Exercises for Restless Leg Syndrome
Sick and tired of being bossed around by those possessed legs at night time? Want to get back to sleep? Even if you’ve incorporated the suggestions in “How to Treat restless Leg Syndrome”, you’ll probably end up eating in a restaurant or eating your favorite sodium loaded pizza, thus find your legs twitching away without your permission, causing you to lose valuable sleep and peace of mind.
The following exercises for Restless Leg Syndrome work fast and effectively. They aren’t some airy-fairy exercises that may or not work, they DO work to eliminate that creepy feeling in your legs, so you can rest peacefully.
Note, none of the following exercises are lady like. If your mind tells you not to do them because of this, tell your mind to be quiet and do them anyway.
Each exercise requires that you breathe fully and completely. Breathing deeply calms the body, the nerves and the twitchy legs. At first, when the adrenaline is surging through your veins, breathing deeply will almost make you feel you’re in a panic attack, like its not possible to do. Ignore this and keep breathing, you’ll be amazed at how fast that feeling will leave. Your body will calm down, your mind will quit panicking and you’ll feel more grounded.
The whole purpose of these exercises and breathing deep, is to GROUND yourself. When you have a RLS attack, you’re in a similar state to a panic attack, the adrenaline is making you feel anxious and nervous and unsettled. What you need at this point is to ground your energies so you can feel calm. Some people meditate to ground themselves but I can tell you from experience that you will not be ABLE sit still long enough to meditate. Maybe meditate after you’ve grounded yourself with one of the following exercises.
Bowing to the ground:
This first exercise I call “Bowing to Buddha” actually, but I didn’t want religion to come into it, so we’ll call it “Bowing to the Ground”. The main purpose of this little gem is to incorporate that creepy feeling you get at the back of your knees when you bend and stretch. Remember, RLS is neurological condition; incorporating your nerves in your exercises is the fastest way to eliminate RLS.
So, bare feet, stand with legs evenly apart, with our feet directed straight ahead. Bend over as far as you can with your knees locked (forget all that Yoga stuff about not locking our knees) with your arms either dangling or your hands on your ankles. Stretch until you feel that weird nervy feeling at the back of your knees and calves, HOLD this position for long as you can, even if your legs shake. The shaking of the legs is actually very grounding, this is the energy releasing from your legs into the ground. Maybe you can only do it for a second or two at first, but eventually you’ll be able to do this for many minutes. This Yogi-like pose will actually strengthen your back in the process. Bless your jumpy legs for facilitating healthy exercise.
As you do this and stand back up, you’ll notice your legs and calves will feel calmer and more at peace. Keep doing this until its gone or combine it with one of the following;
The Bow is from the Chinese tradition of energy balancing. It’s considered one of their main grounding positions.
Again, stand with bare feet (shoes on are OK, bur bare feet is ideal), evenly apart so your feet are aligned with your hips. Put your fists behind you on the small of your back or hips, whichever you can manage. Bend backwards into the shape of a bow, so your belly is sticking out, your legs AND your back are bent. Don’t just bend your knees or back, bend both. So you should be supporting yourself on your fists in the small of our back and your body should be in a complete bow, looking forward with your eyes.
From the side you should look like a balanced bow, so do this in front of a mirror at first so you can see that you’re a even bow and not all just bending back at your knees or back.
You don’t have to be so bent that you look like some Hatha Yogi, just bend into your own comfort level, but do bend, even a little will help.
Now HOLD this position for as long as you can, allowing your legs to shake if they want to. At first this will seem weird, why am I trying to get rid of my twitchy legs by shaking??? Just try it, you’ll love how grounded your legs will feel after you hold The Bow for a while.
This is a great preventative to RLS since it’s such a powerful energy balancer. The Chinese say it aligns and balances all the energies of the body. So for example, it you’re dreading sitting on a long plane ride or even sitting through a movie, do this before you sit down as much as you can, it will prevent the onslaught of RLS.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate my suggestions on “How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome” by eliminating salt, sugar and coffee before you have to sit for long periods.
Squatting is not lady like or manly. It’s something ALL children do naturally. If you watch them, they ALL squat on their knees, letting their bodies play naturally for hours in this position. They simply sit their butts on their ankles and hang like this with no effort. Somewhere along the way, especially in North America, we’ve been told this is not lady like or manly, which is a shame. If you travel to third world countries, you’ll see adults hanging our or working in this natural position for hours, no problem, no taboo.
Some of you may have problems getting into a squat, so this may not be for you. But for most people, once you kick the inner critic out of your head, you can easily just sit and squat. Put your head on your hands and support them on your knees, like children do.
By the way, if you want to make a child feel comfortable, nothing does this faster than squatting with them! They’ll love you for it.
Squat for as long as you can, watch TV in this position, ignore others giggling at you, they just aren’t used to seeing adults squat. But it’s amazingly grounding. This position is deep in our DNA. Your DNA will kick butt on your RLS. And remember to breathe deep.
Deep Knee Bends;
Deep knee bends are simple and effective at alleviating RLS. With your feet forward and evenly apart put your hands on your hips and bend your knees till your feel like you’re going to sit down and hold that for as long as possible. You’ll feel this in your thighs (quads) mostly. Let your legs shake if they want to, try to hold this position even when shaking. The burn you feel in your thighs is your body using up all that excess adrenaline, yippee, good riddance.
Breathe deep, even if you don’t feel like breathing deep, force yourself, this will calm your body down faster.
And “Deep Breathing” does not mean panting away, it means full belly breaths that push your belly out on the In Breath and in on the Out Breath. Full, slow belly breaths that force you to get into your body and out of your head. Busy thoughts in the brain also create adrenaline, so calm your thoughts down by breathing deep and focusing your mind on your breath. It works.
Dancing is a great way to exercise the legs as well as bring joy into your being. Joy balances stress! Dance at a club or dance the crazy chicken dance around your living room. Don’t let any conversations in your head about how “you’re not a good dancer” take over. Tell them to shut up and keep dancing. Shake that booty, laugh, cry, scream, dance with joy, this works!