Leg exercises

Could you suggest some exercises that will strengthen my legs? I’m about 40 pounds overweight, and my job requires that I stand on my feet all day. I have to dress up, so sneakers are not an option.

You’re smart for wanting to strengthen your legs. But if you’re standing still for most of the day, you also need to get the blood flowing. Here are some ways to take the pressure off your legs.

Build leg muscles. Strong legs will take off some of the pressure of standing. Begin by doing squats, leg extensions and calf raises two to three times a week. These exercises target the major muscles of your legs and buttocks.

Get moving. Standing all day can cause blood to pool in your legs. Walking or cycling are great ways to get your circulation moving and wake up tired legs.

Put your feet up. Any chance you get, prop up your feet. This will help prevent blood from pooling in your legs and reduce your risk of varicose veins.

Wear good shoes. If you have to wear heels, stick to ones that are no higher than an inch and go for the thick types that are now in style. The larger heel surface will distribute your body weight better than balancing on narrow stilettos.

Drop a few pounds. The extra 40 pounds you’re carrying around are putting an extra 80 to 120 pounds of stress on your knees which could result in pain down the road.

On a positive note, you’re burning a heck of a lot more calories than those of us sitting behind computers.

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