Remember when the sun peeking out signalled your moment to show off every inch of leg you could? When mini skirts and short shorts were your go-to wardrobe staples? Oh, those were the days. But hey, when did we stop loving our longest limbs, anyway?
Maybe it was around the time work happened and we formerly active women started sitting on our butts for hours on end. Or when our tired, swollen legs started feeling more like tree stumps than assets. Or when we were getting out of the bath and we shrieked: EEEEEEKKKKK what are those purple spidery lines crawling up my legs? (Do NOT tell me I am destined to sport varicose veins from here on out.)
Well, at least like the rest of us, you’re aging normally, we say. As it turns out, leg problems are a just another fact of life for the majority of Canadian women. What you may not know, though, is that there’s a medical condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI and it’s common. In fact, while three-quarters of women say they have experienced at least one symptom of CVI at some point, less than 1 in 5 of us have ever even heard of it. Have you?
CVI is a condition where blood flow in the lower legs is impaired. It pools in there, causing pain, swelling, heaviness, tiredness and yes, those dreaded varicose veins. Over time, the increased fluid in the tissues can make all these symptoms worse. (And PS. As much as we love them, tight clothes and warm weather don’t help either.)
The good news is that there’s lots you can do to make sure your legs look their finest, no matter your age. With summer on our heels, there’s still time to manage your CVI and even reverse some of its effects. Ready to love your legs again? Follow these simple tips and you’ll be breaking out the shorts with all the brazen we know you’ve got in you.
CVI TIP SHEET: How to get your legs in shape for summer
1. KEEP YOUR KICKERS KICKING
We know that exercise is good for the body as a whole but don’t forget to pay close attention to your legs. Research shows more than 60 per cent of women spend more than four hours a day on sedentary activities, like watching TV and sitting at a desk. Here are some simple ways to get moving:
- Get up often, ideally every hour
- Visit friends rather than calling or sending email
- Substitute your coffee break with a power walk
- Do some simple stretches or leg exercises like squats, calf raises or march on the spot to increase the strength of your leg muscles
2. GOOD NUTRITION = GOOD CIRCULATION
Pumping blood to your legs requires a strong heart and an efficient circulatory system. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fibre, fresh fruits and veggies can help maintain good leg vein circulation and keep your heart healthy. Oh, and as usual, don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Besides helping your skin glow, it’ll keep that blood pumping.
3. WATCH YOUR BACK AND LEG POSTURE
Your mother always told you to stand up straight for a reason. Yep, your posture can affect how your legs feel. Make sure you keep your shoulders back, chest up and stomach pulled in. We know how hard it is to sink back down, so do yourself a favour and set reminders to help you straighten out throughout the day.
Also, mind your “leg posture” by making a conscious effort not to cross your legs, or at least not for a long period of time. The “lady stance” may look cute but it’s restricting blood flow to and from the legs and probably making you stoop.
4. GIVE YOUR LEGS A BOOST WITH Antistax™
Approved by Health Canada, Antistax™ is an over-the-counter herbal medicine you can find in the supplement section of your local pharmacy. Pharmacologists analyzed the active ingredient of the Red Vine Leaf and developed it into an effective herbal extract that’s pretty much herbal magic for legs. If you’re suffering from symptoms of CVI, ask your doctor if Antistax™ is right for you.
Here’s what you can expect it to do:
- Improve lower leg blood flow
- Reduce swelling (lower leg edema)
- Relieve the feelings of pain, heaviness and tiredness
5. LOVE YOUR LEGS
While most of us are so busy caring for our hair and skin, we forget about our legs. In the shower, time the time to show your legs some love, too. It’s easy to get your general circulation and the flexibility in your legs going with a mix of hot and cold bursts of water. Are you a bath girl?Use your tub time to relax and relieve tension after a busy day. Stimulate circulation by gently massaging your legs with your hands or a natural bristle brush. Your legs deserve some love and so do you.
Experiencing symptoms of CVI? Click here for more info on how to get gorgeous, healthy legs.
Although this post was sponsored, as usual, all opinions are ours.