Weak legs means less strength. A lot of people complain about this problem which can appear from nerve damage, poor blood circulation, recovery after surgery, arthritis, dehydration, side effects of prescribed medicines, anemia, nutritional deficiencies, back pain, and certain serious diseases.
The severity of leg weakness can vary from mild to severe, and can affect one or both legs. Accompanying symptoms include muscle spasms, pain or numbness in the lower part of the leg, prickling or burning sensations, swelling, redness, loss of muscle coordination, body aches, impaired balance, and back pain.
If you want to strengthen your weak leg muscles, you have to consume adequate fluids, a well-balanced diet, proper rest, and a good exercise routine. But, there are also some natural home treatments to strengthen your weak legs, and to prevent further muscle tissue deterioration.
In case you have chronic or recurring leg weakness, consult your doctor to determine the cause and eliminate any serious disease.
10 Ways to Strengthen Leg Muscles
Proper circulation enables more nutrients reach and strengthen the weak muscles. Regular massages help in improving the circulation. Furthermore, it help lower the swelling, inflammation, and pain. Massages relax the entire body, thus relieving anxiety and stress.
- Massage your legs with gentle but firm strokes, using warm olive, mustard, or coconut oil for about 15 minutes. Repeat the massage twice a day if needed.
2. Regular Walking
Walking tones and firms the leg muscles and improves circulation, so it functions as a gentle exercise for strengthening the legs. Walking for at least half an hour a day, 5 days a week, is beneficial for those with weak leg muscles. Use some support or ask your doctor for advice if you have difficulty walking. Besides walking, do other activities like swimming, running, jogging, trekking, and biking several times a week.
3. Leg Strengthening Exercises
There is a series of exercises that involves the major leg muscles which can help strengthen your legs. These are the recommended exercises for weak legs: quad press, heel slide, hamstring strengthening, straight leg raise, Swiss ball squats, adductor squeeze, hip abduction side lying, lunges, resistance band hamstring curls, and resistance band knee extension.
Do these exercises 3-4 times a week, of course if they don’t increase or cause pain. Tai Chi and Yoga are also beneficial for this kind of problem. You should talk with your doctor if they are suitable for your condition, and learn them from an expert.
4. Enjoy Sunshine
The American Society for Clinical Nutrition journal has published a 2002 study that links the lack of vitamin D with muscle weakness. This vitamin helps regulate the minerals important for healthy bones- phosphorus and calcium. The human body produces vitamin D with the help of UV rays, so spending some time in the sun is highly beneficial. Make sure your legs are exposed to morning sunlight every day for at least 10-15 minutes.
Other good sources of vitamin D are certain foods like sardines, salmon, fortified milk, mackerel, cereal, and orange juice. Consult your doctor if you like to take this vitamin in a supplement form.
5. Drink More Fluids
One of the main causes of muscle cramps and weak legs is dehydration. If you rehydrate your body, you will easily improve your condition. To prevent dehydration, drink enough amount of water during the day. You should also consume more water-based veggies and fruits, and avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. In case you have kidney problem, talk with your doctor before raising your fluid intake.
6. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is loaded with B vitamins, iron, potassium, and calcium, so it’s highly recommended for prevention of leg weakness and maintenance of strong legs. B vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy muscles, and iron helps in cases of anemia. Potassium keeps the body’s electrolyte balance, while calcium helps your muscles get the needed energy.
- Prepare a mixture of one cup of hot milk or water, and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. Consume this drink once or twice a day
- Another option is to mix two tablespoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses in a cup of water. Consume the drink once a day
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
This popular vinegar is packed with calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B, all of which are beneficial for strengthening your weak muscles. The acetic acid content of apple cider vinegar helps the absorption of essential minerals from the consumed food.
- Make a solution of a glass of warm water and 1-2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Add some lemon juice and a little raw honey, and drink it once or twice a day
Another good food to treat your weak legs is milk, since it’s packed with protein, calcium, and other nutrients beneficial for building muscles. The electrolytes it contains maintain your body well-hydrated.
- To help strengthen your legs, consume at least two glasses of low-fat milk a day. For further strength, boil a glass of low-fat milk with almonds, dates, and figs.
Horsetail is highly recommended for strengthening the weak leg muscles by many herbalists. Thanks to its high silica content, it helps muscles to contract, improve their strength as well as the bone density. The horsetail also helps the calcium absorption and use in the body, thus strengthening the muscles and bones.
- Consume 2-3 cups of horsetail tea a day, for a period of up to two weeks. To prepare the tea, steep one teaspoon of fresh horsetail in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes. After straining, add some honey to taste and your tea is ready
- If you like to take it in a supplement form, talk with your doctor about the proper dosage and duration
10. Healthy Diet
Poor diet is one of the main causes of weak leg muscles. Nutritional deficiencies can impede circulation, and lead to muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue. The overall weakness a poor diet can cause can lead to other health issues.
- To lower your leg weakness, include healthy protein in your daily diet such as those found in yogurt, eggs, nuts, and soy foods.
- Muscle weakness can be a sign of lack of potassium. Therefore, to increase the potassium intake, consume foods like bananas, baked and sweet potatoes including their skin, raisins, plums, tomato juice and prune juice.
- You should also consider including magnesium-rich foods to improve your muscle health. Such foods are sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, lima beans, almonds, and spinach.
- To build strong muscles and prevent leg numbness, consume foods rich in vitamin B. Such foods are eggs, fortified cereals, bananas, lentils, beans, wheat germs, oatmeal, fish, yogurt, and cheese.
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for a longer period
- Quit smoking
- Avoid foods loaded with saturated fats
- To prevent water retention (edema), limit the consumption of salt
- To improve the blood circulation, keep your legs raised for some time
- Other ways to improve your circulation is acupuncture and acupressure
- To help lower your muscle weakness, you can also take daily supplements of coenzyme Q10 and lysine, after consulting with your doctor