Our legs are the most remarkable part of the body. There is a network of more than 60 different bones from your waist to your toes. If you are taking your 10,000 steps every day then that means you are walking over 96 km a year.
Dr Peter Paraskevas, a leading Australian Phlebologist from Vein Health Medical Clinic (part of the Paras Clinic) explains how to keep your legs in peak condition.
It is estimated that 60 – 70 percent of the world population suffers from tired and aching legs. This sort of discomfort affects both men and women, and this increases with age. Seven out of ten women complain of aching and heavy legs, therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercising and stretching are very important to keeping legs healthy.
With good blood flow through your legs, it means that there is a distribution of nutrients and oxygen. Having good circulation helps stabilise body temperature and maintain pH balance throughout the body.
The movement in our leg muscles act as a ‘second heart’ to help blood flow upwards though our veins and heart.
Here are 7 tips to maintaining great leg health and to keep your legs looking great:
- Keep your weight under control: OBESITY is linked with osteoarthritis (loss of cartilage in the joints), which commonly affects knees and hips. Carrying too much weight can also leads to varicose veins – dilated superficial veins, which range from hardly noticeable to large bunches of grape-like structures behind the knee. About one in three women suffer from varicose veins.
2. Work out and stretch. Regular exercise helps keep your body healthy. Stretching and cooling down after a workout will definitely promote strong blood flow. Some sports are better for improving circulation, such as swimming, walking, hiking and running.
Include some leg–sculpting exercises into your workout including:
- Step ups & box jumps
- Calf raises
3. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Our circulation improves with physical activity, so take breaks – GET UP! Take a short walk, climb the stairs instead of talking the lift, make an effort to move around the house or office. AVOID prolonged sitting or standing as this may increase leg pain and swelling.
4. Elevate your legs. To boost your body’s natural circulation, elevate your legs while you are sitting on the couch or lying in bed at home. In the office keep a leg rest under your desk.
5. Dry body brushing. By body brushing you will increase your blood circulation and aid the lymphatic drainage system which helps rid your body of toxins and in turn can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. It also helps exfoliate and encourage skin cell renewal which all helps smooth your skin. The best time to body brush is just before a shower or bath.
6. Stay hydrated. Ensure you drink water, water not only keeps you hydrated it also helps flush the toxins out of your system, those same toxins that can be contributing to your cellulite’s appearance.
7. Treat your varicose veins, they look unsightly and can also be extremely painful. Being overweight can make the condition worse, as can pregnancy, when the hormonal influence of progesterone relaxes the veins. ‘The most important thing is to have your varicose veins assessed properly, with an ultrasound scan,’ advises Dr Peter Paraskevas, from Vein Health Medical Clinc. You can then be advised on which treatment is most suitable for you. For further information on varicose veins and other leg vascular problems, visit www.veinhealth.com.au
To find out more visit on how to keep your legs healthy visit www.veinhealth.com.au