Summer is synonymous with sunny days, leisure and relaxation. However, for many of us the rising temperatures also mean suffering from swollen, heavy legs as the day goes on. Although normally not serious, this common complaint can prove troublesome and even painful in some cases, but there are ways to relieve and prevent the problem from being the bane of your summer…
Why do my legs feel so heavy?
The feeling of tired, swollen, heavy or even painful legs is mainly down to poor circulation and studies show that it usually affects approximately 50% of the adult population. When the circulatory system isn’t working as it should, blood starts to pool in the lower limbs, causing the veins to dilate and subsequently swelling or a ‘heavy’ feeling in the legs.
Things like a sedentary lifestyle, not wearing correctly fitting footwear, certain medications and a poorly balanced diet are all contributing factors in developing this condition, however it can also be hereditary. Furthermore, heavy legs and puffy ankles are often caused by hormonal changes, fluid retention and / or increased pressure in the veins in pregnancy.
Why do I get swollen, heavy legs more in summer?
The main reason is the rising temperature. The heat can exacerbate a weaken circulatory system causing our lower limbs to feel heavy, tired, achy, itchy and even swollen. In some cases, other symptoms such as “spider veins” (small reddish veins on the surface of the skin) and cellulite may be apparent also.
Tips to prevent and relieve swollen, heavy legs
– Keep yourself correctly hydrated and follow a healthy diet, rich in flavonoids and antioxidants to strengthen blood capillaries and improve circulation from within.
– Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
– Sleep with your legs slightly elevated. This way your veins don’t need to pump as hard to get the blood back to your heart.
– Get moving! Even 30 minutes of light exercise can help reduce swelling and pain.
– In the shower, try alternating between bursts of cold and warm water to activate blood circulation and reduce symptoms.
– Avoid prolonged sun exposure as the heat will only make things worse. If you do find yourself spending time down the beach or by the pool remember to regularly cool off in the water.
– One of the best remedies to bring relief and activate blood circulation is through a good light massage with a product designed for treating swollen, heavy legs. We recommend Reverent Antioxidant Dry Body Oil, as its carefully selected botanical extracts boost circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness. After showering, simply dispense a small amount in the palm of your hand and proceed to lightly massage your lower limbs from the ankle upwards.