As a mom who carried two rather hefty babies and a nurse who has worked many, many, many twelve-hour shifts, I am now all too familiar with a medical condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (or CVI).
I would often come home, especially in the summer months, after a long day of work with heavy, painful, swollen and very tired legs. And fairly early on in my career, I started to notice the formation of varicose veins in my legs.
During the winter months, when long pants and jeans were my normal casual attire, it wasn’t too bad. But, man, did I ever hate the summer months. My legs were such a disaster, I felt embarrassed to wear shorts, cute sundresses or bathing suits.
I wasn’t “old” when this all started happening either. In fact, I first noticed an issue with my legs when I was in my mid-twenties. To be very honest, I thought varicose veins and painful, tired legs were just a side effect of long hours on my feet and something I had to live with.
But, I was wrong and I wasn’t alone in thinking these signs and symptoms I was experiencing were a “normal” part of my life.
Awareness of the medical condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is low among Canadian women, and many aren’t connecting the symptoms they are experiencing to the medical condition.
- Less than 1 in 5 Canadian women are aware of CVI.
- Awareness of the condition is lowest in Atlantic Canada (7 per cent) and highest in Quebec (24 per cent). 1
What I now know is, I was experiencing a medical condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Its symptoms include varicose veins, heavy, painful, swollen and tired legs.
Check out these Key Findings 1 from a recent Canadian leg care poll:
- While Canadian women say the appearance of their legs is important to them, the feeling wanes as they age.
- Canadian women are not investing in their legs during the summer.
- Tired, painful, swollen, heavy legs and varicose veins are a fact of life for the majority of Canadian women.
- Awareness of the medical condition known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency or CVI is low among Canadian women, and many aren’t connecting the symptoms they are experiencing to the medical condition.
- Daily lifestyle habits can lead to the development of CVI symptoms.
While that is the bad news, I am very happy to tell you there is also some very good news!
With summer just around the bend, it’s time to show our legs some love! Here are five simple tips to get your legs ready for summer:
- Keep those legs moving!
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 percent 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 a colleague rather than phoning or emailing them
- Substitute your coffee break by going for a power walk
And if you are like the one-third of Canadian women who spend one to three hours on their feet a day, remember to do some simple stretches or leg exercises like squats, calf raises or march on the spot to increase the strength of your leg muscles.
- Good nutrition for good circulation
Pumping blood to your legs requires a strong heart and an efficient circulatory system. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables can help maintain good leg vein circulation and keep your heart healthy. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
- Watch your back and “leg posture”
Did you know that your posture can affect how your legs feel? Make sure you keep your shoulders back, chest up and stomach pulled in. Knowing that it can be difficult to keep a perfect posture, set different reminders to help you 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, as crossing your legs can restrict blood flow to and from the legs.
- Give your legs a boost with Antistax™
Approved by Health Canada, Antistax™ is an herbal medicine that contains Red Vine Leaf Extract. Pharmacologists analyzed the active ingredient of the Red Vine Leaf and developed it into an effective extract. This herbal extract is the basis of Antistax™, which when used has been shown to: improve lower leg blood flow; reduce swelling (lower leg edema) and relieve the feeling of pain, heaviness and tiredness. Antistax™ is available in the supplement section of your local pharmacy.
- Love your legs!
While Canadian women are investing in their hair and skin, they are not showing their legs the same amount of care. In the shower show your legs some love — get your general circulation and the flexibility in your legs going with a mix of hot and cold bursts of water. Also, stimulate circulation by gently massaging your legs with your hands or a natural bristle brush. Use this bath time to relax and relieve tension after a busy day.
This summer, with the help of these leg health tips and Antistax™, you won’t have to shy away from bathing suits, shorts, and those cute little sundresses!
For additional information on Antistax™, including:
- What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?
- Green Light for your veins? Do the Vein-Quick-Check and find out
- How Antistax™ works.
- Leg Health Care
- FAQ and more
Be sure to visit the Antistax™ website at Antistax.ca and Show Your Legs Some Love This Summer
(Note – Be sure to read and follow the Antistax™ label, or speak with your doctor to ensure Antistax™ is right for you.)
I’ve also included a great infographic outlining some quick facts about our legs:
Disclosure – This was a compensated post, however, all opinions expressed are honest and our own.
(1) Survey Methodology – The leg care poll was completed online from December 4-14, 2015, with a sample of 1,200 Canadian women aged 18+, with a margin of error of +/- 2.83%, 19 times out of 20.