Why Your Legs Twitch After Taking A Walk

Many people would agree that taking a walk can be a fun or relaxing activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking is the most popular aerobic activity in the U.S., with nearly two-thirds of Americans walking for at least ten minutes a week. Walking provides a slew of benefits, including reducing your likelihood of developing conditions such as depression, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

However, walking can lose its glamour if your legs start to twitch afterward. On the bright side, this twitching does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong with you. Dr. John Su, a sports medicine physician, reports that twitching is normal after exercise and may be due to insufficient energy in the muscles (per Los Angeles Times). In order to contract and relax properly, muscles need energy and a balance of electrolytes including magnesium, sodium, calcium, and potassium. If the muscles lack either or both, then twitching may ensue.

Kinesiology professor Joel Stager tells the Los Angeles Times that there may also be a neural component. After physical activity, the body needs time to recycle the chemical substances that serve as neural signals for muscle contractions. Legs may twitch until this process is complete.

This is what to do if your legs twitch after walking

According to LiveStrong, twitching may be caused by the loss of electrolytes that happens when you sweat. For this reason, you may want to have a sports drink or other drink that contains electrolytes. Gently massaging your twitching legs may also be helpful. The Los Angeles Times adds that to prevent twitching, it would be a good idea to keep your legs warm and stretch before you take a walk. Also, give your body time to get used to the exercise you are doing; if you are sedentary, don't just jump into hour-long walks. Instead, start with ten or fifteen-minute walks, and go up from there.

Excessive twitching may be a symptom of a muscular or neurological disorder according to LiveStrong, so consult your doctor if the twitching lasts longer than a few minutes. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine to reduce twitching.