With today’s fast-paced living, taking some time off to exercise or meditate or practice any other form of self-care is difficult. Yes, you need to stay healthy, but you also need to finish writing that report and there’s no time!
I know I find it daunting to go to the gym at the end of the day or squeeze a yoga session between articles (and cooking and cleaning sessions, since I work from home and I don’t have set hours).
If you can relate, then you’re in the same situation as me. Your days are so full and busy that taking care of yourself becomes a second thought.
But what if I told you there was a way to squeeze in the quickest, easiest workout, as well as a nap, all in 20 minutes? No, this is not one of those lose-weight-fast schemes. This method focuses on your wellbeing and helps you keep your body fit and healthy without needing strenuous exercise (also, the nap part. Always nap while doing this).
What am I talking about? Simply lifting your legs for 20 minutes every day! Yes, it’s that easy, if you do it correctly.
Keep on reading to find out how to do it and what benefits you can reap from it.
First, lift your legs correctly
There is a right and wrong way to lift your legs. Here’s what you need to do:
● First, pick a comfortable position for you. Lie down near a wall with a soft roller or pillow under your lower back.
● Lift your legs up and stretch them along the wall. This position shouldn’t be difficult or uncomfortable. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed with no tension in your body.
● Stay in this position for 20 minutes and take a quick nap or meditate or listen to music while doing this (I sometimes watch TV because I’m addicted to Netflix).
As you see, doing it correctly is not very difficult. Not only will this relax you, but it’ll also help you stretch and take some precious time for yourself. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes as well since you don’t want to block your blood circulation while doing this. Something loose with no waistband is perfect.
Now that you’ve learned how to do it, check out the benefits you can reap from it!
1. No more swollen feet
If you’re anything like me, then you probably travel a lot. Before Covid hit, I was on a plane at least once every 4 to 5 months. I live in South Korea where it’s freezing cold in winter; and flying to tropical Malaysia or The Philippines when it’s -10°C here is too cheap and too convenient to turn down.
Those long flights always wreaked havoc on my legs, and by the time I made it to Kuala Lumpur Airport, my feet and ankles were always a swollen mess.
Always. For at least a day, my humongous feet wouldn’t fit in my usual shoes and I was forced to go around with my exposed troll-like extremities in sandals (I’m being hyperbolic here, they weren’t that swollen).
But I found out that getting in the habit of elevating my legs daily (especially after flying) helped keep the swelling away. That’s because this exercise helps move the excess fluid that has been pooling in your legs for all those hours you’ve spent sitting.
2. Better digestion
Lifting your legs for 20 minutes a day helps drain the blood from your legs to your internal organs. This increased blood circulation helps your digestive system work better and quicker. This is why it’s so much easier to digest when you take a walk after lunch. The exercise helps your blood circulate better, meaning more oxygen where it’s needed.
3. No more high heel pain
If you’re a person who enjoys wearing heels, then you know what I’m talking about. As soon as you put on those stilettos, your legs are toned, your posture is better, and you look straight up banging.
But spend a few hours in those shoes and your stilettos turn into an instrument of torture. The balls of your feet are hurting, blisters are forming, and it feels like you’re standing on nails. All you start dreaming about is that sweet moment you’ll get to take them off and slip into some comfy slippers.
But you don’t have to live like this. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable wearing heels, and this method helps you do just that. Lifting your legs after wearing heels all day will quickly take away any soreness you’ve been feeling. That’s because this exercise improves the venous duct, which helps decrease swelling in your feet and get rid of the pain.
4. Bye-bye heaviness
Heaviness and swelling in the leg can have various causes, from kidney malfunction to excess weight. All these have one thing in common: poor blood circulation. You see, when your blood doesn’t move as it should, it follows gravity and pools in your lower extremities.
This results in swollen feet and ankles and heavy legs. Working out as well as lifting your legs daily will make your blood circulation better since it’ll strengthen your veins.
5. Better sleep
One of the reasons you’re suffering from insomnia has to do with your legs. Imagine with me, you’re exhausted and all you can think about is sleep. But as soon as your head hits the pillow; your legs start burning or tingling. Or even worse, they jolt on their own (it’s the worst and most confusing feeling in the world).
How do you solve this? Regular leg lifting! Not only will it get rid of these symptoms, but it’ll also help you sleep better by improving blood circulation and moving more oxygen to your brain. Do this and you’ll be sleeping like a cat in the sun sooner than you think!
Yes, doing this every day won’t magically turn you into a model or give you the toned legs of your dreams. However, this exercise paired with regular workouts will leave you happier, healthier, and with a better quality of life.