Happy Monday everyone! What a beautiful morning! With the cool temps and low humidity, I had such a great run this morning. I probably could have run for an hour. I only stopped because I needed to get ready for work. It’s my first day back after being out of the office for 6 work days!
I have to say that all of this running, combined with yoga and other strength exercises, has really improved the definition in my legs. But, my running legs have always been one of my best features (on most days at least). And, after 20 years of running, who wouldn’t appreciate her legs?
A British Woman and Her Legs
Unfortunately, there are many women who, for whatever reason, do not appreciate their legs and, in fact, even hate their legs. Some have varicose veins, others have an over abundance of cellulite. But there are even some women who may have very nice legs and still not be happy with them.
For example, a recent survey showed that 47 percent of British women were ashamed of their legs and 6 out of 10 are too embarrassed to wear skirts and dresses in public. This is so sad because, for most women, a little cardio each week, could greatly improve the shape of their legs and make them feel more confident about their overall appearance.
The study also found that women worry about their legs at least twice a day, and spend an hour and a half thinking about their legs, weight, and dress size. But I wonder, if they hate their legs so much, why don’t they spend more time improving their legs and less time thinking about how much they hate them?
Love Your Legs
Now my legs, like the rest of me, are far from perfect. I’ve acquired many leggy flaws over the years – I have a scar from a track spike, a slight weird pigment from a really bad sunburn acquired in Key West, and a 2-inch thin scar above my knee from a nail (ouch!). Although it would be nice to magically erase these flaws, I know that I can’t and have accepted them for what they are – a permanent reminder for how strong and active my legs are.
But even with these flaws, I can honestly say that I love my legs and try to take care of them as best as I can. Afterall, they are what get me from point A to point B every day and allow me to run miles and miles every week.
So, how do I take care of my legs? There are several things I do to make sure my legs stay healthy.
Jen’s Guide to Lovely Legs
- Move your legs* – Although I have mentioned this before, I can’t stress this enough. Running is a great workout for your legs. But walking, cycling, and really any exercise that makes your legs work can help build muscle and definition. Cross-training, including strengthening exercises, can also help work other muscle groups in your legs, give you more definition, and prevent injuries. So get out there and MOVE!
- Avoid scars – Whether it’s a mishap with a shower razor or a ding from the car door, I try to apply medication right away to avoid scarring. Although it doesn’t work every time, it has saved my legs on many occasions.
- Use sunscreen – Many of us may only use sunscreen when going to the beach or laying in the sun. But runners and their legs can get burned too. That’s why I apply sunscreen on my legs whenever I run in the late morning or afternoon.
- Moisterize – I have dry skin all year round but especially in the winter. Applying cream to my legs after a shower takes away that scaly look and gives them a sheen that accentuates the definition.
- Change your shoes – If your logging a lot of miles, either running or walking, make sure to buy new shoes before your old ones start showing major wear and tear. The standard rule is to change your shoes after logging 350-550 miles.
- Know my limits – Although running is my passion, I do set limits. If I am very sick, tired, or have a major injury, I’ll try walking or another cardio exercise. I’m also not afraid to take a day off just to give my legs a rest – because lord knows they need it!
Following these tips won’t guarantee that you’ll love your legs. But, like relationships, if you make your legs a priority, they will only get stronger.
*If you are not a regular exerciser or are not already considered “healthy” by medical standards, check with a qualified medical professional before starting a new exercise program.