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sbgrace

Waking up stiff (back/legs) mid-40's

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I'm 46. I had become pretty sedentary over the years. In the last 4 months, I've increased my physical activity. I worked up to 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio and 10 minutes of pilates most days of the week and light strength training two days a week. I've been doing that routine since April. 

I began this because I was really concerned about my high blood pressure and bone health issues. But it's helping me in lots of unexpected ways. I think I'm more fit than I've been in for decades, and I feel really great about it all. 

However, I'm waking up many, maybe all, mornings stiff in my back and legs/feet. This is true even after an "off" day from exercise. 

It's not muscle soreness--just feeling old and creaky. I don't recall feeling this way at all before! I can't tell for sure when it began or if it's gotten worse. 

I don't want to stop exercising. i don't think I'm overdoing it.  

Thoughts? Is it concerning? Normal part of aging? Can I do something about it? Do you think I need to change up something activity wise (I really don't want to-I feel good about myself in this). 

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I'm in the exact same boat. 40ish, getting back into being intentionally active, sooo stiff in the mornings. 

I assumed it was getting older, though I plan on having the dr check my blood work in the next few months. (I also have some small joint pain, so I want to rule out arthritis.)

Are you including stretching (other than Pilates) in your routine? 

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Not quite as old, but I did go through a very stiff/creaky period that was solved with a new mattress.  So that's one thought- how old is your mattress?   My other suggestion would be to look into a foam roller and a roller ball.  I puffy heart LOVE my foam roller and it releases aches and pains I didn't even know I had!  When I use it before bed, I feel wonderful in the morning.  

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I think for me at least it's that the strength training wasn't dealing with some of the odd areas that got weak from being sedentary. I've been googling and adding things, then when those are stronger googling for more and doing more. 

-hip flexors -leg back to stretch, then rapidly knee up above waist, build up to ankle weights, keep vertical, I lost the video sorry

-gluts- 

 

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Maybe the exercise has awakened some tight areas, specifically myofascial tightness,  from being sedentary. It would feel like a general deep achy feeling in certain areas of your calves and back. It feels similar but slightly different from an actual sore muscle from overdoing it. Maybe you have these areas, or knots, and they need to be worked out. The hard part is, they are hard to work on and it requires a lot of determination.

I have this problem chronically and I can feel in the early morning hours while lying in bed these areas being to ache.

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I think like PP that (1) it is part of getting used to being more active after not for so long and it will take longer now that your older (2) you probably have some weak areas that need to be addressed and (3) I'd take magnesium to help with the soreness.

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Great job getting active! There is definitely a build-up period where our bodies get used to being more active. 

What kind of aerobic exercise are you doing? If it's high impact, weight-baring activity like running, then maybe you need to do this 3 days/week and cycling 4 days/week, for example. Do you run or walk on a treadmill? If so, be careful of the slope of the treadmill. You could be over-stretching the muscles and tendons on the back of your legs. 

Also, try to incorporate gentle stretching into your exercising program. 

I'm 52 and very active and I still wake up to sore back or other body parts regularly. The pain usually resolves quickly with some motion. I think a certain amount of this is simply aging. The important thing is that you want to be able to keep on being active as it's going to be a huge benefit to your overall health. However, on-going, increasing pain could be a sign of something more serious, which you may want to have looked at by your physician.

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Do you think that the Pilates is offering enough stretches and twists? Yoga fixed my creaks. I'm 56.

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40 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Do you think that the Pilates is offering enough stretches and twists? Yoga fixed my creaks. I'm 56.

 

33 minutes ago, hshibley said:

Yoga helped me as well 

LOL, really yoga helped me as well I don't do a lot now but at the end of workouts for cool-down and in between teaching.

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2 hours ago, soror said:

(3) I'd take magnesium to help with the soreness.

And bromelain. 

I've done some rubbing out with massage balls, myofascial release, etc. You need to be careful and think through it, because rubbing into something aggressively, stretching and trying to release something that is very weak can actually make it WORSE. So tightness can be a sign to stretch and roll it out (like overuse) OR it could be tightness due to weakness. And if you're tight due to weakness and you stretch and roll it more, you can feel better and then even worse. Sigh. 

So that's why, for me right now, after a bunch of missteps, I've given up on my chiro's really bland advice (let's stretch it, blah blah), and I'm actually like no, figure out what muscle it is, do the test to see if it's weak, do the exercise to make it stronger if the test shows it's weak. Like on the hip flexors, there's a simple test. I'd call it the shave your legs test, haha, because basically if it's hard to lift your leg to shave that's the hip flexors. :biggrin: 

I like the youtube videos from that Athlean-X guy. He's a PT and he's real careful to get you to sort out whether you're weak or need to stretch so you're not doing the wrong thing. If you click around his stuff, I think you'll find more videos. To me, if you try something and it's weak, well boom there you go work on it. I think for me, at 43 and sedentary other than my spurts at the gym, I have funky holes of weakness. I just do. Well that and I got stretched out and strained while pregnant with ds (11pounds).

