A person running on a treadmill at night surrounded by ghosts

Joining A Gym With RLS

Last updated: January 2023

As a certain time of year unfolds, we find ourselves bombarded with shameful advertisements telling us to be "bikini-ready," or to lose the last of our Christmas weight. How do you exercise when you can barely drag yourself out of bed in the afternoon?!

Selflessly, I decided to undertake a fact-finding mission for you. I joined a gym.

A ghostly gym at nighttime

Most importantly, I joined a gym that is open 24/7. Deciding to grab the bull by its horns — whilst utilising the fact that I spend most nights awake — I took advantage of the free parking outside the establishment. The need for a car park space slows down once you reach 3 AM. I strode in like I owned that place!

Thankfully, it was just how I liked it: tumbleweed blowing across the weights area, a ghost manically trying to keep up with the spin instructor... it was literally just me and the spirits.

Trying the treadmill at varying speeds

The treadmill was my choice for the morning. The ability to keep active whilst giving my creepy legs the workout they so badly desired was very appealing. I plugged myself into the machine, complete with emergency trigger just in case I went flying off the back! The challenge was on!

Starting at a very leisurely pace, the "taking the dog for a walk" speed turned out to not be of my legs' liking. It is very disconcerting when you are doing the one thing your rogue body part is demanding of you, but it still complains because it is not the correctly-specified thing!

Increasing the power, I felt a sigh of relief leave my body; by Jove, I cracked it! The only issue now was my vastly unfit body was only going to be able to withstand the movement for approximately 1.5 minutes.

Exercise might alleviate RLS symptoms

Jiggling what God gave me was also not helping, as I almost gave myself 2 black eyes; when you are not exactly designed for slinging weights, it certainly makes these places very daunting, let alone facing the svelte, beautiful creatures that normally populate these places. Thankfully, they don't usually suffer from RLS, so we seldom meet.

Trying to reduce my weight, whilst also hopefully helping me live longer, might also help to alleviate some of my RLS symptoms. While taking down my energy levels by exercising, and increasing my dopamine levels by not hating what stares back at me from the mirror, I might trigger some unknown improvement.

Stranger things have happened!

Trying low-impact exercise like swimming

Low-impact exercise is something I will be hitting head-on soon.

As a child, I didn't learn to swim. Both my parents cannot swim. Even though we had a swimming pool at my secondary school that was in use every summer for the 5 years I attended, I was so petrified of water I refused to get into the pool, let alone try to swim.

That makes me an adult learner. Fingers crossed that I will take to swimming like a duck to water (eventually) so I can tire my poor RLS-addled legs out to a point that I might be able to sleep unmedicated, removing them from my life.

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