As the new year begins, you are probably thinking about new resolutions and goals. The top in priority for many people is improving physical fitness and health. As you think about your specific goals to strengthen your body, it’s important to make sure you think about your legs.
It’s easy to brush aside the benefits of stretching in favor of doing other exercises but stretching can actually have some substantial benefits for your leg health. When you stretch your legs regularly, you’ll improve flexibility, prevent injury, and improve your posture.
Stretching is especially important before and after doing specific exercises. When you prepare your muscles for a specific movement, the likelihood of injury decreases significantly. Additionally, stretching after exercising allows your muscles to release tension.
Weightlifting is an especially beneficial activity when it comes to strengthening and building your legs. Weightlifting is one of the best ways to tone your muscles. And when combined with a healthy amount of cardio, you’ll end up getting results even faster.
When you lift weights, you cause your muscles to tear a little bit because of the strain. When your muscles are in the recovery phase, they build back over those tears with even more muscle in order to ensure further protection for any future tears. As a result of this tearing and rebuilding process, your muscles become stronger.
When you combine this type of weightlifting with cardio, your muscles will end up burning even more calories because muscle cells require more energy than fat cells. This will result in faster and more improved results.
Weightlifting with your legs can improve your health. But elevation takes it a step further. After you’ve done significant work on your legs in the gym, it’s imperative that you not only take time to rest but that you rest your legs the right way.
Elevating your legs can help prevent varicose veins. Elevate them above your heart level to ensure that blood doesn’t accumulate in your lower legs, causing inflammation and pain. If elevating your legs is new to you, you may want to start by just integrating it into other parts of your day. For example, when you watch a movie or when you’re scrolling through your phone before bed, just take a couple of minutes to prop up your legs on a couple pillows.
Body Weight Exercises
In addition to doing exercises like weightlifting, you can do a lot of leg strengthening with exercises that only use your body weight. And in fact, while weightlifting allows you to focus on certain muscle groups and target them specifically, doing bodyweight exercises can not only help you target certain muscles, but it can also allow you to get some good cardio in as well.
Combining a strengthening exercise like a squat with a cardio exercise like a jump (resulting in a squat jump) can provide you with a different strength training that proves especially beneficial. Furthermore, because you are only using your body weight, bodyweight exercises tend to be slightly less likely to result in injury.
When it comes to strengthening your legs, good, old-fashioned walking can go a long way. Walking has a much lower impact on your joints and muscles than does running. But arguably, walking or running the same distance has relatively the same health benefits.
Regular long walks are especially valuable in strengthening your legs because they help your legs develop endurance. If you start to want to do something a bit more challenging, you can choose to walk in areas with a steeper incline or even choose to take the stairs.
Cycling is a great option to further tone and strengthen your legs. Additionally, cycling can be incredibly adaptable to your workout preferences. If you enjoy being outside, outdoor cycling can be a great option for you. Do your research to find any biking trails that you might enjoy.
On the other hand, if you prefer to stay inside, there are multiple options you should consider as well. Cycling bikes tend to cost anywhere from $300 to $2000. Because the price range varies so significantly, you’ll probably be able to find something that fits your budget well.
You can also become a member at a nearby gym where they have cycling bikes. Typically, these bikes are more high-end. And sometimes, certain gyms even have fun options like cardio cinema where you can do your cycling while watching a movie.
When it comes to figuring out how to improve your physical health and fitness, it’s easy to practically skip leg day. But you must think about how to strengthen your legs. Start with these suggestions to get you off on the right foot.
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