the legs are arguably one of the most important parts of the body, especially when it comes to living an active, productive life. Nevertheless, when it comes to physical attraction especially in females, after the face, legs come in second. This is why YouTube is plagued with an insurmountable number of videos dedicated to this one topic.
nevertheless, when it comes to slimming down the lower body, exercise only is not enough, especially when the legs are larger than “normal”, this could also not just be as a result of building excess muscles or just downright gaining weight from poor dietary choices, but rather an underlying medical condition. Depending on the severity of it, you may need to see a doctor.
Nevertheless, in today’s article, we would be looking at common causes of large calves and other possible causes for the appearance of the infamous cankles and what you could do about it at home.
from my own research, some of the causes of larger looking legs could include,
- Water retention (edema) and toxic build-up in the lower body (in relation to the lymphatic system).
- cortisol and it’s relationship to exercising and excessive bulking.
- Obesity and inactivity. see how fat enters and leaves the body, and what you can do about it!
having more muscular-looking legs could be beautiful, but only when it is worn by the right body, and that is, a significantly taller person with long legs (take athletes for example), if that is not the case with you, it’ll only end up making your legs look shorter, and that is not aesthetically pleasing. (Well, that depends on your personal taste).
nevertheless, based on the problems highlighted, this is what I have learned when it comes to creating the appearance of a slender looking legs which is thought to be more aesthetically pleasing by the vast majority of people.
What influences the size of your legs
Although there are numerous factors which potentially influence the appearance of your legs, genetics excluded, these factors could also play a significant role on their own, and these could include
Water retention (edema) and toxic build-ups (in lymph nodes)
according to medical news today,
Water, or fluid, retention occurs when there is a problem with one or more of the body’s mechanisms for maintaining fluid levels. The main symptoms are swelling and discomfort.
The circulatory system, the kidneys, the lymphatic system, hormonal factors, and other bodily systems all help maintain healthy fluid levels. If a problem arises with one or more of these systems, however, fluid retention — otherwise known as edema — can occur.
The human body uses a complex system to regulate its water levels. Hormonal factors, the cardiovascular system, the urinary system, the liver, and the kidneys all play a role. If there is a problem with any one of these parts, the body may not be able to expel fluid as it should. Edema could affect any area of the body.
What causes edema?
Edema could be caused by various factors, some of which may include
- capillary damage:
Capillaries are tiny blood vessels with a key role in managing fluid balance in the body. Some medications, such as those for high blood pressure, can cause damage to the capillaries.
Capillaries deliver fluid to surrounding tissues. This fluid, called interstitial fluid, supplies nutrients and oxygen to cells. After delivering the nutrients, the fluid returns to the capillaries.
- congestive heart failure:
The pumping action of the heart helps maintain normal pressure within the blood vessels. If a person’s heart stops working effectively, their blood pressure will change. Fluid retention can arise from this.
There may be swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles, as well as fluid in the lungs, which can result in a long-term cough or breathing difficulties.
- kidney issues:
The kidneys filter the blood and help maintain fluid levels in the body.
Waste, fluids, and other substances pass into tiny tubules in the kidneys, which act as a filter. The bloodstream reabsorbs anything the body can reuse and removes the waste in urine.
If the kidneys do not work properly, they cannot remove waste material, including fluids and sodium. The fluid will therefore stay in the body.
The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system carries lymph through the body. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells. It helps the immune system defend the body against infection. As the lymphatic system delivers and reabsorbs lymphatic fluid, it also helps the body maintain fluid balance.
If a problem prevents the lymphatic system from working properly, fluid can start to build up around the tissues. This can cause swelling in various parts of the body, including the abdomen, ankles, legs, and feet. Various massage techniques have been created to manually help with the flow of the lymphatic system, consequently helping to reduce the size of your legs significantly, I’ll be sharing some of these in my upcoming posts.
Cortisol and exercise
Cortisol is a hormone that belongs to a family of steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids. It’s secreted by the adrenal cortex, which is located in your adrenal glands that sit atop your kidneys. Cortisol is the main glucocorticoid in humans.
Glucocorticoids affect every cell in the body so needless to say, they’re pretty important.
Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘Stress Hormone’. Nevertheless, it is produced naturally throughout the day and is released in greater amounts as a response to stress be it when you’re working out, or when you haven’t slept in days because you are trying to meet a project deadline, or just grudgingly standing for hours on the queue.
The adrenal gland is where Cortisol is produced and released by the body in varying levels throughout the day. Cortisol levels are generally higher in the mornings and lower at night time as the amount of Cortisol released drops throughout the day, and that is, of course, only if your body doesn’t release more Cortisol at night as a reaction to chronic stress.
Exercising for an extended period of time, especially with weights without adequate breaks and stretches in between can cause you to gain explosive muscles. Of course, this could be a good thing if you are working on glutes, but not so much when the legs are the focal point. See Who shouldn’t be doing these leg workout if they want slender legs and rounder butt
What you can do about it
to keep this post brief, as people’s attention span keeps dropping at an alarming rate every year, subsequent posts will be created to elaborate on various possible solutions. Bear in mind that these tips are not meant to diagnose, treat, and cure any medical issues, please consult a certified doctor for that 😊. So with that out of the way, here are some bullet tips.
- Increase the time between each workout repetition and possibly shorten how many sets you do per training. If you want to work out for 30 minutes, break down the time.
- Try training using your own bodyweight, then you can slowly creep up the weights.
- Stretch, before a workout, and after most especially.
- Try Pilates and Yoga, these are great for lengthening and toning up the legs without the risks of bulking. Ballet inspired workout is my current favorite!
On water retention and the lymphatic system
- Massage Therapy, this is arguably a holy grail tip. I’ll sharing my knowledge in upcoming posts.
- Try moving around a bit and resist the urge to be a damn couch potato! 🥔 you need to get your body’s blood and fuel moving. Get up and move around a bit after sitting or standing for too long.
- Give the herbs some try, dandelion extracts have been known to be of great value.
On obesity and inactivity
Honestly, I’m kind of getting tired of this topic, at some point, it just seems like ranting, but since this trend does not show any sign of slowing down, this and also the fact that I am a pre-med with an interest in the field of endocrinology (go Hopkins! 🤘), I’ve got to suck it up. So here are some quick tips
- Watch your damn diet and nutrition, calorie in, calorie out, does not work especially when you’re carb-loading!
- don’t just focus on weight loss, larger legs (especially edema) is caused by malnutrition. And no, taking supplements is not enough, eat your damn veggies for Pete’s sake! 🍶🥦🥕🍅🍓
- Watch the sodium, but watch the sugar even closer. 🧐
- Move your butt, not just because it kills the calories, but because your poor heart and lymphatic system need it.
So that’s that about that, I hope this post was brief, but most especially, I hope you understood it. Let me know in the comments section below your questions and thoughts on this. 👌
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