Tired legs? Keys to caring for them
Published: 16 July, 2019 - Updated: 25 August, 2020 | 3'
Why do your legs feel tired and heavy
What is poor circulation in the legs?
Tired legs are characterized by a slower return of blood to the heart, this being one of the most common disorders of the vascular system that affects approximately 50% of adults. In Spain, it is more common in women (64%) than in men (36%); the overall average age is 52.3 years.
The usual risk factors, present in 82% of cases, include a sedentary lifestyle, family history and overweight. In addition, women are influenced by pregnancy and men the most relevant factor is obesity.
Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
Problems of heaviness and tiredness in the legs may appear in jobs that require many hours of standing, producing swelling or circulation problems. To avoid this, it is advisable to alternate the weight of the body from one leg to the other.
Likewise, this discomfort may appear when sitting for many hours, as can happen in office work. Therefore, it is recommended that you get up from time to time to stretch your legs and promote circulation.
Tired legs in pregnancy
Pregnancy can also trigger leg swelling and a feeling of heaviness that is often caused by hormones, fluid retention, or increased pressure in the veins. This can also cause cramps or varicose veins.
Routine to relieve discomfort
The first measures to keep your legs from feeling tired, heavy or swollen are to follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber, to hydrate yourself continuously, and to control your weight and blood pressure.
It is also important to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and to be careful about the shoes you wear and tight clothing, especially from the waist down.
Exercises for heavy legs
To help your legs, you can perform these simple exercises during your workday or when you get home:
- Place your legs slightly apart and move your body weight from one side to the other, this will help you relax the muscles and improve the return circulation.
- With your legs extended, spread them apart and bring them back together again, repeating ten times.
- Sitting comfortably in a chair or on the floor, extend one leg and turn with your foot, first to the right and then to the left, in the shape of a half circle. Repeat the exercise with the other foot, at least 10 times each.
- Sitting in a chair, with your heels on the floor, lift your toes and hold them for a few seconds. Then lower them and lift your heels alternately. Complete 20 repetitions with each one.
- Lying on your back, with your legs stretched out, raise the legs alternately by bending slightly, trying to grasp the back of the knees with both hands.
- Walk on your toes for a few minutes since this movement activates the circulation in your calves.
Hydration and oil massage for tired legs
Maintaining good hydration is important to relieve the feeling of heaviness in the legs, both from the inside and the outside. Cold water in the shower or bath can also help reduce discomfort.
A massage is usually the best option to relieve leg fatigue and promote blood circulation, done with circular movements, and it will also help you to relax.
Vegetable oils, such as arnica oil, can be used for this purpose. Oil your hands and, from the ankle with both hands, massage upwards and firmly to the knee at least 10 times. Then do it from the knee to the thigh another 10 times. Repeat on the other leg.
Arnica Oil for Tired Legs
Arnica oil is often used for discomfort, not only in tired and aching legs, but also in any part of the body by helping to avoid bruising from a knock.
It activates the skin microcirculation, contributing to the toning and softness of the skin. This is why its use to massage and moisturize tired legs is so beneficial.
- Álvarez-Fernández, L. J. et al. Encuesta epidemiológica sobre la insuficiencia venosa crónica en España: estudio DETECT-IVC 2006. Angiologia, 2008.
- Pittler, M. H. et al. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012.
- Rabe, E. et al. Efficacy and tolerability of a red-vine-leaf extract in patients suffering from chronic venous insufficiency–results of a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2011.
- Rodriguez-Mateos, A. et al. Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019.