Studies Reveal That Walking Is A Surprising Way To Reduce Post-Workout Soreness

Anybody who does any sort of resistance training, particularly those just starting out with a fitness regimen, will tell you that one of the worst things about it is the muscular exhaustion and soreness the morning after: while I do love that first rush of dull pain to tell me that I did a good job yesterday, it does make going about your day to day business a bit harder than it normally would be.

Most people likely don’t have the slight masochistic streak that I do, and would much prefer reducing their soreness. As it turns out, there is a way, and it is one that I discovered purely by accident.

A Story From College

As a young man in college, being away from my parents for the first time, I had a fair amount of free time, most of which I spent either working out or attempting to sleep with every woman in the county (as a side note, I learned much of women and sexuality from the “school of hard knocks”, which is why I must admit that I do not have any sort of story about Return Of Kings giving me some great epiphany about women).

This was around the same time that I decided to reduce my masturbation, for reasons that have already been discussed on this website, so after playing the field for a month or two, my Saturdays solidified into a wonderful and idyllic routine: after breakfast and washing up I would finish my homework or reading for the upcoming week in the morning, play some saxophone or do some other recreation, then go to the gym, shower, eat lunch, do some reading or another recreational thing, then shack up with one of my four regular girls for the evening.

Every one of those girls lived off campus, 1-2 miles away from my dorm, a distance that I almost always walked. While the constant walking in addition to formally scheduled exercise, both combined with the calorically reduced diet I was eating (as detailed in one of my earlier posts) made me drop more than 30 pounds in the span of about two months and gave me a trim and lean physique that the women in my life could barely keep their hands off of.

What I didn’t expect is that the morning after I would barely be sore and be much more functional, capable of going about my business with a spring in my step and without any soreness at all.

spring in the step

What Happened

As excited as I was to finally be having sexual intercourse on a regular basis—I freely admit that I did not lose my virginity until my sophomore year in college—I doubted that that was the reason I had reduced soreness. So I reasoned that, perhaps the 3 miles I had intermittently walked after going to the gym had something to do with it.

As luck would have it, research has confirmed that this was indeed the case…sort of: More accurately, any sort of light, sustained aerobic physical activity (like walking or stretching) after a shorter bout of heavy anaerobic training (such as sprints, weightlifting, or hitting a punching bag) can reduce soreness a great deal:

A study published in 2011 analyzed whether stretching before or after heavy physical activity would be a more effective way to reduce soreness. The results showed that there was a statistically noticeable difference in each, with pre-exercise stretching reducing  “next day” soreness by, on average, half a point—“points” were defined purely by perception by the test subjects on a 100 point scale. Post-exercise stretching reduced soreness by a full point. The results seem to indicate that while post-exercise physical activity reduces soreness more than pre-exercise stretching, stretching in general does not produce a huge reduction in soreness.

And, admittedly, I could not find any academic data specifically on taking a long-distance walk (defining long distance walk as anything longer than 1 mile). So instead, I looked for information on fitness websites—and, in the style of Mike Cernovich, I found the information I was looking for, from “bros” who were more knowledgeable than the men in labcoats:

scientist,,,, and even HuffPo all agree that a bit of light cardio is a great way to reduce muscular soreness. And if the SJWs of Huffington Post and the Racist Bodybuilders For Trump can agree on something, you might be behooved to give it a try.

Read More: How To Work Out Correctly

34 thoughts on “Studies Reveal That Walking Is A Surprising Way To Reduce Post-Workout Soreness”

  1. I recently got a fitness tracker–What I have found is that walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise there is, particularly for losing weight by increasing the amount of daily calories burned. Simply ditching those one to two mile drives to the grocery store or local bar has helped me shed the pounds in ways that running and lifting never have. Strange but true. I believe it is because you do not get the cortisol release from walking that you do from more intense activity. It also does not stimulate hunger that much.

    1. It’s also why Eastern Europeans tend to be at or near their ideal weight. Walking everywhere as much as you can keeps the pounds down.

      1. There was a woman who wanted to write a book about “French Women’s Fitness Secrets” to capitalize on American women’s need to stuff their faces. So she went over there and couldn’t really find anything remarkable to develop a program over. All she found was that they eat smaller portions than American women, and they FUCKING WALK all the time. Total no-brainer.

