At the MercyOne Iowa Heart Vein Center, we talk a lot about ways to care for your legs that also ensure whole-body health. By practicing these seven tips, you can be on the road to healthy legs, as well as an improved lifestyle for you and your family. It takes time to adapt these into your daily routine, but with patience, you can make this a possibility.
The surgeon general recommends the 10,000 steps a day program to maintain a healthy weight and to build bone and muscle mass, which contributes to overall leg health. Walking 10,000 steps a day can help prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Walking with a friend or family member can make the time go by quicker and allow you to stay committed to this habit.
Maintaining a healthy weight limits stress on your legs and promotes general wellness. Eating healthy foods will aid in supporting muscles and bones, boosting immunity and lowering risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more.
Stock up on lotion.
Moisturize your skin twice a day to maintain its elasticity and help support cell walls, which in turn can prevent varicose veins. Along with using lotion, it’s important to use sunscreen when planning to be outside. Sunscreen helps prevent the most common cancer in America: skin cancer.
Avoid sitting all day.
Long periods of sitting, whether at the office, in a car or on a plane, can lead to deep venous thrombosis or blood clots. For every 90 minutes you sit, take a five-minute walking break. Go visit a co-worker, get a glass of water or step outside for a little fresh air.
Exposure to prolonged or excessive heat during long, hot baths can dilate blood vessels, which decreases the return of blood from the legs to the heart and may result in varicose vein formation.
Elevate your legs.
When reading or watching television, prop your legs up parallel to the ground by resting them on a stool or a chair. This helps keep blood from staying in the lower legs and improves blood flow to the rest of your body.
Smoking increases the risk of damage to vein walls and may result in varicose veins, leg ulcers and osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes one of every four cardiovascular disease deaths. For more information on the dangers of smoking and tips on how to quit, read our previous blog post here.
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