It is seldom appreciated by most people who experience no problems with their legs, just how vital they are to us – they have to carry us around after all!
Outside of the fitness community, people don’t really pay attention to their legs, unless they happen to break or strain one of them. All of a sudden we realise exactly how much we depend on them, and how difficult life would be if we couldn’t use one or other of them in the way we have become accustomed to. (Click here to find out how I fixed my bow legs without surgery!)
Another thing that is seldom realised until it is almost too late, is that you can look after your legs in the same way you look after any other part of your body. Did you know that your heart relies on your legs to move the blood it has tirelessly pumped all the way down to your feet back up to the heart? It ‘s true. If you have a job that involves sitting down for much of the day, you may find that you have restless legs at night. Not only does using your legs help to move the blood around, it also helps to move the lesser known lymph fluids around your lymphatic system.
The lymph system is vital to transport the fluids used in keeping you alive. Your blood gets filtered constantly, and the lymph system is responsible for transporting the purified results back to the heart to be reintegrated into the blood flow.
The lymph is also the system that transports vital immune system agents like lymphocytes. Fighting infection becomes progressively harder for those whose lymph systems are not functioning in the way they should. This is one of the reasons that offices, where everyone sits down all the time, are breeding grounds for infection – someone always has a cough or a cold, and often many of the people in the office basically have ‘a cold’ from around October all the way through to March.
The good news is that looking after your legs, and thus your whole body, is something that is relatively easy to do, and the benefits of making the effort can be very rapid indeed. Just taking the stairs whenever you can, walking to and from work, and even walking out somewhere to get your lunch are ways that you can keep your legs working through the day.
If you really want to start feeling and looking great, you can do a lot worse than simply beginning a leg-based exercise regime. Squats and lunges, for example, don’t just work your legs in a great way, they also engage your core, strengthening your back and so your posture. (Find out what exercises you must NOT do if you have bow legs).
Because your whole living system – your organs, spine, and brain – are delicately balanced atop your legs, it makes sense that improving the strength and flexibility of your legs can really work wonders. Postural problems in the hips, spine, and shoulders can often be traced to some kind of imbalance in the legs. Yes, it’s true, simply spraining your ankle and not working to strengthen it once it is better, can throw your hips slightly out of kilter. Because your spine rises out of your hips, this can after the way you hold your spine. If this is too far out of line for too long, the next thing you know you’re getting tension headaches because of the way your body has to correct for the weakness in the ankle.
Regular stretching, walking, gentle jogging and dedicated leg exercises like squats, lunges, and others, can easily be made into part of your regular routine. When you finally make it out of the office and into blissful retirement, you’ll find you are still supple, mobile and healthy, where others are nothing of the sort. Take care of your legs, and they will take care of you.