    2. The fitness trackers arent so great at measuring your vitals. Do a quick search for more details

    3. We’re designed to walk; it’s part of our species being. The Taoist even developed chi kung meditations centered around walking. When we do what we’re designed to do by nature, physically and mentally things fall into place.

  2. Try also
    – The relaxation. When walking, become aware of your shoulders and relax them. Then become aware of your elbows and relax them. Become aware of your wrists and relax them. Become aware of your waist and relax it. Become aware of the hips and relax them. Become aware of the knees and then the ankles and relax them.
    – Tai chi stepping. This means move by first shifting all your weight to one leg. Crouch down a little. Then step forward with the other leg (or step to the side or backwards). Then shift the weight to the other leg completely. Then and only then you can take another small step with the leg that has no weight on it. Move energy downward with each step.
    – Carrying water. Pretend you are full of water up to your waist, and walk so you don’t spill any water.
    – In water. Move as if you are in water up to your chest or even up to your neck.
    – Hot mud. Visualize hot mud coming down from above and drenching you, from head to toe, oozing through every pore and saturating every organ and bone and crevice of the body. For some reason, some people love this feeling.

  3. Thanks for sharing the information Larsen. I can’t say that I’ve ever tried it, but I’m going to store that one in the bank for whenever I might need it or the next time someone asks me about effective ways to reduce DOMS.

  4. I read that being in the state of ketosis reduce the soreness. You’re burning ketones so less lactic acid as a byproduct.

  5. While light cardio can be effective, its a bummer to regiment, because most busy people will usually find something more important to do. When I am lifting heavy, I usually try to get in some for of cardio/respiratory training in for about half an hour, especially on rest days. But when you’re training heavy for a while, unless you mix it up with some calisthenics or something, soreness is rarely an issue of obstruction.
    I read one of Quintus Curtius’ articles about channeling your emotions, which is a very necessary practice. The story was about a soldier with PTSD. He came back and really struggled for a while. He said he bought a gun and was about to kill himself, but he stopped because he was overcome by this feeling of peace he got, just from hearing the sound of running water from a river near by. He took up fishing soon afterwards, and it really helped him cope with life.
    There are plenty of studies that prove how soothing and beneficial the sound of running water is. And that’s what I would recommend to anyone who plans on using the information in this article to their benefit: Don’t piss away time at some gym or some neon lighted urban setting walking for exercise, get out and connect with nature while doing this. Even if its just a mile or two. Make it a date even, take a girl on a hike or a walk down by the river. Get her mind away from the TV and the phone that’s poisoning her.
    It doesn’t have to be a daily habit or anything, but it can be. I don’t really go on walk, but try to get out and practice archery, and I live in a rural area right now. Its better than meditation to me, to be out there focusing on something, but not making any great conscious efforts, just, at total peace. Walking for exercise is pointless if you’re doing it in a sterile, boring, civilized environment, and their are much wiser investments for time if that’s your only option.

  6. Hill and mountain walking is the best. The pure smell of fresh air and the lack of man made noise is almost divine. The way weather can change dramatically in a short period of time and knowing how to navigate through sun, wind and rain is the stuff every guy should do from time to time. Keeps you physically, mentally and spiritually a real man and not just some type rat running in the gym treadmill.

  7. Soreness is completely related to alkalinity. If i drink say 3 glasses of 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarb over several hours the soreness is reduced 90 %. If im extremely sore and i start to drink bicarb when my urinary PH gets over 7 amazingly the soreness leaves my muscles. Epsom salts are very alkaline and they drastically reduce soreness. My only question is if the soreness results in more muscle growth(it may be beneficial to even take an acid before exercise for example). Exercise actively mobilizes alkaline minerals from bones which is probably why walking is helping his soreness.

      1. It appears so. I’ve read one account of a trainer having major league pitchers on alkaline diets, because of its affects thier joint recovery. But I’m not sure the mechanism why it would affects joints. I know say if I take excessive acid like say 4 grams of vitamin c a day for 2 days, it makes my joints ache, so for sure it is something you can feel(drinking excessive say cocacola has a similar effect because of its low ph)..

