Our way of living, sedentary lifestyle or an unbalanced diet can lead us to suffer from the feeling of tingling and heaviness caused by tired legs. In addition, in summer, these symptoms can be increased since the heat can makeour veins dilate more and make it difficult for blood to flow from the lower extremities to the heart.
Why do I feel tiredness in the legs?
It is a very frequent disorder that affects around the 20-30 % of the adult population, although women suffer it up to 5 times more and it affects 50 % of those over 50 years. Therefore, it is a question that we ask ourselves very often and, in summer, much more.
In order to understand the problem of tired legs you first have to understand what the function of veins is in the circulatory system. Veins collect blood from the entire body to carry it back to the heart. Here it is oxygenated again and returns through the arteries to irrigate all the tissues.
In the case of the lower extremities, the return of the blood has to be done against gravity. This is achieved thanks to the contraction of the muscles that act as a pump that presses on the veins. These, for their part, have valves that open so that the blood gets through and close so that they do not return to the legs. When this pumping system fails, the blood stagnates and the vein dilates. This is when the first symptoms appear: swelling and heaviness. If this failure continues over time, varicose veins may appear. This vascular disease is known as chronic venous insufficiency.
Can the symptoms get worse?
If you are pregnant it is very likely that the feeling of having tired legs will increase. This is because pregnancy causes an increase in abdominal pressure and, also, by fluid retention. Other hormonal changes, such as menopause, influence the worsening of tired legs syndrome. But they are not the only ones:
– Genetic predisposition
These factors are inevitable. On the other hand, there are other factors that increase the risk of suffering from the syndrome and which, as we will see later, are perfectly avoidable. These are the ones we are talking about:
– Sedentary lifestyle: Sitting down for long, immobile, stops the returning of blood to the heart.
– Overweight or obesity: Just the fact that the legs have to bear more weight is already a reason for the legs to be affected.
– The constipation: constipation can also cause an increase in blood pressure.
What can I do to improve this uncomfortable feeling?
The most important thing is to make a change in your life habits. It is time to think about your diet, if you smoke or drink too much and if you do exercise. Since having a healthy and balanced diet, in addition to performing moderate exercise every day, such as walking or cycling, favors and alleviates tired legs syndrome. Therefore, these are our recommendations:
- Walking, climbing stairs, swimming and cycling are some of the best exercises to improve circulation of legs. Muscle activity is the best engine to drive blood to the heart.
- Have a healthy and balanced diet. With this, in addition, you will avoid being overweight and constipation thanks to maintaining a diet low in calories and rich in fiber.
- Keep your legs up. When sitting, bring your legs higher than your heart level. If you have to be in bed, it is best to move your legs and raise the foot of the bed to improve return circulation.
- Sleep with your legs up, minimum 10-20 centimeters. A cushion might help you.
- Avoid keeping your legs near a heat source such as a stove or radiator. But you also should avoid an excessive exposure to the sun.
- Do exercise. Sport improves circulation. Being physically active, at least a little, will always be beneficial. Walking, swimming or riding a bike for half an hour or an hour is very beneficial.
- Avoid tight clothing. Forget girdles or socks that compress and hinder circulation. It is more advisable to use wide garments and natural fabrics. High-heeled shoes are also not recommended. It is better to use wide and comfortable shoes.