Wearing compression socks is a great way to improve your leg health on a daily basis. The graduated compression helps improve circulation in your legs, especially for those who are sitting or standing for long periods, or those who have venous or other conditions. However, there are other things that you should be doing regularly to support healthy legs. Exercise is another big part of improving your leg health and promoting proper circulation. While any type of exercise will provide many benefits to your overall health and circulation, including exercises that specifically target your legs and work to improve blood flow can be especially beneficial. For those who sit or stand for long periods or those with venous or other conditions that affect your legs and circulation, exercising regularly can be very important in improving your circulation. We've gathered some of the best exercises to help with circulation in your legs below so you can start today!
Something as simple as going for a walk can greatly improve the circulation in your legs. When you walk the muscles in your legs are contracting, forcing the blood to travel back up to the heart. When you sit or stand for long periods, your body is fighting gravity to pull the blood back up to your heart. The simple act of walking contracts those muscles and helps move the blood back up, improving your circulation. You can start with short 10-15 minute walks a day or move towards longer walks for 30-60 minutes. Plus, getting in a 20-30 minute walk a day is an easy way to get in some exercise and get moving.
Yoga is an incredibly effective way to get your blood flowing and stretch your muscles. Yoga is an amazing form of exercise that has been proven to improve circulation and offers many different health benefits. The different movements help bring new oxygen to your blood cells and move the blood back up to your heart. Yoga can be done almost anywhere and does not usually requre any added workout equipment (besides a yoga mat), so you can easily incorporate it into your regular routine. Try this 15 minute yoga video or this 20 minute yoga video that both focus on specific moves that improve circulation.
Heel lifts specifically target your calf and leg muscles, which makes them perfect for improving circulation in your legs. For a simple heel lift, stand straight or use the back of a chair for balance. Slowly raise your heels until you are standing on your toes. Then, slowly lower your heels back to the ground, focusing on the muscles in your legs. Check out this article for a few different types of heel lifts that will work the muscles in your legs.
Another simple exercise to improve circulation is leg extensions, or leg lifts. Depending on where you are at personally with your exercise routine, you can either start by sitting in a chair or laying on the floor. Leg lifts can also be done with or without ankle weights. You can start out without any weights to begin and as you work up to it, gradually add the weights to add more resistance and really work your muscles. Here is a great article and video on how to do proper leg lifts.
Stretching is a very important part of anyone's exercise routine, but it is especially great for those who struggle with poor leg circulation. It is important to stretch after every workout or regularly. Not only does regular stretching help prevent injuries and help your muscles recover better, but it also helps to move your muscles and in turn, improve blood flow. Here are a few simple leg stretches that will help your muscles recover and improve flexibility. A foam roller is an amazing tool to get a deep stretch that can be used for your entire body. Check our this video for foam rolling exercises for your legs. This article is another great resource for some of the best foam rolling exercises.