The trick for me too is to do those simple exercises like every day or at least 3-4 days a week. It doesn't take long to make progress. So it's not like you're left wondering if you're on track. And for me, filling in those holes is making it easier to go back and do the dynamic motions, like burpees, that were hard.

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New mattress if needed.  Yoga stretches are good.  You can google online for some wake up and bedtime yoga stretches you can do in bed.

My daughter found me a book for 10 cents at a library sale....Reader's Digest Guide to Arthritis and it has some great stretching routines in there that are doable in 10 minutes or so a day.

 

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I was where you were at a lot earlier in life, lol, and then it got sort of worse, sort of better. 

I vote myofascial release of some kind. I have heard theracanes are good for this if you can't do it with a ball or by having your spouse dig into those spots.

My chiropractor was really reluctant to address this. He thought it would be a slippery slope. Well, he's finally hit it head on after his treatments with me were making limited progress. Now, I'm finally doing well consistently, and I have a lot less pain. Things still hurt if someone touches them, but I can move and do normal activities SO MUCH EASIER. My main exercise is household stuff, gardening (including shoveling through clay, deep weeding, etc.), walking, and home improvement projects. So, some heavy work and some repetitive work, all of which is less likely to end with me feeling horrible than it used to.

I probably have some kind of strange connective tissue stuff going on though--I am hypermobile to some extent (though not double-jointed). It might be different for someone with more typical ligaments.

If you happen to be hypermobile, your muscles and your ligaments essentially reverse roles in how they use tension to stabilize your body. That takes a big toll. 

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And yes, new mattress and/or padding. We had a great mattress, but it was padded for a young person, lol!. Even my DH needed a new mattress, and he's in really good shape. We bought another Sleep Number bed but cushier than our first, and we put extra padding in it besides what was standard. We have the option to add a padded mattress cover if needed as well. It helped quite a lot.

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I have switched to a step workout.  It is lower impact but it is still a good cardio workout for me.  It also stretches my feet really well.  

I have not been sore or stiff overall, but my feet would hurt, and especially when I woke up.  

 

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I'm 57.  Starting about 50, I began to have back, leg, feet pain. Nothing helped for very long.  I've seen 3 docs (1 Sports medicine,2 ortho).  I've done multiple rounds of PT.  I've joined a gym and worked with a personal trainer.  I've taken Pilates and Yoga.  I own 3 foam rollers, 2 balance balls, multiple stretching bands, foot rollers, ice packs and heat packs of various sizes and shapes.  We have changed our mattress.  I get regular massages. 

Nothing really helps very much or for very long. 

The pain is now affecting hands, elbows, knees. 

My gyn thinks it is hormone related (honestly, I think I could have a broken toe and they would think it is hormone related....just saying). 

My nutritionist thinks I'm not drinking enough water or supporting my thyroid enough.

If you find some great answers....I'd love to know

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I think it could be a lot of things already mentioned. But from your post it appears that it just became a problem since you started working out. So that seems to me to be the most logical place to start. It may be that your cardio or strength workouts are causing some muscles to stiffen up. It's not uncommon that working one area causes increased stiffness in another area (and yes, I think there's an age component to that). If it were me I'd look up some yoga stretches for the areas that are bothering you, do them for awhile and see if they help. And if not . . . start exploring other possible causes.

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A salt deficiency will cause this.  Your increased physical activity is probably making you sweat more? With a loss of salt.
You could get some salt tablets, and try taking them to see whether the stiff legs go away?

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21 hours ago, sbgrace said:

I'm 46. I had become pretty sedentary over the years. In the last 4 months, I've increased my physical activity. I worked up to 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio and 10 minutes of pilates most days of the week and light strength training two days a week. I've been doing that routine since April. 

I began this because I was really concerned about my high blood pressure and bone health issues. But it's helping me in lots of unexpected ways. I think I'm more fit than I've been in for decades, and I feel really great about it all. 

However, I'm waking up many, maybe all, mornings stiff in my back and legs/feet. This is true even after an "off" day from exercise. 

It's not muscle soreness--just feeling old and creaky. I don't recall feeling this way at all before! I can't tell for sure when it began or if it's gotten worse. 

I don't want to stop exercising. i don't think I'm overdoing it.  

Thoughts? Is it concerning? Normal part of aging? Can I do something about it? Do you think I need to change up something activity wise (I really don't want to-I feel good about myself in this). 

 

When’s the last time you had a physical and mentioned it to a doc? I’d say it’s worth getting a look-see.

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