Easy methods for toning your legs

Easy methods for toning your legs
It’s the time of year when we tend to show a bit more leg, so why not focus on the health, strength and tone of your pins? And you don’t even need to leave your home!

Practise in front of the TV

We’ve probably spent a fair amount of time on the sofa over the past few months, but telly time doesn’t have to be couch potato time. Make a pledge to yourself to do 15 to 20 hot seats during each ad break. Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your hips. Sit back into a squat until your bottom just touches the seat of the chair. Then spring into a standing position again—just as you would if the seat was about to burn your backside! This will strengthen all the muscles in your legs and bottom.
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Try variations on a classic squat

Squats, whether traditional or performed as hot seats—are the best leg strengthening exercise you can do. But what if you don’t have the leg strength to begin with? Try holding onto a doorknob with both hands as you squat. This removes some of your body weight from your legs and helps keep your torso upright. Alternatively, you can squat with your back against a wall and a 20cm diameter ball between your thighs. The ball will keep your thighs and knees aligned, while the wall will support your back.

Stand on one foot in the bathroom

Standing on one leg when you brush your teeth or your hair, helps firm up the muscles in your foot, ankle, calf and buttock as they work harder to keep you upright. This will improve your balance and tone up your legs. Don’t forget to ring the changes and switch to the other foot.
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Challenge the whole family to a tiptoe competition

Rise onto the balls of your feet and walk across the room. Whoever lowers their heels to the floor first, loses. The aim of this game is to bolster arches and ankles and cultivate great calves. You’ll have a lot of laughs too.
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Calm restless legs

Do you suffer from that uncontrollable urge to move your legs or uncomfortable crawling sensations in your lower limbs? If so, you might find that trying to have a regular sleep pattern helps, along with avoiding tea, coffee, alcohol or tobacco at night. Do some simple leg stretches—yoga is good too—and, if you can, avoid antihistamines which may worsen the problem. Massaging your legs while taking a warm bath can help relax your muscles and relieve your symptoms.

Take steps to avoid varicose veins and swollen ankles

Both can feel unsightly, but there are things you can do to prevent or alleviate these problems. Try to stay slim, lie down and put your feet up when you can, and make sure you don’t sit still for long periods of time. Taking gentle exercise will help.

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