Elevating Your Legs: Benefits and How to do it Rightly

“Most of us spend our day constantly sitting for long hours, either sitting in front of computer or attending lectures of long duration. We indeed can avoid sitting in our daily routine.

This results in a lack of elevation in the legs.

If it continues for long, this can result in damaging effects that may last for a long time. You may have swelling in your legs.

Exercising or performing yoga is the best way to keep your body and health in the best condition. But, if you find it challenging to take time out for the workout, you can still overcome the pain or swelling of your legs; the best thing you can do is elevate your legs.

Though elevating your legs is not a perfect alternative to working out, it can immensely benefit your legs and veins. Are you wondering how to elevate your legs and experience the relief it causes?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of elevating legs, ways to do it correctly by avoiding common mistakes, and the precautionary steps to keep in mind while performing this exercise.

Stay tuned and keep reading this blog.”

Benefits of Leg Elevation

Elevating your legs after a long day of discomfort has some health benefits. Here we will discuss a few benefits of elevating your legs to your vein health and other body parts.

Decrease swelling

Due to gravitational force acting on our body, fluids may accumulate in your legs while you are walking around or sitting upright for a long. This excessive fluid is referred to as edema.

So, by elevating your legs above the level of your heart, you can let gravity work in favor and drain away excessive fluids from your legs.

Relieve pressure from legs

Due to prolonged sitting or standings, pressure may elevate in your legs. As we already discussed above, the elevation of the legs drains away pooled fluid in your veins. It can also reduce pressure in your legs.

Elevating legs

Elevating your feet will make you feel better after standing or sitting for long

Encourage better blood circulation

Arteries and veins work in coordination to ensure proper blood flow in the body. Arteries carry purified blood from the heart to the body, while veins carry impure blood back to your heart.

As arteries comprise smooth muscle and veins have valves, the pressure in arteries is much higher than that of veins.

Prolonged sitting or standing makes blood movement strenuous from the legs to the heart.

Therefore, elevating your legs can make the process of circulation easier

Relieve muscle tension

Elevating your legs a few times a day can ease tiredness and soreness in the legs.

Also, this will drain tension making your body relaxed.

Reduces Inflammation

As the swelling of the legs goes down, elevating them will help keep your veins healthy.

Furthermore, you will not have to work so hard to save your legs from various veins issues such as inflammation.

Back pain relief

Sleeping on your back can exert pressure on the lower region of the back. Resting in the position of elevated legs can make your body more comfortable.

As it reduces uncomfortable pressure on the lower spine, it can be beneficial for you in case you suffer from chronic or severe back pain.

Improve alignment of the spine

Most of us know that sleeping on our back can put uncomfortable pressure on our spine as it is s-shaped. Further, it can cause discomfort, unnecessary stress on the spine, and even pain.

If you are facing such issues, you can place a pillow under your knees to keep your legs elevated, causing you comfort.

Fast recovery from injuries

Injuries often lead to swelling, which can cause discomfort to you. When swollen tissues press on nerves, it can cause pain.

You can minimize this pain due to swelling by simply elevating your legs which reduces swelling by maintaining the proper blood flow in the body.

Other Conditions Improved By Elevating Legs

Vein Conditions

Sitting or standing for long can cause varicose veins. These conditions of varicose veins are further classified as

Superficial thrombophlebitis: clotting of blood in veins can cause pain and swelling.

In some severe cases, it may cause Deep vein thrombosis causing clots in the leg’s deep veins


There are plenty of causes by which you might experience swelling in your feet and legs during pregnancy. It includes

  • Fluid retention
  • Hormonal change
  • Pressure from the uterus as its size increases
  • But, elevating your legs during pregnancy can help you with swelling.


It is the condition in which fluids build up in the fatty tissue causing swelling and pain.

Simple Ways of Doing it

When you are lying down, you can perform any of these three exercises:

Ankle pumping

  • Lay down on your back
  • Move your feet straight in the forward direction
  • Bend your foot to move your toes up ten times

Leg lifts

  • Lay on your back and move your leg straight ahead
  • Flex one knee while keeping another straight
  • Lock it over another and lift it until both your knees are at the same level

Knee bends

  • While laying on your back with a straight leg ahead, move one knee towards your chest.
  • Slowly get it back as before
  • Repeat the same on the other leg.

While you are sitting, you can perform the following exercises:

Raise your heel and toe

  • Sit with both feet in your front and on the floor
  • Raise both heels
  • Hold this position for a few seconds
  • Repeat the same by raising the toes of both feet

Ankle rotation

  • Be seated in the same way discussed above
  • Take one leg out and stretch
  • Lift your toes inwards
  • Bend your ankle
  • Hold this stretch for a few seconds and lower your foot back to the floor

When you are standing, try the following postures

Heel lifts

  • Hold a chair for balance
  • Slowly raise your heels and hold them for a while
  • Lower your heels to the original position
  • Repeat this up to 10 times

Heel lifts

Leg stands

  • Hold something for balance
  • Lift one foot to put your body weight on another
  • Hold this posture for 10 seconds
  • Repeat the same with another leg


Avoid going beyond your threshold point while performing any exercises is advisable.


It is vital to take some time for us and our bodies out of the hectic schedule we are going through.

Exercise or yoga has the power to heal our bodies and mind.

You just need to devote time to yourself.

About the author

Arun Gupta