I have always been a fitness freak. When I’m not running, I do Pilates and HIIT workouts at home. The other day, my husband and I were painting and did a lot of squatting. The next day, I felt so much tension in my legs I wondered how it could be possible considering how much I exercise. I decided to find out what I did wrong and which activity will create tension in the legs. What I discovered was an eye-opener.
How To Prevent Tension In The Legs
The good news is all these triggers are very preventable. Sometimes we simply lack accurate information and have certain beliefs that work against us. I don’t want any of you to have to go through the stiffness I experienced for days. Here are five tips to help prevent muscle tension in the legs.
1. Practice Proper Squatting Technique
I believe every runner should do squats. Not only do they strengthen your legs but greatly help you to keep proper running form. The secret is to do them correctly. Here are some things to avoid: (7)
2. Work Your Body While You Sit
If you cannot escape sitting for extended hours, there are some great things you do to try and keep your legs from becoming stiff. (9)
3. Pace Instead Of Standing
Instead of standing in one position, consider pacing back and forth. Walking distributes the burden of your body weight to more muscle groups including the calves, arms, and buttocks. Pacing also allows your muscles to rest since weight is shifted from one leg to another.
Choosing the right sandals when walking is also important. This is especially true if you have a condition such as plantar fascia which requires special footwear.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated especially during physical activity may sound easy, but it is challenging. I have the habit of drinking water whenever I feel thirsty. If you are like me, its time for a change.
It turns out that basing our water intake on our body’s signals will not be enough. Here are some tips we can all use: (10)
5. Prevent Muscle Overuse
Since this is one of the most common causes of muscle tension in runners, it is clearly something we are all guilty of. Here are some suggestions to prevent the condition: (11)
Experiencing tension in the leg isn’t something to be concerned about especially if it happens immediately after exercise. However, leg cramps can also be a symptom of more serious medical conditions.
These include osteoarthritis, peripheral heart disease, multiple sclerosis diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and hypothyroidism. If you suspect that the cause of your leg stiffness is more severe, please consult a physician as soon as possible.
Generally, the five mentioned causes are what trigger leg stiffness. Squatting, prolonged sitting or standing, dehydration and muscle overuse is most likely the cause of any tension you feel in the legs.
Thankfully, taking proper preventive steps can reduce the likelihood of your stiffness become more severe.
I’m happy to have discovered the reason for my leg tension- I was careless about my squatting position and didn’t drink enough water. The next time I do anything physical, I will remember to stay hydrated, maintain proper form and warm up- things I should have been doing all along.