The benefits of elevating the legs every day for 20 minutes have gained a lot of attention among our readers. That’s why today, we’ll go over this topic in greater detail.
By elevating your legs, you change the postural axis and favor fluid decongestion and a correct venous return that gravity often hinders.
Why you need to elevate your legs
This simple technique can bring multiple benefits to your body. Moreover, it is effortless, and you will only need to set aside 20 minutes of your time each day to do it.
The heart makes a great effort to ensure that blood circulation reaches each of our extremities.
For this reason, a piece of advice that we are always given to improve the symptoms is to elevate the legs for a few minutes a day.
On the other hand, if your work or routine activities require you to spend many hours standing or in the same posture, it is worth trying this simple trick that will give your legs a rest and improve their circulation.
Is elevating the legs considered an exercise?
We can not call it an exercise as such because there is no physical effort; you don’t exert any movement or muscle tension.
Instead, it is more of a yoga technique that is often practiced to establish a mind-body connection and generate great circulation benefits.
However, it should be noted that if you have a back injury, it is not recommended to perform this technique.
First, you must place a small cushion under the lumbar spine to achieve a more harmonious posture. In this way, the legs will be vertically glued to the wall and the arms will be extended and relaxed.
Now, it is enough to maintain this position for at least 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t have to do anything else.
Just feel the balance of this posture and the tranquility of receiving a better circulatory supply to your chest and head.
On the other hand, you must wear comfortable clothes that don’t oppress your waist or ankles. Otherwise, you can hinder the purpose of this exercise: to promote blood circulation.
5 excellent benefits of elevating the legs
1. Reduces leg and foot edema
One of the causes of edema in the legs and feet can be due to poor circulation.
Sometimes this difficulty is caused by various imbalances: a kidney problem, heart, overweight, the effect of any medication, or an inadequate diet.
Elevating your legs promotes the movement of those fluids that hinder proper blood circulation.
Sometimes, standing all day makes our feet swell. Therefore, something as simple as taking your shoes off and putting your legs up on the wall will cause the force of gravity to deflate those problem areas.
2. Relieves tired legs
Elevating your legs is one of the best ways to relieve tension in your lower limbs, feet and even your hips.
These three areas are the ones that suffer the most at the end of the day. By doing this exercise for 20 minutes, you change the postural axis and release all tension in these areas, which is a remarkable relief.
3. Improves digestion
This is one of my favorite benefits when elevating the legs. Lying down with your legs raised improves bowel function.
Due to the outflow of excess blood in the legs, the blood supply to the internal organs is increased, and the tone of the smooth muscles, on which the intestine’s peristalsis (wavy contractions of the musculature, necessary to move digested food) depends, is increased.
At the same time, increased blood circulation improves the functioning of the digestive glands.
If you are not lazy and regularly perform this exercise, this will cause complete food assimilation of all the beneficial nutrients that enter your body.
4. It will lower the tension of the nervous system
In this position, you relax and breathe more. The tissues are saturated with oxygen, and the blood begins to circulate better through the vessels, supplying and nourishing all the organs with beneficial substances.
This, in turn, has a beneficial effect on the nervous system and will allow you to relieve muscle tension in the temples, neck, and abdomen.
5. Sleep will become strong and deep
Insomnia is often caused by unpleasant sensations in the extremities (tingling, burning, or popping).
Regular lifting of the legs will allow you to get rid of poor sleep. Moreover, thanks to proper breathing and improved blood circulation, the brain is better oxygenated, generating a more substantial and deeper sleep.
Being in this position can even be compared to meditation, making you forget about everything superfluous. At the same time, the body and mind are immersed in complete and sweet tranquility.
5. Improve mental calm
With only 20 minutes of your time, you will perceive a physical relief that will instantly relax your mind.
The benefits of elevating the legs encourage you to meditate, rest the mind, and feel more present, surrounding you with calm, well-being, and harmony.
As you practice this simple therapy you will notice more and more benefits.
Benefits elevating the legs: BONUS
3 gestures that soothe your legs and keep varicose veins at bay
Factors such as weight or sedentary lifestyle are determinants in the appearance of varicose veins. Gravity plays a key role here.
That force is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), just like the one used for blood pressure.
When you are standing, it is 90 mmHg, but when the leg muscles contract to walk, the veins are “emptied” of blood, and the pressure drops to 20 mmHg.
Averaged over the course of the day, the result is 50 mmHg. But… what happens when there are already venous return problems?
Well, the veins don’t “empty” well when walking, and, consequently, the average daily pressure they support is higher. And that, day after day, worsens varicose veins.
To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to reduce, as much as possible, the force exerted by the blood flow in the vein.
How? With gestures and habits as simple as those explained below:
1. Swimming or moving in water
For starters, any activity that involves leg muscle contraction and helps the blood to rise is good: walking, running, cycling, climbing stairs… But if there’s an exercise that excels in case of venous insufficiency, it’s swimming.
Why does it work so well? For two reasons: when you swim, your body is in a horizontal position, and, besides, the water pressure helps venous return.
And if you do it in the sea, where the water is usually at a lower temperature, the effect is even more beneficial because the cold temperature contracts the veins, thus counteracting the varicose’s dilation.
However, if you don’t like swimming, simply submerging yourself in the water and moving your legs a little will relieve the feeling of heaviness.
You can also take advantage of hydrotherapy at home: fill the bathtub halfway with cold water and walk from one end to the other for 10 minutes.
And remember that, although most exercises are beneficial to keeping varicose veins away, it is not advisable to lift weights because it increases the pressure on the lower body.
2. Get used to move your feet
Raising and lowering your toes when you are standing or waiting, for example, in a queue, helps to “push” the blood towards the heart and lightens the pressure in your legs.
Doing ankle rotations also has a similar effect, whether you are standing or sitting. Remember that, even if you remain in a static position, if you mobilize your muscles, the circulation in your legs is activated.
Walking on tiptoe, a plus. By doing so, the calf contracts, the vein is compressed, and the blood is propelled upwards, thus releasing the leg’s pressure. Start by taking gentle steps walking barefoot on tiptoe.
Then walk for 2 minutes marking the step in an exaggerated way and supporting the foot’s tip. To finish, bring your legs together and raise and lower your heels at least 10 times.
Practice this exercise when you feel the legs heavy and you will notice an immediate relief.
3. A good self-massage
You will notice how the feeling of heaviness disappears. When performing it, take into account these recommendations:
Practice it in an ascending way, with the legs raised at chest level and supported on a cushion.
Keep in mind that the massage does not have to hurt: if you have varicose veins, do it in the surrounding areas, not on them.
The following foods will add more benefits to your legs:
- Sesame seeds. They are very rich in L-arginine, a substance (amino acid) that improves blood flow
- Blueberries. A handful a day increases vein elasticity and activates peripheral circulation
- Onion. Its flavonoids protect and strengthen the venous system