Most of us spend so many hours of our days either sitting or moving around. Staying active and moving surely keeps us fit. However, once in a while it is good to sit back and relax by elevating your legs before hitting snooze at night. Apart from giving you that relaxing feeling, lying down with your legs up also boosts some health benefits. If you are considering doing this, read on why you must do it!
Health Shots got in touch with yoga expert Abhishek to understand the health benefits of elevating legs.
Why should you elevate your legs daily?
While hitting the gym or performing various yoga asanas is believed to boost your health, lying down by keeping your legs elevated or doing the legs up the wall pose also has potential health benefits. Read on to know about them.
1. Improves blood circulation
By keeping your legs elevated, you can increase blood flow in the upper parts of your body. Wondering how? Gravity is the answer to it. Due to the force of gravity, the blood inside our body stays relatively active in the lower parts of the body at times. The rationale behind is that the oxygen-depleted blood in our body gets back to our heart through our veins. Unlike our arteries, our veins have low pressure. To aid in the seamless movement of our blood, these veins use tiny valves and the contracting movement of the surrounding muscles to help in moving the blood back to our heart.
While sitting or standing, this blood that is devoid of oxygen must also work its way against gravity to reach the heart. When you elevate your legs, gravity works in your favour. Alongside helping the other organs of our body, this will also help increase the flow of blood in the veins of your legs.
“A leg up the wall pose is also helpful for people who have low blood pressure, oedema in the legs and feet, or chronic venous insufficiency, “adds the expert.
2. Curbs swelling
When excess blood accumulates in certain parts of our body, it causes inflammation or swelling. Also, swelling can occur due to certain injuries or health conditions. Similarly, elevating your legs above the level of your heart helps enhance the blood flow and drain away excess fluid in an effective way.
3. Relieves tension in hamstrings and lower back area
“Elevating your legs brings a gentle stretch on the hamstrings, glutes, hips and spine. It also frees your body from any tension in the lower back area. It helps in reducing the curve of the lumbar spine and reduces tightness in the lumbar region. If you practice this pose persistently, you will notice an improvement in your back pain and improvement in flexibility,” shares the expert.
4. Improves digestion
Legs up the wall pose help to activate the body’s nervous response and aid in active digestion.
5. Reduces muscle cramps
As per the expert, “Elevating your legs is the best solution to curb any build-up tension and brings relief to muscle cramps in the legs and feet. It also helps in pelvic muscle relaxation and relieves menstrual cramps.”
The bottom line
Elevated legs pose either on the wall or the cushion is an uplifting yoga posture which allows the mind and body to relax and helps in releasing stress or tension. This is also one of the most approachable yoga poses since it doesn’t require too much flexibility or strength.