By the end of pregnancy, your legs may not wait until the end of the day to feel tired, heavy, and sometimes painful. That makes sense: baby is gaining weight, and you’re less active. Read on to learn how to lighten them up again!
1. COOL AND ELEVATE
If your legs are swollen and tired, it’s because the blood is having a hard time flowing back up to your heart. The first step to getting relief is to help it, as fast as possible! Start by toning the blood vessels in your legs by cooling them with a cold (but not icy) spray of water, working from your feet up to your groin, with special attention to the ankles and inside of your knees. Gently pat yourself dry and then, with the same approach, apply a product specifically formulated to fight heavy legs. Ideally, choose one that contains refreshing natural extracts like menthol for quick action. This type of ultra-refreshing product may even let you skip the shower step. Finally, put your feet up on the wall for 5 to 10 minutes to optimize venous return and lastingly clear up any stagnation in your lower body.
2. ACTIVATE AND STRETCH
In the third trimester, physical activity tapers off and the venous network called the Lejars venous sole of the foot, including the arch and heel, is no longer used as much. This prevents it from serving as a pump to mechanically bring blood back up. In parallel, the leg muscles are not often stretched, which means that they can do little to contribute to vein tone. The good news is that you can remedy the situation without tiring yourself out needlessly. Start by going up on your tiptoes (while holding onto a piece of furniture) ten times. This will stimulate the Lejars sole of your foot. Next, use a stair step (again, holding securely onto the handrail) to stimulate your calf muscles. Place the ball of your foot on the step and gently lower your heel until you feel a stretch in your leg. Repeat ten times each leg.
3. MASSAGE AND STIMULATE
To keep venous return flowing despite the laws of gravity, try these two simple, pleasant, and effective steps whenever you feel the need, at any time of day. Take advantage of the draining, refreshing, and toning properties of special heavy legs creams by gently massaging your legs from bottom to top. Some formulas can even be applied over pantyhose or immediately before getting dressed. Stimulate your Lejars sole without even standing up by rolling a tennis ball under each of your feet in turn for several minutes.