HEAVY LEGS: HOW TO MAKE THEM LIGHTER?
THE BELLY LAB TIPS
As the heat of August arrives, the eternal problem of heavy legs resurfaces. While it is difficult to get rid of this problem permanently, the inconvenience of feeling weighed down in the legs can be somewhat alleviated.
Many women are prone to “HEAVY LEGS” syndrome, sometimes even in winter. When the good weather returns and the heat sets in, it can truly be a nightmare for some of us. I have a few tips to offer that will make your daily life easier – some of which I’ve tested myself – but be careful, if your pain is too unbearable it is advisable to consult a phlebologist.
• WHAT ARE HEAVY LEGS?
The term “heavy legs” speaks for itself. It is a feeling of heaviness in the legs due to poor circulation or a problem with venous insufficiency. The feeling of having heavy legs may worsen in hot weather, during the menstrual cycle, or when standing for too long.
• THE CAUSES OF VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY
You should know that we are not all in the same boat. While the heavy legs phenomenon remains a problem that mainly affects the fairer sex (hey, another one!), there are certain factors that increase the risks.
Hereditary factors have a lot of influence, as well as having a sedentary or inactive life, smoking, making poor lifestyle choices, hormonal changes (menopause, pregnancy, puberty) and having excess weight, which increases pressure on the veins.
Heaviness, cramps, tingling, numbness, tightness, itching, burning. The sensations are varied and above all very unpleasant.
• HOW TO RELIEVE YOUR "HEAVY LEGS"
To prevent and treat heavy leg syndrome, start by adopting a healthy lifestyle (if you haven’t already done so).
On the plate side, favor foods beneficial for venous return.
There are so-called veinotonic foods that contain flavonoids, such as red fruits, which are full of antioxidants which strengthen the blood vessel walls, but also tea, cocoa, spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the veins. It is found in oils (consume in moderation) and almonds.
Remember to balance your plate well and avoid salt, which promotes water retention as well as fat.
Being in good physical condition helps, because by strengthening your leg muscles you can prevent venous disorders.
Walking, cycling and swimming are highly recommended. To make it even better, these are also complementary activities of THE BELLY LAB program!
To prevent discomfort related to poor circulation, we can rely on herbal medicine. You can take cures (capsules or gels based on menthol in particular) and also drink herbal teas daily, the most famous being red vine, but also blackcurrant, blueberry, nettle, butcher’s broom, or even the sweet clover, a lesser known plant that is just as effective.
A little less sexy – but still very effective – is adding compression stockings to your wardrobe. Thanks to its specific fabric, this accessory will exert a decreasing pressure from the bottom to the top of the leg, reducing the size of the veins and thus maintaining a constant and rapid blood circulation.
Think about it, especially if you are flying.
• MY TIPS TO RELIEVE HEAVY LEGS
– Exercise at the first sign of discomfort.
Here are three that I suggest for when you’re standing, sitting or lying down.
The demi-pointes : while in a standing position with your feet apart and in a parallel position, get on your tiptoes and ascend without forcing. Then lower your feet until they’re flat on the ground and repeat the movement again. The demi-pointe exercise works the calves and activates blood circulation. Do it anywhere, whenever the mood strikes.
Ankles : while sitting comfortably on a chair, flex and extend your feet repeatedly. Alternate by rotating the ankles, first in one direction and then in the other. This exercise will relax the muscles and help improve blood flow.
Feet on the wall : while lying on the floor, position the legs stretched against the wall while applying THE BELLY LAB method. Maintain this posture for at least 10 minutes, making sure to breathe properly. I do this exercise whenever I have a long day, and it’s perfect for deflating my legs. Not to mention that this posture calms the body and promotes easier sleep.
Manual : should be practiced from the bottom up, starting from the arch of the foot, preferably with an oil (cypress, peppermint). This aims to return the blood flow to the heart. Never massage from top to bottom.
Physiotherapy : lymphatic drainage, which may need to be prescribed, especially if you have prominent edema or varicose veins.
Pressotherapy boots : ready to look like the Michelin Man for 15 to 30 minutes? Come on, it’s for a good cause and the principle behind it is super effective!
It’s about putting on boots – no, they won’t be Louboutins and if you have heavy legs you should avoid heels anyway – which go from the feet to the thighs. They will inflate and deflate on regular intervals to perform a compressive and decompressive action. This system provides a massage that will revive the lymphatic circuit and evacuate excess tissue fluids. You should know that high level athletes use it for recovery, and also in preparation for competitions.
– Foot baths : allow you to release tension, especially with cool water. Add bath salts to make it more effective.
– Spraying cool water on your legs: during the day, or at bedtime.
– Raising the feet of your bed or positioning a cushion under your calves. Find the position that feels most comfortable to you to avoid injuring your knees and ankles.
Warning: if you are pregnant or have any form of edema, I advise you to see a phlebologist who will be better able to give you appropriate treatment.
Between 18 and 22 million French people are affected by venous insufficiency, but it’s not the end of the world! Let’s take advantage of these summer months to swim, walk and cycle to boost our blood circulation and feel lighter!
Have a nice summer !