Improving blood circulation: which sport for heavy legs?
Heavy legs affect more than 18 million people in France. Generally caused by poor blood circulation, this condition can become disabling because of the feeling of tiredness and pain it causes.
Fortunately, it is possible to relieve heavy legs by taking simple steps on a daily basis. Gentle physical activity, such as walking or swimming, can help treat heavy legs by reactivating the venous pump.
Find out which sport to do for heavy legs to improve your everyday life and regain a pleasant feeling of lightness.
Why do sport to relieve heavy legs?
In order to understand why sport has a positive impact on heavy legs, it is necessary to understand the reasons for their appearance.
The causes and risk factors of heavy legs
The sensation of heavy legs is a common phenomenon that is generally due to venous insufficiency.When blood has difficulty circulating in the body, it tends to stagnate in the lower limbs rather than flowing back to the heart. This accumulation of blood causes heavy legs.
A number of risk factors have a negative impact on venous return, including : a sedentary lifestyle, age, obesity, gender (women are more often affected), working in a job that involves remaining in the same position for several hours, wearing tight clothing or ill-fitting shoes, heat, etc.
The benefits of sport in relieving heavy legs
The symptoms of heavy legs are relatively easy to relieve thanks to a few good habits to adopt on a daily basis.
Regular exercise is one of the most effective natural solutions to this condition. Working the muscles in the legs, particularly the calves, reactivates the venous system and draws blood back to the heart.
Which sport for heavy legs? Four recommendations for light legs
Long-distance sports, which work the heart, lungs and lower limbs, are particularly recommended for heavy legs.Ideally, you should do at least two or three 30-60 minute sessions a week.Don't forget to warm up properly beforehand and stretch well afterwards to help your muscles recover.
Walking is the sport of choice for optimising venous return without putting too much strain on the joints. When the foot touches the ground, the pressure exerted propels the blood towards the heart through the deep veins.
To maximise the benefits of walking, it's important to use the whole foot with each step. In practice, you need to unroll the whole foot on the ground, from the heel to the tip of the toes. The push with the toes activates the calf muscles.
Running is also very beneficial, although it is more demanding on the joints.
Cycling is a great way to work your leg muscles and cardiovascular system, while sparing your joints. When you pedal, the muscles in your calves and thighs are exercised. The muscular contractions compress the veins and encourage venous return.
It is advisable to adjust the height of the saddle so that the leg is straight at the end of the push. This encourages pushing off from the balls of the feet and effectively contracts the calves.
Road cycling and exercise cycling are both equally effective for relieving heavy legs. Aquabikes, on the other hand, offer better results thanks to the resistance provided by the water, and the cooler the water, the better.
3. Gentle gymnastics and yoga
Certain gym exercises and the regular practice of yoga can gently tone the body and activate the venous pump in the lower limbs.
There are several simple exercises you can do at home to relieve heavy legs.
Swimming, and water sports in general, are also renowned for their benefits against heavy legs.
Water helps to relieve the joints by cancelling out the effects of gravity. It also has a beneficial draining effect and stimulates venous return thanks to a lower body temperature.
What sport should I avoid if I suffer from heavy legs?
Although there are more advantages than disadvantages to practising any sport if you suffer from heavy legs, some sports should be practised in moderation, as sport itself is a factor in improving heavy legs.
In theory, all impact sports and sports that require breathing blocks should be avoided. Impact sports involve repeated jumps, shocks and sudden movements that are harmful to the joints and veins, such as:
- Combat sports,
The importance of massage for heavy legs after sport
Massage is an excellent natural remedy for relieving heavy legs after sport. Massaging the lower limbs helps to eliminate waste products stored after exercise by improving venous return.
Self-massage techniques to relieve heavy legs
First and foremost, it's important to always massage your legs, starting from the feet and working upwards.
Here are two self-massage techniques for feet and calves:
- Foot massage: use the palms of your hands to move back and forth over the arch of your foot. Then apply gentle pressure to the intersections between each toe using your thumbs.
- Calf massage: knead your calves from bottom to top, then make circular movements with your fingertips.
Massaging with electrostimulation: the benefits for heavy legs
Thanks to electrical impulses transmitted through electrodes placed on the skin, electrostimulation stimulates and massages the muscles.
This is particularly useful for people who suffer from heavy legs. Massages performed with an electrostimulation device offer a number of benefits:
- Improved venous return,
- Relief from pain,
- Optimised recovery,
- Elimination of waste and toxins,
Relieve heavy legs with the "Heavy legs" programme from Bluetens
Bluetens has developed electrostimulation programmes to effectively relieve certain pathologies and conditions, such as heavy legs. These programmes are available via a modern, intuitive application that makes electrostimulation simple and perfectly safe to use.
The 'Heavy legs' programme activates the calf muscle pump to prevent venous stasis. What's more, the electrical impulses quickly relieve the pain you feel and tone up the muscle fibres around the veins.
This 18-minute programme can be used up to three times a day, depending on how you feel.