Hi, I’m wondering if anyone in this forum has looked into the relationship between high levels of exercise (e.g. running, mountaineering and cycling) and the intensity of RLS, or has any experience they’d like to share? I have RLS which can vary from Mild to Severe (using the Restless Legs Syndrome Rating Scale) depending on how much exercise I do and I have seen quite a few posts on the internet suggesting that while moderate exercise can be beneficial for RLS, intense and sustained exercise can make things worse.
Having largely recovered from a back issue over two years ago, I’ve been cycling a lot more but as I have got fitter and more able to do longer rides and steeper hills I have found my RLS seems to have got a lot worse. Simply stopping cycling for a week allows it to reduce. Other intense exercise such as hillwalking or backpacking is similar although it doesn’t seem to be as intense for the muscles and the RLS doesn’t get as bad. Moderate exercise e.g. walking round a park seems to be neutral or beneficial.
Having just got back to more vigorous exercise I’m really disappointed that it’s killing my sleep and am looking for ways I can still keep up some exercise but maybe do it differently to reduce the RLS e.g. using lower gears for less intensity (although currently the opposite seems to happen!). Anyone out there been through this?