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12 Reasons Your Legs Feel Heavy and Tired when Walking

If your legs feel heavy and tired when walking chances are, you’re probably feeling lethargic as well. However, this won’t necessarily always be the case.

This is because there are various possible reasons why your legs feel heavy and tired when walking. Each different from the other. As such, there isn’t an out and out way of how to relieve and fix heavy legs.

However, there are certain groups more susceptible to tiredness in the legs while walking. They include female, overweight people or older people.


12 Reasons Your Legs Feel Heavy and Tired when Walking

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That said, let us look into some of the probable reasons why your legs feel heavy and tired when walking.


The human body, which includes the legs has its limits. As such, exerting yourself beyond these limits will definitely induce tiredness within the legs.

This is normal, and the muscles should get time to recover after a while. However, if you keep pushing your legs beyond their limits continually, you risk overusing the legs.

This means that you have denied your legs ample time to repair themselves again. As a result, you end up with weakness in legs when walking.


As much overuse of the legs triggers your legs to feel heavy when walking, so does underuse. Underutilizing the portion is, in fact, responsible for the loss of muscle mass.

This makes for a weak leg that feels heavy while walking or doing any strenuous activity. \


Muscle cramps come about as a result of exhaustion.

Muscle cramps refer to sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles. The severe stress your muscles are placed under can induce tiredness and heaviness in the leg on top of pain.


Hypokalemia refers to a condition where there are low levels of potassium in the blood serum. This, in turn, can lead to symptoms such as an abnormal heart rhythm.

It, however, also has symptoms that directly affect how we feel. For instance, it induces feeling s of fatigue, weakness, cramping in the leg and constipation.

This is, therefore, what precedes the sensation of feeling like your legs are heavy when walking.


Varicose veins primarily involve the pooling of blood in the wrong direction. When blood is flowing in the wrong direction, some parts of the body will definitely lack.

In essence, blood is to us what fuel is to cars. Deprivation of proper blood supply will bring about fatigue.

If the varicose vein is located in the leg, it can lead to tiredness or heaviness when walking.


Blood acts as fuel to the body, providing energy for all other bodily processes.

Often when there is poor circulation of blood within the body, it affects the amount of oxygen and nutrients received in certain parts of the body.

Some of the signs of poor circulation include: feeling cold or numb. It can also change your skin’s hue due to the lack of adequate oxygen supply within the body.

As such, poor circulation means your body isn’t receiving the required amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This is what precedes the feelings of heaviness and tiredness in your legs.


Heavy legs are a common site among pregnant women. This is due to a combination of factors, i.e., the extra weight you have to carry and the hormones that come with childbearing.

When a woman is pregnant, there is an increase in estrogen and progesterone production, which act as natural sedatives. They, therefore, induce fatigue which makes your legs feel heavy and tired while walking.


Multiple sclerosis refers to a condition that targets the brain and central nervous system. It, therefore, affects your nerves and disrupts the communication between your brain and muscles.

One of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis is fatigue in parts of the body. This is due to the primary fatigue between nerve messages from your brain to the spinal cord.

As such, it causes heaviness in the legs. However, MS is a disease that a qualified doctor can only diagnose. All diagnosis should, therefore, be left to the professionals.


As the name suggests restless leg syndrome subjects you to uncontrollable sensations in the legs. These sensations thus induce continuous shakes or leg fits

These shakes are a coping mechanism because failure to do so keeps the feeling of heaviness on the legs lingering.


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a cardiovascular disease that affects the veins and arteries. Its symptoms include the building up of fat deposits on the arterial walls, thus impeding blood flow.

PAD is also notorious for cutting off circulation to the feet and legs. Consequentially it causes your feet to feel heavy, painful and might even have cramps.


Chronic Venous Sufficiency (CVI) is when blood flow from the legs to the heart is impaired.

This is due to the difficulties gravity brings about. Gravity makes the heart work hard to pump blood from the legs up to the heart.

This is coupled with the weakened veins and valves in the legs of someone with CVI keeps blood flowing back down.

This leads to tired, heavy legs which can even cause swelling. CVI can, therefore make your legs feel heavy and tired when walking.

Risk factors that involve CIV include:

Living a sedentary lifestyle


Poor nutrition

Extra weight


Also referred to as narrowing of the spinal column. As the name suggests implies, the spaces between the spine are compressed.

This, therefore, applies pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis often mostly affects the lower back and neck. However, it can also affect the legs.

When it affects the legs, it causes weakness, numbness and heaviness.


Heavy leg syndrome is the umbrella phrase given to a collection of subjective symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency.

Some of the symptoms associated with heavy leg syndrome include:

Numbness in the leg

Throbbing pain in one or both legs



Cold sensation and tingling in the leg


If you suffer from venous insufficiency, it probably makes your legs feel heavy and tired when walking.

Therefore, the goal should be venous return, which is the effective pumping of blood to and from the heart to the legs.

To do this, there are some exercises you can do at home to remedy your situation. These exercises will tone down the heaviness in your legs and help you tone your body as well. They include:

Toe stands

Leg lifts or raises



When you get the sensation that your leg is heavy and tired when walking, it is impossible to give a specific reason why. This is, however, unless you are a qualified professional.

The various possibilities are a testament to that. It is thus recommended that you visit your physician in case of any concerns.

However, there are natural ways to manage a situation like this. In the event you find yourself in this precarious position, there are some things to consider.

They include: Do not adhere to a sedentary lifestyle, Engage in reasonable physical activity and mind your diet.