    1. thank you… I am extremely sore after workouts ; usually 2 days later. I can work out 1-2 days in a row than hit the wall. I will try it.

      1. Let me know hpw it works out for you. My best theory is that the acidity of exercise damages the weakest cells then you need a 7.4 to 8 ph for optimal cell growth for 2 days afterwards as repair. Rinse and repeat. Sodium citrate or sodium ascorbate is probably the better tasting options to raise ph..otherwise 3 glasses of 1 teaspoon baking soda over the course of a day gets my ph up to 8(urinary ph that is). Arm and hammar brand actually has some recommendations on how to take it on the side that agree with my experience.

  8. This Friday i was tense, nervous about a professional problem. So, i decided to go out and walk the streets of Porto at night, my town, to chill out and have a clearer view of what to do, what to choose, what path should i contemplate.
    All alone in the city i love, just me and my thoughts, between baroque and medieval churches, bars and pubs, charming streets and with a beer in my hand, i had no problems. My mind was clean. I was happy. I was free.

    1. In school they always called it “Oporto”? Love this part of the world, but, I never made it yet over the border from northwestern Spain (Galica).

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      2. Yes, both english and spanish people call it like that, something i dont understand to tell you the truth. If you never came to Northern Portugal, well, just come. You will have the time of your live!

    2. tens sorte. o Porto é a minha cidade do coração, no meu país do coração. abraços desde Brasília!

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  9. I will never tell anybody not to work out. Indeed, I have found that, especially in winter months, I need to do a few push-ups.
    But there has always something that has bothered me about just working out to be healthy, as noble a goal as that is. It seems to me a sort of decadence to work out for the sake of working out.
    Working out should be combined with work ideally. Which is why I have chosen gardening. Pushing a wheelbarrow, shovelling, hoeing etc is plenty hard. Plus, you develop a skill. Carpentry would also be good.
    And after it is over, I walk my dog. Taking a bike to visit neighbors rather than driving is also good.
    Yes, that cannot always be done, for sure. It would certainly not be enough for my son training who wants to go to ranger school.
    But it works for a lot of geezers.
    (Note:best to be a Mao peasant style gardener using a hoe and shove for max effect. I use all hand tools. Get manly calluses on my hands. Not soft Brave New World hands with beauty salon physique. Prefer working man muscles. Not that I would want to challenge in a boxing ring one of these dudes who spends his day in the gym. But that’s just my old school outlook.)

    1. I work out at home only because the local gym..all of them are likely to have too many germs and the more people your around; the odds of getting someone else problems go up. I also think its kind of weird to be so absorbed in workouts- as no one cares what your muscles look like so I do quite a lot around the home projects as well….. Also, as I get older in my late 40’s; I find that my body doesn’t produce the same amount of chemicals like when your 20 so my focus is on finding the stuff to max out function -energy, brain, skeletal. You can fix a lot of issues if you look.

    2. Interesting perspective – but working out (or very heavy labour) is necessary to be able to defend yourself or at least deter potential attackers; it also gives you a lot of confidence.

  10. Interesting. So whats the recommended regiment? I usually do 1 hour (or 45 minutes) of weightlifting. How much walking after that?

  11. Light swimming is better for recovery than walking because it uses the entire body, duh. Just go mess around in a pool for 20-30 minutes.
    Light sex is also good for the same reason. Just get her to lie on her belly on the bed, then oil her ass and lie on top and gently fuck her there for 20-30 minutes.
    A walk is only as good as the above 2 if you do stretches and maybe a few push-ups along the way to keep your blood warm.

  12. Something athletes have known for many years. The best method is an aerobic /dynamic warm up (no cold stretching) for about 10 min, and then an extended aerobic cool down followed by slow stretching lasting total 20-30 min. This is based on a 2 1/2 hr training session with aerobics, calisthenics, and agility exercises. You can adjust these warm up/cool down times based on the length and intensity of your workout.

  13. Walking should help your muscles and limbs. Benefits of distance walking is determined by the fact that it involves biomechanical and neurophysiological processes comprehensively affects the entire body. It makes different muscle groups of the legs work. The activity of the said normalizes the whole body balance.

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