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Archive for the tag “health tips”

How to Prevent Varicose Veins Naturally

Have you noticed purple or blue veins emerging on the surface of your legs? Those bulging veins are varicose veins, which most experts believe to be caused by weak valves in the veins. When healthy, these valves keep blood moving toward the heart. However, when they become weak, blood pools in the legs, causing veins to stretch, sag and protrude to the surface.

Varicose veins can also appear from pregnancy and hormones. While they may initially be a cause for concern, most varicose veins caused by pregnancy will recede after three months. Unfortunately, another pregnancy could bring them back for good.

While you can’t entirely prevent varicose veins, you can minimize your risk and help ease any discomfort from existing ones. In fact, some simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Here are our top tips for addressing varicose veins naturally.

The Do’s:

Do exercise regularly

Regular exercise will keep the blood properly circulating in your legs. If trips to the gym are unrealistic for you, walking is an easy way to add movement. Read about simple ways to increase your daily steps here.

Do wear compression gear

compressionCompression socks, pants or hose can reduce the diameter of the veins and ensure proper blood flow. This is especially important if you stand or sit for long periods.

Do manage your weight

precisionStudies show overweight people are more likely to develop varicose veins. It is vitally important to maintain a healthy weight because carrying around extra pounds increases the pressure and strain on your legs and veins. Keep track of your weight with our best-selling EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale.

Do use food as medicine

Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to reduce swelling. Foods such as berries, dark leafy greens, beets, ginger, turmeric, onions, garlic and oily fish can reduce inflammation in your body.

Do strengthen veins with witch hazel

Witch hazel can help strengthen vein walls. To reap the benefits, soak a wash cloth with witch hazel and place on the affected area.

Do massage your legs

Massage or dry brush your legs to keep the blood pumping. Use gentle upward strokes to smooth out the twisted veins. Make sure to never apply pressure directly on the bulging veins.

Do elevate your legs

After a long day, elevate your legs for 15 – 20 minutes every night.

Do eat your fiber

Eat plenty of fiber, including fresh vegetables and fruits, since constipation can contribute to varicose veins. Did you know that a serving of fruit or vegetables is 4 ounces? Our Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale can help you correctly measure out your fruits and vegetables for the day.

Do give apple cider vinegar remedies a try

Soak a washcloth in equal amounts apple cider vinegar and water and apply as a compress. To help increase circulation, apple cider vinegar can also be used on salads or mixed into a glass of warm water.

Do use essential oils

Consider using essential oils on a cool compress or added into your bath. Rosemary, lavender, cypress, pine and juniper berry all have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

The Don’ts:

Do not stay in one position too long

Shifting your position frequently when standing or sitting for long periods of time can improve circulation.

Do not skip stretching

stretchFlex your feet and roll your ankles when sitting, especially if you’re taking a long car, train or plane ride. Always stretch before and after exercise.

Do not sit with crossed legs

Sitting with your legs crossed at the knee interferes with circulation, and over time, can lead to varicose veins.

Do not forget your Vitamin C & B

Eat foods rich in Vitamin C to help repair damaged cells and strengthen capillaries. Vitamin B deficiencies can lead to damage in the lining of the blood vessels. Lean meat, tuna, shrimp, poultry, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, sunflower seeds, avocados and bananas are all good sources of Vitamin B.

A combination of diet, exercise, and herbal remedies can help you manage varicose veins without surgery. Of course, you should consult with your doctor or a physical therapist if you are not getting the relief you seek.

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Do you have varicose veins? How do you treat them? Tweet us at @eatsmartscales.

25 Easy Ways to Increase Heart Health

25 easy ways to increase heart health

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular(heart) disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Want to know the real secret for the fountain of youth that will help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease ? Keep your heart healthy! Half of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease such as high blood pressure, excess weight or high triglycerides. While you can’t change your genetic makeup, you can change your external risk factors. Even making a few easy changes can have a big impact on your health and quality of life. Your heart works hard every day, take good care of it in return!

