(And this is why women need to know - part 2)
Hello and welcome back.
Our previous blog post delved into the grisly world of varicose veins, and no doubt you’ve been prodding your feet and squeezing your calves ever since. But we hinted there was more trouble to come, and for many people, that’s exactly what this next condition is – trouble!
Did you know, almost two thirds of your body is water? Some parts are a lot more watery than others: for instance, your heart and brain contain a lot more at 73%, whereas your bones contain a lot less at 31%. And your body needs 2-3 litres every day to survive – that’s right, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. Okay, so what’s the problem?
You now know that blood can pool in the veins, resulting in swollen and painful legs. Did you know that fluid can also build up in the body, leaving you with puffy skin and aching limbs? Water retention (or oedema) in the legs is a common symptom of serious health conditions such as kidney disease and heart failure, and …
… of a more positive life-changing condition i.e. pregnancy! Given what we’ve told you about varicose veins and water retention, what do you think are the two most common causes of water retention in the legs? Yes, you’re absolutely spot on, well done you:
To prevent traffic jams, we have to keep moving. To prevent varicose veins, we have to keep moving (there’s a pattern here). And to prevent water retention? Yes, we have to keep moving! Every system is made of separate parts, which must keep moving in order to function properly - your body is no different.
Most of the time, water retention settles down all by itself. Kick off your shoes at the end of a long day, then prop your feet up on the end of the sofa – and it won’t be long before those tight swollen ankles and scrunched up toes are back to normal (until the same time tomorrow, at least).
And if you need to see the doctor, the advice (assuming there’s no underlying condition) is likely to be: ‘Keep your body moving … Don’t stand for too long, and don’t sit for too long either … Staying active’. Before you ask, yes, we did just copy and paste those words from the first part of this blog post!
The bottom line: keep yourself active, avoid water retention (and those nasty varicose veins) – and say hello, to happy HAPPY legs!
Staying active is great advice for everyone, it’s easy to understand and even easier to put into practice. No need to rush out to join an exclusive health club, hire a celebrity personal trainer …
… or buy some expensive designer Lycra (unless you want to??!!). When time and money are in short supply, you have to think smart. So try moving a little more today, and you’ll feel a whole lot better tomorrow. But don’t take on too much too soon, or you might end up with:
And we mean cold feet, in more ways than one. Hands up, anyone who has ever signed up for a gym membership? Then missed a couple of sessions, naturally through no fault of your own (long day, bad day, day off)? Then felt really guilty about not catching up in later weeks? And finally gave up on the gym, and gave in to a takeaway!
But we’re also talking about the “Can you turn up the heating?” and the “Will you stop stealing the duvet!” sort of cold feet too. Not as serious as varicose veins perhaps, but frozen tootsies can make your life miserable. And the most common cause? Poor circulation, inactive lifestyle, same old story …
With eager eyes glued to television screens, and eager fingers glued to smart devices, that inactive lifestyle starts from a very early age. Increasing your odds of developing diabetes, the curse of today’s couch potato society. And potentially leaving you with cold feet, thanks to diabetic nerve damage – an extra pair of socks won’t fix that.
Once again, there’s bad news for you ladies. The female hormones that make you more vulnerable to varicose veins? Well, they’re the same hormones that thicken up the blood and stop it from reaching your fingers and toes, when and where it’s needed most.
And to make matters worse, you guys normally burn more calories (compared to the ladies) because of higher muscle mass. Which means lots of heat energy, to keep all your extremities warm. So when HE turns down the thermostat (again), and SHE steals the duvet (again) – there IS science behind the insanity!
Battle of the Sexes aside, what’s the solution for cold feet? Hopefully we don’t need to spell out the two most obvious quick fixes:
But we totally agree with the medical experts, and recommend that you listen to (and learn from) the old proverb: prevention is better than cure. So that means:
There you have it. We know that varicose veins, water retention and cold feet are not easy conditions to live with (especially for the ladies). And we know that they’re not the most exciting topics to blog about either. But looking after your health is as important to us, as it is to you – in fact, we’ve made it our business.
So take care of your legs and feet, as you would take care of your family and relatives: they carry you through all of life’s ups and downs - and a little more love goes a long way.