was really really painful to do anything but sit. I took some tylenol and felt much better about an hour and a half later.

I took a bath this morning, and my legs are feeling much better. I’m going to take a break from the walking today.

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