There is no doubt that sedentary lifestyles or occupations can bring on aching, heavy and tired leg feelings. This is because prolonged sitting or standing stops the muscle pump around our leg veins from doing its job.
The good news, however, is that even a quick walk around the block can help boost your circulation and avoid problems. Any form of leg exercise makes a difference. Discreet leg and ankle stretches, even just curling your toes up and down at regular intervals can help to get the muscle pump working.
Legs-ercise 1 - for standing up
Stand up, keep the body straight and feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower the body by bending the knees. Maintain a straight back and lower the body as if sitting on a chair. Do not bend the knees too much. Gradually extend the legs to return to the start position.
In a standing position, keeping the body straight. Keep your hands at your side and feet five inches apart for balance. Slowly rise up on the balls of your feet and lower again.
Try 10-20 of these.
Marching on the Spot
From a standing position, raise one leg up until the upper thigh becomes parallel to the ground. Lower to floor and raise the other leg up. Continue as if marching on the spot.
Aim for 15-20 marches each leg.
Legs-ercise 2 - for sitting down
These exercises can be done anywhere - at your desk, on the bus or even on an aeroplane - so now you have no excuse!
Foot & Ankle Rotation
Sitting in your chair, cross right leg over left knee. Rotate right foot slowly, making large complete circles.
Perform 10-15 rotations. Now cross left leg over right knee and repeat.
Ankle Eversion & Inversion
Sit comfortably in a chair and extend legs forwards. Evert your ankles, so that your heels are touching, straighten your feet out as far as you can (if possible so that your toes are in line with your heels). Hold for 2-3 seconds. Now invert ankles, by turning the soles outwards and away from each other and the toes inwards as far as comfortable and hold for a few seconds.
Perform 5 times in each direction.
Ankle Flexion & Extension
Sit back in the chair with legs extended, flex foot and toes towards the body. Now point the foot and toes away from body.
Perform 10-15 flexions and extensions with each foot.
(one to do at home - or when no one is looking!)
Sitting near the front of the chair, grasp side of chair for support. Raise both knees toward chest and make pedalling movements, as if bicycling.
Try 10-15 pedals forward and 10-15 backward