My calves are felt sore after a long walk about two~three miles today. How can I reduce the uncomfortable feeling? Will warm or cold compress help? Will lifting legs higher help?

In daily life, what can I do to reduce the chance of sore calves? I prefer low-level exercises.

  • How often do you excersise? Please provide more information to receive the best answer possible. See this - What must be included if you want to get individualized help? Dec 5, 2013 at 14:02
  • @JordanCarroll: For quite a while, I haven't exercised at all.
    – Tim
    Dec 5, 2013 at 15:51
  • Bingo. Most likely you are experiencing DOMS. Could be other factors at play but if you have not exercised in a long time before doing an activity like this then you have DOMS. You can alleviate them by simulating bloodflow to them (Go for another walk!)
    – John
    May 6, 2016 at 6:51
  • what is DOMS? @JJosaur
    – Tim
    May 6, 2016 at 7:45
  • lmgtfy.com/?q=DOMS
    – John
    May 6, 2016 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


Being that you seem to be a novice at low-intensity exercise. Walking is a great step in the right direction. Exercise as simple as walking can improve cardiovascular health, increase mobility, and at 3 miles should have a positive metabolic response.

Usually walking any distance is one of the easiest things a person can do but there are several factors that could bare some limitations on your little adventure.

Feet Are you flat-footed? Do you wear shoes with arch supports? Do you not have arch supports? Have you had any injury to your legs or feet that would involve overcompensation in your lower leg muscles?

Weight If you are carrying over 100 lbs of additional body weight this could be cumbersome on muscles when brought into practice. Calve muscles should naturally be somewhat strong unless you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Terrain What kind of terrain are you walking on? streets, sidewalks? trails, mud puddles? Where are you walking?

If you can be honest with yourself about the above issues, and do a self-analysis on how, where, and why you're walking 3 miles a day. Then you can proceed to develop those calf muscles as mentioned above.

Eliminate the pain In order to eliminate some of the pain you are currently experiencing, you could soak in Epsom salts, half cup salt/2 quarts water is my personal recipe, works wonders on sore joints and muscles.

Do some stretching of those hamstrings and calves by sitting down on a yoga mat or floor, with feet straight out in front of you, no bends at the knee, put your arms above your head, also straight up, and bring them slowly down to try and touch your feet, hold on to your shins if you can't reach toes, flex toes backwards towards your fingers to stretch the calf. You can also do:



Since you haven't exercised at all in a while, and this is your first 2-3 mile walk, some soreness is to be expected. To reduce your discomfort, you can apply a little ice (10-15 minutes not directly to skin), stretch gently, self-massage, contrast shower (1 minute warm/hot water, 1 minute ice cold water, several times), or foam roll.

The best thing you can do to reduce this soreness long-term is to continue being active. Your body will adapt and after a few walking sessions, the amount of soreness you experience after each walk will decrease.

To distinguish this from injury, the level of soreness you experience from an identical amount of work should be decreasing over time (if you don't wait too long between sessions). That is, if in a day or two, you go for another 2-3 mile walk at about the same speed, you shouldn't feel as sore in the days following.


You are just not used to it. Icing the muscles will help the pain a little, same with deep tissue massages and stretching. I would suggest doing standing body weight calf raises several times a week. You can do them in the shower, 30 before you shampoo, 20 before you soap, 10 before you rinse. You can increase the sets/reps if you want to later.

  • How do you know that Tim is not used to it? He didn't say whether he walks often or not. Dec 5, 2013 at 13:58

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