10 Tips to Keep Your Legs Healthy During the Holiday Season
1. Maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Studies show that bioflavonoids may help strengthen vein walls. Avoid salt, as it can predispose you to swelling.
2. Exercise: Exercise helps the calf pump blood back to your heart, especially if it includes walking, running or biking.
3. Avoid standing/sitting for long periods: If travel or holiday shopping has you sitting or standing for hours, you can still move your feet to stimulate circulation. To get blood flowing while sitting, rock your feet on the floor by pointing toes down and then flexing the foot, pulling the toes upward. Do that 30 times every half hour when unable to walk around.
4. Wear compression stockings: Compression stockings can relieve symptoms of venous disease and help prevent progression of varicose and spider veins. Medical-grade compression stockings reduce swelling and increase blood flow.
5. Elevate your legs: Keep your legs elevated whenever possible to aid blood flow.
6. Sit properly: Put as little pressure as possible on the under part of your thigh and avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time.
7. Wear the right shoes: Low-heeled shoes promote the calf pump. Heels can inhibit your calf pump from working, so reserve wearing heels for those special occasions.
8. Keep your skin well lubricated: Moisturize your legs, especially in the lower calf and ankle area. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
9. Stay active: In addition to wearing compression stockings when traveling, stand or walk around the plane cabin every hour. Calf exercises also help circulation, so stretch when possible. (see #3)
10. Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight pants and Spanx limit the blood flow through your groin area and legs, so choose loose fitting pants over tight ones when traveling.
Travel often disrupts your exercise routine and forces you to stay in confined spaces, like cars or airplanes. During flights, restricted movement, lower oxygen pressure and dehydration cause blood to pool in your legs, increasing your chances of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots. While traveling may expose certain risks, a little forethought can help prevent a complication.
Remember to think about yourself this holiday season. Your continued health is one of the best gifts you could give your family this year. Healthy Legs = Healthy Life! If you have any questions, please give us a call at 866-695-8346.