Here are 25 easy ways to improve your heart health:

Quit smoking.

This one may not be easy but there are plenty of resources to help you quit like The American Lung Association’s “How to Quit Smoking” page.

Take a walk

couple walkingSitting is the new smoking and walking is an easy way get reduce health risks and get your blood flowing. Check out 11 Ways to Walk More for ideas on how to fit more walking into your day.

Know your numbers

Prevent heart disease by keeping blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides within the healthy range.  You can do this by getting an annual physical and talking to your doctor about what these numbers mean for you.

Watch your weight

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy.  Our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale helps you keep an eye on your weight and provides information on body fat, muscle mass, body water and other important health matrixes.

Move that body

Pick an activity you enjoy and get moving!  Optimally, you should aim for 30 minutes a day most days of the week but even just 10 minutes of activity can lower your blood pressure.

Go fish

Eating fatty fish, like salmon, twice a week provides omega 3 fatty acids that improve your heart health.

LOL

couple laughingBust heart-damaging stress with laughter! A good laugh also promotes healthy blood flow in the vessels. So go ahead, search for your favorite videos on Youtube or Comedy Central!

Namaste

Practicing yoga stretches out your muscles, has a positive impact on your heart rate and leaves you feeling calm.

Skip the salt

Reduce salt intake to half a teaspoon per day to lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

Eat your oats

Choose whole grains to add soluble fiber to your diet. They can help lower LDL cholesterol. Check out these ten delicious recipes from The Daily Burn!

Play with your pet

playing with dogPet owners tend to have lower stress and anxiety levels which may improve heart and lung function. Plus walking a dog gets you moving every day! An alternative for those who can’t keep a pet is to volunteer to walk or run with dog at a local shelter.

Socialize more

Loneliness and isolation have a negative impact on your heart that is similar to the effects of smoking, obesity and lack of exercise. Make a date with friends, find an interesting meet up group on meetup.com or volunteer somewhere that will provide fun and positive interactions with others.

Go fast and then slow down

Interval training-speed bursts followed by a recovery pace, gives you greater cardiovascular benefits in less time.

Eat lean meat

Yes, you can enjoy meat in moderation, however choose lean cuts and watch portion sizes. Our Precision Pro Kitchen Scale is a handy tool for correctly measuring proper portion sizes.

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Taste the rainbow

Choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables for a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and full of fiber, making you less likely to snack on junk foods.

Enjoy tea time

Both green and black teas have been shown to improve the health of your arteries. Green, black and white teas should be brewed at different temperatures. Our Precision Pro Digital Thermometer can help you make the perfect cup of tea.

Brush your teeth and floss regularly

toothbrush and toothpastePeriodontal disease has been directly linked to several types of coronary disease.

Don’t fear all fats

Your body needs some fat in order to function but too much saturated or trans fat leads to heart disease. Choose heart healthy monounsaturated fats, such as canola or olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts and some fish.

Hit the weights

Cardio is important for heart health and so is strength training! It helps with weight control, insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Go outside

women on a benchWhether you take a walk or sit outside to enjoy your lunch being outside in nature helps naturally reduce stress levels.

Have some fun with exercise

Stop looking at exercise as something you have to do and think of it as something you get to do. Eliminate the term “work out” and just go play. Activities such as playing Frisbee, bike riding and roller skating all burn calories and get the heart pumping. Want something more organized? Check out Sportsvite to find a league near you.

Get some rest

In addition to making your irritable, lack of sleep can alter your metabolism, leading to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

Take a technology break

Email, texts and social media all increase stress levels. Skip reaching for your phone first thing in the morning and take time to stretch, do breathing exercises or read something positive.

Drink responsibly

Alcohol can have a positive impact on your heart but only when consumed in moderation. This means one glass per day for women and two for men.

Enjoy a little chocolate

Dark chocolate has heart healthy flavonoids, so enjoy a square of chocolate that’s at least 72% cacao.

Have you recently made a positive change for your health? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

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25 easy ways to increase heart health

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