Has the summer sun got your legs feeling sore and tired? Not to worry, as I discuss in this blog, there are plenty of ways to keep your legs cool and healthy this summer - just check out my top tips below!
Summer is upon us and however much you love the hot weather, it can have unpleasant effects on your lower limbs.
So why do your legs hurt? Why do your feet feel like they are filled with cement and why are they heating up like hot water bottles? Well, as the weather heats up, the body attempts to keep blood cool by diverting it to the surface of the skin, and the changes in blood flow can cause swelling.
If you don’t stay well hydrated, the heat can disturb your fluid balance – your body retains fluid to counter the drought! Many people find that their feet, ankles and legs swell progressively as the day goes on, either due to inactivity or being continually on their feet, for example when shopping or sightseeing, because a vigorous pumping action of the leg muscles is needed to power blood back up the body.
So how do you cool, refresh and waken up your summer legs?
Simple TIPS to keep your legs healthy this summertime
Legs need daily movement: walking, cycling or swimming are all good choices, or even something gentler such as yoga – anything that flexes the calf muscles
Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes, especially when on your feet for long periods
Avoid fierce heat: hot baths, saunas and long periods of sunbathing won’t help your temperature control!
Give your legs a cold shower to tone the blood vessels and cool the blood
Drink plenty of plain water and avoid added salt to avoid blood thickening
Spend 20 minutes daily sitting with your feet elevated, using gravity to move blood from your lower limbs
Massage your legs with an upwards movement. It’s enjoyable and promotes better circulation.
Did you know that chestnuts are good for the legs?
Sounds bizarre I know, but very true! The Horse Chestnut seed, that shiny brown conker so beloved by children (and many adults!) is anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling), astringent (tones blood vessels) and anti-oedema (reduces excess fluid in the tissues).
A herbal helper for your tired, hot, heavy legs
Venagel, which contains extracts of fresh Horse Chestnut seed, helps cool and soothe legs that feel weary, heavy, tired, hot and uncomfortable. It is perfect to use for swift relief at the end of a hard day’s work or after a long journey in the car, plane or train, when your legs can often get swollen and painful. You don’t even have to wait to the end of a long warm day to use the gel. Apply it regularly during the day to keep your legs nice and refreshed.