Why You Should Elevate Your Legs 20 Minutes a Day

Why You Should Elevate Your Legs 20 Minutes a Day

Elevating your legs above the level of your heart can help improve blood flow in your veins, reduce swelling, and lower pressure in your legs.

Here are some of the benefits in detail:

  • Improves blood flow. When you elevate your legs, gravity works in your favor and helps blood return to your heart more easily. This can prevent blood from pooling in your veins and improve oxygen delivery to your tissues.
  • Reduces swelling. Swelling can occur due to excess fluid or inflammation in your legs and feet. Elevating your legs can help drain away the excess fluid and reduce inflammation by improving lymphatic drainage and reducing pressure on the capillaries.
  • Lowers pressure. Standing or sitting for long periods can increase pressure in the veins of your legs. This can lead to vein damage, varicose veins, or blood clots. Elevating your legs can help lower the pressure in your veins by allowing blood to flow more freely.

What conditions can it help?

Elevating your legs can be helpful for various conditions that affect the veins or circulation of your legs, such as:

  • Vein conditions. Elevating your legs can help prevent or ease vein conditions, such as varicose veins, spider veins, or superficial thrombophlebitis. These conditions are caused by weakened or damaged valves in the veins that allow blood to flow backward or pool in the veins.
  • Leg ulcers. Leg ulcers are open sores that develop on the skin of the lower legs due to poor blood flow or infection. Elevating your legs can help improve blood flow and healing of the ulcers by reducing pressure and swelling.
Lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition that causes swelling in the arms or legs due to a blockage or damage in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and nodes that carries fluid and waste products from the tissues to the bloodstream. Elevating your legs can help reduce swelling and improve lymphatic drainage by facilitating fluid movement.  
  1. How to elevate your legs properly?

To get the most benefits from elevating your legs, you need to do it properly and regularly. Here are some tips on how to elevate your legs:

  • Use a cushion or pillow to support your lower back and raise your legs above the level of your heart. You can also use a wall or a chair as a support for your legs.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing that does not restrict blood flow or cause discomfort.
  • Relax and breathe deeply while elevating your legs. You can also listen to music, read a book, or meditate to enhance relaxation.
  • Elevate your legs for at least 15 to 20 minutes at a time, preferably twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Avoid crossing your legs or bending your knees while elevating them, as this can impair blood flow and cause pressure on the veins.
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