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7 Effective Ways to Stengthen Your Leg Muscles

7 Effective Ways to Stengthen Your Leg Muscles

If you suffer from weakness in your legs, you know your limitations all too well. From sunrise to sundown, you feel you can only do so much so fast, and for so long. Even worse, perhaps your chronic leg weakness is leaving you feeling sidelined from activity altogether.

Now, here comes some much-needed good news. You may be just a few short and simple steps away from leading a fuller life with two stronger legs to stand on.

To solve a problem, it often helps to locate the cause behind it. Many of the routine culprits that sit at the top the list for wobbly weak legs are all too obvious — too much physical inactivity and too little exercise, the wear and tear of aging, a hard-partying habit, smoking to any degree, low-quality sleep and dehydration.

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If this sounds like you, it’s within your power to do something about it by following these steps:

Consult a Physician

It’s important to know if you are suffering from another type of underlying health problem of some sort. If going to the doctor isn’t on your to-do list, it is now. Leg weakness could be a sign you are pregnant, fighting an infection, or dealing with another health condition.

In some cases, certain medications could be the cause. Whatever the case may be, you need to locate the reason for feeling the way you do. The devil you know is always better than the one you don’t, so root out that little devil, whatever it may be.

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Walk or Get a Massage

Once you get a green light from your doc, you need to get moving, and that relates to people of all ages. Specifically, if you are suffering from arthritis, you can start off on the road to stronger legs simply by walking more. This is a low-impact and low-budget activity just about everyone can do. Massage also can’t hurt. Well, if you’re stiff it may hurt a little, but the relaxing results are well worth it.

Work It Out

In time, should you feel ready to rev up your engine and ramp it up, there are many more steps you can take to a fitter, stronger you. Each of these activities are an option for people at all fitness levels:

  • Yoga has been around for centuries for a reason. It works. Plus, you need not be an expert of any sort. Just go to a studio where the teacher is patient, welcoming and watchful. Have him or her guide you through basic moves at the start. Don’t come out of the gate at top speed. In yoga, fast means nothing. On the contrary, you need to practice good form. If you rush at the outset, you are missing the point entirely.
  • Leg–strengthening exercises of various types to work different parts of your legs such as ,leg lunges, hamstring contraction exercises or pelvic lifts, and calf raises
  • Bodyweight squats  but as with yoga, watch your form and not your speed
  • Plus, resistance band exercises can also work wonders

Pace Yourself

As with any exercise program, you need to know your limitations, otherwise a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. If you start an exercise program at full throttle after a long period of doing zilch for exercise, you are filling your own prescription for pain. So use your head. If you have never exercised before, or haven’t in a while, get to a doctor first and ask for some advice about pacing and limits.

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Drink Up

As mentioned before, dehydration can be a common culprit for weakness and pain in many parts of your  body, not just your legs. If you increase your water or juice intake, you may well see a big difference in your energy levels way before you expected it.

In addition to water and juice, you can also fix yourself a glass of carrot juice or fix up one of these natural remedies:

  • Boil one cup of water, remove it from the heat, and add one teaspoon of fresh horsetail. Allow the tea mixture to steep for five minutes. Then, strain it and drink the liquid.
  • Another power-packed concoction that takes just a few minutes to make. Mix two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses into a  glass of warm water. Don’t worry about its    sweetness, either. It is much lower on the glycemic index than many other types of sugar.

Get Your Nutrients

If you suffer from leg weakness, you may also be vitamin deficient. And while you can get your vitamins from a jar, try going right to source: eat food that has contains them. Pack in some potassium, which you can get from bananas, plums, raisins, potatoes with skin and tomatoes. Magnesium can also help aid your muscles. You can get it from brown rice, spinach, lima beans and almonds to start.

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Also, make sure you are getting enough calcium, which works with protein to provide your body with the energy it needs to thrive. It can be found in  milk, cheese and various types of beans for starters. Finally, Vitamin B1 is also a must or muscle pain and weakness may wind up on the menu. You can find it in lentils, peas, and  long-grain rice.

Catch Some Rays

Studies show catching a few minutes of sunshine each day can provide you with much needed Vitamin D, which is instrumental in helping your body absorb magnesium and calcium from your diet.

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Anum Yoon

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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