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Heaviness in the legs? 5 rules to reduce it

Women’s health (circulation, hormones, menopause)

In the evening, after spending most of the working hours standing or sitting at your desk, without moving, it's easy to feel a sense of heaviness in the legs.

This discomfort usually tends to worsen with the heat, which promotes venous stasis, due to which the legs are numb, aching and swollen. The feeling of heaviness in the legs, accompanied by cramps or swelling, may sometimes also be an indicator of an underlying pathological condition, such as a deep vein thrombosis.

The discomfort of heavy legs concerns mainly women and is not necessarily related to traumas or intense sporting activities: the main cause of heavy legs must indeed be sought in the stasis of blood in the veins that can be supported by several factors. To better understand the causes that can promote a feeling of heaviness in the legs, let us try to explain, in a few words, the mechanism that regulates the venous circulation.

Leg muscle contractions during movement acts as a sort of pump compressing the veins and pushing blood upward; consequently, during long periods of inactivity, when you sit or stand for a long time, leg muscles do not contract sufficiently to push the blood upwards.

Moreover, the latter is more difficult to return to the heart even in the presence of low pressure, thus stagnating in the blood vessels. For this reason, the blood collects in the veins of the legs limiting the drainage of tissues. It is exactly this blood stasis thta can cause a feeling of heaviness in the legs.

Heaviness in the legs? Regain lightness with 5 easy steps

In the absence of specific diseases, the sensation of heaviness in the legs can also be effectively controlled by adopting a few simple, consistent habits. Let's see which ones.

Some exercise

Those who have a sedentary job, and spend much time sitting at a desk should try to get up every 30 minutes to stretch the muscles, while those who stand long time should try to contract their calves and alternate moments of rest. You should also practise some regular physical activity in leisure time, especially walking, cycling, water aerobics or swimming.

Drinking enough water

To facilitate circulation it is good rule to drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day. This will make it possible to counteract the swelling in the legs that often is associated with venous stasis. Alternatively it is also possible to opt for natural teas, prepared by dissolving in hot or cold water extracts of useful plants to promote microcirculation and relieve the feeling of heaviness in the legs, as for example Asian coinleaf (centella) or pineapple.

Watch your diet

To improve vein tone and elasticity as well as healthy circulation, it can also be helpful to add foods rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids (citrus fruits, kiwis, pineapples etc.) to your diet. On the other hand, you should reduce the consumption of salt or foods that contain large amounts of it, to limit water retention.

Cold water and massage

To relieve the discomfort, when you are in the shower, you can spray a jet of cold water over your legs; even better if you alternate cold water to warm water, moving the jet from the ankles up to the thighs. Further help can come from self massaging the legs with special creams, made from plant extracts with tonic action, useful in reactivating the circulation.

Natural remedies

You can also benefit from taking specific natural supplements containing vitamin C (useful for supporting the normal function of blood vessels) and plant extracts such as blueberry, red vine, holly, Asian coinleaf, horse chestnut and pineapple, which can boost the microcirculatory function and combat the sensation of heavy legs.

Why does heavy legs affect mainly women?

 Women are generally more exposed to this discomfort. This is because there are several factors, mostly hormonal, which may favour a slowing down of the circulation and an accumulation of blood in the lower part of the body: for example, pregnancy, the stagnation of liquids in the premenstrual period, the use of the contraceptive pill.

In addition, the accumulation of blood in the lower part is also bolstered by the fact that different blood vessels present in the uterus are connected to the veins of the thighs. This does not exclude that some men may suffer from heaviness in the legs, especially if they spend a lot of time sitting or standing, have a sedentary lifestyle and improper diet.

Properties of holly or butcher's broom in history

Ruscus aculeatus, Butcher's Broom, is a perennial evergreen, woody plant of the lily family; its flowers are green and the fruit is a spherical and red berry: for medicinal purposes, you use the dried rhizome and roots that are harvested in September-October. «In ancient times, Dioscorides extolled its diuretic proprerties» (B. Brigo, L’uomo, la fitoterapia, la gemmoterapia, Milano 2009), which were also underlined «by Pliny and in the Middle Ages continued to be used as a diuretic». (F. Capasso, R. De Pasquale, G. Grandolini, Farmacognosia: Botanica, chimica e farmacologia delle piante medicinali, Milano 2011).


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