Most of us spend so many hours of our days sitting or moving. Staying active and moving surely keeps us fit. However, from time to time it is good to sit and relax by elevating your legs before going to sleep at night. In addition to giving you that relaxed feeling, lying down with your legs up also increases some health benefits. If you’re considering doing this, read why you should!
Health Shots contacted yoga expert Abhishek to understand the health benefits of leg raises.
Why should you elevate your legs daily?
While going to the gym or doing various yoga asanas is believed to improve your health, lying down with your legs elevated or doing leg-on-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 to the upper parts of your body. Wondering how? Gravity is the answer. Due to the force of gravity, the blood within our body remains relatively active in the lower parts of the body at times. The reason behind is that the oxygen depleted blood in our body returns to our heart through our veins. Unlike our arteries, our veins have low pressure. To aid in the continuous movement of our blood, these veins use tiny valves and the contracting motion of surrounding muscles to help move blood back to our heart.
While you are sitting or standing, this oxygen-starved blood must also make its way against gravity to reach your heart. When you raise your legs, gravity plays in your favor. In addition to helping the other organs in our body, this will also help increase blood flow in the veins of the legs.
“A leg-up-the-wall pose is also useful for people who have low blood pressure, edema in the legs and feet, or chronic venous insufficiency,” adds the expert.
2. Swollen curbs
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, raising the legs above the level of the heart helps improve blood flow and drains excess fluid effectively.
3. Relieves tension in the hamstrings and lower back
“Raising the legs provides a gentle stretch on the hamstrings, glutes, hips, and spine. It also frees your body from any tension in the lower back. Helps reduce the curve of the lumbar spine and reduces stress on the lower back. If you practice this posture persistently, you will notice an improvement in your back pain and an improvement in flexibility”, shares the expert.
4. Improves digestion
Legs up the wall pose helps activate the body’s nervous response and aids in active digestion.
Also Read: Worried About a ‘Loose Vagina’? Tighten it up with these 5 tips
5. Reduces muscle cramps
According to the expert, “raising the legs is the best solution to stop accumulated tension and relieve muscle cramps in the legs and feet. It also helps in the relaxation of the pelvic muscles and relieves menstrual cramps.
The bottom line
The High Legs Pose, either on the wall or on the cushion, is an uplifting yoga pose that allows the mind and body to relax and helps to release stress or tension. This is also one of the most accessible yoga poses, as it doesn’t require a lot of flexibility or strength.