5 Holiday Tips for Healthy Legs

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5 easy tips to keep legs healthy this holiday season, by Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, Board-certified vein specialist at the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine.

With holiday shopping and celebrations in full swing, now is the perfect time for people to think about how they’re treating their legs.

“The holidays can be really tough on legs,” said Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, Board-certified vein specialist at the Vein Healthcare Center. “Standing in long lines, flying on planes, and even sitting in mall traffic, can give gravity the upper hand and cause blood to pool in your feet instead of returning to your heart.”

Approximately half of the U.S. population has some form of venous disease, which includes (but isn’t limited to) varicose veins. According to Dr. Asbjornsen, there’s plenty one can do to alleviate the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.

Here are 5 simple tips for people to take good care of their legs this season:

1.    Holiday shoppers, kick off your heels! High heels seriously restrict the calf muscles and can make it difficult for veins to get the “pump” they need. Wear sneakers or flats instead.
2.    Dress for comfort at the company party. Don’t wear those tight jeans or slacks that may have fit last year. Tight clothing can be enough to restrict venous flow from the legs to the heart.
3.    Tap your toes when you’re stuck in a plane, train or automobile. Tapping your feet— heels, then toes— squeezes the deep veins in your legs, forcing the blood to circulate.
4.    Get Christmas (compression) stockings. Graduated compression stockings (look for 20-30 mmHg) keep the blood moving and make your legs feel great, even after standing in long lines at the mall. (They’re available for men and women online and at most pharmacies.)
5.    Walk for 30. Over the holidays, many people skip their regular exercise routines— to the detriment of their legs and overall health. Walking just half an hour every day is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy.

To learn more about the prevention and treatment of venous disease, visit http://www.veinhealthcarecenter.com.

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen is the founder of the Maine Phlebology Association and the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine. Dr. Asbjornsen is certified by the American Board of Phlebology and cares for all levels of venous disease, including spider veins, varicose veins and venous stasis ulcers.

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Jen Boggs
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