Stories from Active Recovery

Why One of the Best Things You Can Do for Sore Legs Is… Go for a Walk

Rachel Lapidos

Rachel LapidosFebruary 17, 2020

Thumbnail for Why One of the Best Things You Can Do for Sore Legs Is… Go for a Walk
Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/yacobchuk

If your legs are really sore, you’d think that the smartest thing to do would be to sit down and take a load off so that they can have time to heal. While that certainly feels great every now and then, trainers actually recommend that you get up and move around by walking to relieve muscle soreness. No kidding.

Though having sore legs after a killer lower body workout can mean that it’s harder to move, putting one foot in front of the other will help get rid of that heavy feeling. “Walking is very important immediately after leg training and during recovery days,” says Branko Teodorovic, a Flexit master trainer. “It might seem uncomfortable to start walking, but as we warm up, there is more blood being circulated into the legs, and after 10 to 15 minutes it’ll feel much more pleasant.”

Basically, the movement shakes your legs out and helps relieve the tightness that just accumulated from your workout, and it has a host of other benefits. “Walking gets more oxygen transported into your legs versus than when you’re lying down or sitting,” says Teodorovic. “It transports all the nutrients necessary to ‘feed’ the muscles in your legs and to replenish glycogen, our muscle energy. Plus, walking breaks up lactic acid buildup so that your muscles are more prepped for your next training session.”

Don’t worry: To reap these benefits, it’s not like you have to go all-out with a hardcore power-walking sesh. “Walk at a light pace and don’t worry about your heart rate—this is a recovery walk,” says Teodorovic, who adds that all you really need is about 20 to 30 minutes on a rest day. In essence, this follows the “Blue Zones” fitness philosophy (one of our 2020 wellness trends, BTW) of fitting in movement organically into your day, which gives you many more benefits than simply hitting your 10,000 steps. So get movin’ for the sake of your sore gams and your overall wellness game.

Watch how to use a Theragun, which can also help quash muscle soreness:

Also helpful in your recovery game—meet Squid Go, a cold compression device for quashing inflammation in your muscles. And here’s how to choose a foam roller based on what type of soreness you have. 

Loading More Posts...