When your job requires you to remain standing or sitting for long periods, you should take short breaks, walking or moving your feet in a circular motion for a short time. On long journeys by car, train, or plane, getting up and taking a short walk at regular intervals is good for the circulation, and promotes venous return.

 When practiced regularly with appropriate footwear, walking is the most beneficial exercise for venous circulation. Contraction of your leg muscles promotes the upward flow of blood to your heart. Gymnastic exercises, cycling, dancing, and swimming facilitate venous return.
In contrast, sports, such as tennis, squash, handball, and basketball, are not advisable because they dilate veins and slow down venous return.

Warmth promotes venous dilation. Therefore, exposure to the sun, treatment with hot wax, floor-heating systems, hot baths, and saunas should be avoided.

Rinsing your legs daily with cool water after showering activates venous function, and diminishes the sensation of heaviness and pain in your legs. Walking near a body of water combines coolness and physical exercise.

Constipation and excess weight are responsible for increased venous pressure, and can be combated by a high-fiber diet, adequate fluid intake (about 1.5 L of water a day), and by limiting intake of saturated fats (butter, red meats).

Clothing that is too tight compresses your veins and hinders venous return. Choose clothing that is loose, avoiding tight pants, corsets, belts, and tight-fitting elastic stockings.

High-heeled shoes, as well as flat shoes, do not allow adequate pressure to promote venous return. So ideally you should wear shoes with heels of about 3 or 4 cm.

By performing a few pedaling movements at bedtime, and by raising the foot of the bed by about 10 to 15 cm with blocks, you can reduce venous stasis.

Massaging your legs, going from the foot to the thigh in the direction of the venous circulation, increases venous blood return.

You should visit your doctor as soon as you feel pain and heaviness in the legs, your ankles are swollen, or your veins have become visible, so that chronic venous disease can be diagnosed early and preventive measures and treatment can be initiated. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant, or if you use hormone therapies, both of which can worsen venous symptoms.
Regular monitoring of your condition by your doctor is essential for good health and for the choice of the best treatment.
To learn more about the treatments go to the section ‘’treatments’’.

Do you have good daily habits?

1/5 - Which sports should you choose if you have heavy legs?

Horse riding
It is recommended to do sport to promote good blood circulation. However, some sports should be avoided or require special supervision: weightlifting; some combat sports or violent sports; sports practiced on hard surfaces (marathon, tennis, basketball, etc); sports practiced in a hot environment or requiring hot or tight-fitting equipment (fencing, horse riding, hockey, etc).

2/5 - Which positions should you choose if your legs are painful and heavy?

Seated, legs straight
Seated, legs crossed
In the lotus position
Lying down, legs slightly elevated
Your blood will circulate better if you leave your legs outstretched when you are seated or lying down. You can also elevate the foot of your bed by 10 to 15 cm. If you have to remain seated or standing for a long time, take regular breaks whenever possible, to walk and flex your feet.

3/5 - Which good daily habits help to prevent heavy legs?

Relaxing, hot baths
Quick, lukewarm showers
Long, hot showers
Finishing off with a cold shower on your legs
To prevent heaviness in the legs, avoid exposure to heat such as taking baths and/or showers that are too hot. Also avoid saunas, Turkish baths, and hot wax hair removal. You can rinse your legs with cold water at the end of your shower to promote circulation.

4/5 - Which dietary habits should you adopt if you suffer from venous insufficiency?

Drink enough water (at least 1.5 L per day)
Limit intake of saturated fats (butter, red meat, etc)
Drink tea and coffee
Limit alcohol and cigarettes
Eat a balanced diet, limiting items that encourage venous congestion such as alcohol, spices, coffee, tea, and tobacco. Try to lose weight (to the extent possible) if you are overweight.

5/5 - What should you wear if you suffer from heavy legs?

High-heeled shoes
Low-heeled shoes
Slim jeans
To promote blood circulation, it is preferable not to wear belts, girdles, or clothes that are too tight. It is also better to avoid wearing high heels or high boots that squeeze the calves. Opt for comfortable shoes with a low heel (3 to 4 cm maximum).
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This quick questionnaire will enable you
to assess your potential risk
of suffering, or not, from chronic venous disease


This quick questionnaire will enable you
to assess your potential risk
of suffering, or not, from chronic venous disease