Some people experience burning or throbbing in their legs or may have swollen feet and ankles. Many suffer from aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs often caused by swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur on the legs and feet. These are symptoms of varicose veins that are usually worse during warm weather or if you’ve been standing up for long periods of time.
In a healthy vein, blood flows smoothly around the body and back to the heart by a series of tiny valves that open and close to let blood through. When the small valves inside the veins stop working properly blood is prevented from flowing backwards. If the valves are weak or damaged blood can collect in the vein causing swollen and enlarged (varicose) veins, that are rarely a serious condition and don’t usually require treatment. They may improve when you walk around or if you rest and raise your legs up. Many people find that lying down with legs up on a cushion can ease discomfort. Help yourself by avoiding long periods of standing or sitting. Moving around every 30 minutes and exercising regularly can improve circulation and… help you maintain a healthy weight!
Simple leg lifts can also help, so lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slowly straighten and lift left leg up high and hold. Now point and flex your toes 10 times and feel the calf muscle working. This pumping action encourages the blood to run down from your legs and back to your heart. Slowly, lower leg down and repeat exercise by straightening right leg up high and pointing and flexing.
Still lying on your back bicycling your legs will also encourage blood flow. Take both legs up in the air and bend them at the knees. Alternately bend and straighten each leg in a pedalling motion, as if you were riding a bicycle. Repeat 10 times
Stand up with your legs straight, face and hold onto a chair or worktop for support. Slowly rise up onto tiptoes and then lower back down, but continue the movement by rolling through your foot and back onto your heels, toes pointing upwards. Now continue movement by rhythmically rocking and rolling 10 times and feel the calf muscle’s pumping action.