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Keep Your Legs in Shape During Pregnancy

Our legs take us everywhere we need/want to go, but during a pregnancy they can be heavy and make us feel that we are walking in cement.  During the first and last trimester, fatigue can make us feel even worse about our legs and hormonal changes don’t help either. Not to mention all the other problems that pregnant legs face every day like varicose/spider veins (shudders) and cramps (especially at night). It’s a potential recipe for disaster. But there is a lot you can do to limit the damage that gravity and extra blood flow will do to your legs.  These tips are targeted to pregnant women but they also apply to the ladies who are not having a baby right now but suffer from heavy legs because of the monthly hormonal shifts.

 

1) Flush It Off

Water flushes water, right? That also applies to heavy pregnant legs. The swelling is not only cause by the increased blood flow but but the water accumulating in your tissues. Hello Cellulite, I thought you’d never show up yet here you are! Do you want stagnant water in your legs to weigh you down? Me neither, so drink up and avoid overly salty foods especially at night. I recommend you avoid carbonated beverages (I hate them and baby girl will not be allowed near one for as long as I can restrain her) and opt for plain old tap water. No carbs, just moisture!

2) Get that Lymph Flowing

In Europe lymphatic drainage is very popular. You go to a spa and among the various services you’ll always find that as an add on. In America this service is mysteriously missing. So what is a girl to do? Learn it of course! The easiest way to get your lymph flowing is dry brushing. I know I have been talking about this before and I probably sound a little crunchy granola right now but it works. If you have dehydrated and sensitive pregnant or hormonal skin (raises her hand and frowns) you may want to do this 3 times a week instead of every day. But dry brushing is key to flush toxins from your lymphatic system. It’s limited investment that reaps many benefits so try it now and thank me later.

3) Fight the Desk Butt

There is only one way to fight the desk butt and it is to work your butt off! I already mentioned how much I love the Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project (I am a fan for life) but for full disclosure I should say that I try to do the routine 3 times a week and the remaining days I usually spend 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. I also try to take the stairs as much as possible… The desk butt is in my destiny, I know that because of my job, but I am doing damage control for as long as I can. I know I will never achieve the “20-year old stripper” butt, at least not without a good plastic surgeon, a personal chef and a personal trainer (all things that I either cannot afford or don’t want to think about), but I do my best with what I have. If you want some ideas for your pregnancy workout at the gym check out this Pinterest Board

4) Lift Your Legs

Keeping your legs elevated is always a good idea so your veins won’t have to work twice as hard to push the blood back to your heart. I suggest a foot stool or even a nice yoga position like Viparita Karani. If you don’t speak yoga, let me describe this pose for you: you lay down next to the wall and prop your legs against the wall. Depending on your level of stiffness you can either have your butt next to the wall or a little farther away. It doesn’t matter as long as you have your legs higher than your heart.

5) Fake It!

And by fake it I mean, use all the remedies that science and beauty have to offer. This weekend I bought Mamamio Lucky Legs. You may remember that I was talking about another products by this brand last week. Well, I am a fan! Lucky Legs is a lightweight gel that smells like mint and contains subtle sparkles. The application is super easy and you can get dressed right away: since the gel is virtually colorless you won’t have to fear staining your clothes. This cooling refreshing gel makes you feel like you are walking on clouds. I used it on Saturday after a day or walking around Manhattan. At night my legs were pretty swollen and just before going out for dinner with friends I massaged my legs and feet with Lucky Legs. Instant relief! On Sunday I went one step further: I stored if in the fridge and used it at night after another day of running errands. This is one of the products I discovered because of my pregnancy and I will likely keep using even after.

What is your favorite heavy legs remedy?

For constant updates on my pregnancy experience please check out my Pregnancy Pinterest Board