Three Big Reasons to Take-up Running this Year

In the United States, running first gained popularity outside youth programs, schools and competitive sports in the 1970s. It was an amalgam of events that led to this boom: a dramatic win by Frank Shorter in the 1972 Olympics, the media’s increasing coverage and interest in the sport, and Nike’s innovations to the running shoe and corresponding aggressive advertising.

This was not a mere health fad, this was a movement. Its advocates based their arguments on scientific studies and journals to support their claims on the evolution and benefits of the sport, making them credible and newsworthy. Government and major corporations funded programs, nationwide events and activities to entice athletes and amateurs to take up jogging as their sport, main physical activity or as an integral part of their training. Prominent athletes and public officials, including President Jimmy Carter, became closely linked with the crusade.

The campaign remained popular well into the 1980s but like previous health movements, the fervor died down and popular culture moved on to new health crusades. But the gains and paybacks from jogging have been firmly established and continue to be updated as new studies are conducted. Today we enjoy a wealth of information about this ubiquitous activity, making it easier and safer more than ever.

Why take-up running now?

The sport gained traction once more in the recent years. Running clinics mushroomed, fun runs became a go-to fundraising activity and seeing hip, urban professionals jogging at nearby parks after a hard day’s work in the office became de rigueur. A fundamental reason for the resurgence is the battle cry of better health and overall wellbeing of the previous crusade still rings true to this day and with the significant advancements gained, today is the best time to take-up or rediscover running.

  1. Better environment. Have you noticed cities, business districts and the newer master planned communities all seem to move towards having more dedicated green spaces in them? They are bringing back parks and sometimes, these parks come with trails dedicated for jogging. As for existing trails, efforts have been made by the local governments and immediate communities to improve and make these trails safer for runners. Try walking around in your neighbourhood or your office, you might be surprised that there’s a perfect path or trail for that morning or evening run you’ve been planning. If you’re moving or traveling and would to know the best places to run in the country, click here to help get you started.
  2. Technology has come a long way. Activity trackers, smart watches, GPS and mobile phones can help shape any beginner into a serious runner. Sure, clinics and their coaches can provide proper guidance and personal service but sometimes you just don’t have the bandwidth or extra money for them. This is where technology comes in to bridge the gap. A good start is downloading a free application like MyFitnessPal to help you track your calories, steps and progress. You can then download the corresponding application for your activity tracker to track your activities, distance covered, calories burned and heart rate. Some applications even offer challenges you can join and results are posted on a weekly basis. A number of applications link directly to MyFitnessPal, such as Garmin Connect. With these two, or similar applications combined, you have your trainer, coach and nutritionist in your mobile phone at virtually no cost. Whether you’re running for weight loss or health, the level of technology we have today can help keep you engaged and achieve your goals as if you were working under the supervision of expensive trainers, minus their costly fees.
  3. It’s easier to run more safely. Most have no qualms about investing in expensive jogging shoes with the latest technology, or the latest tops and bottoms that are cute but still tasteful. One important gear you may overlook but can significantly impact your performance and recovery after a run is socks. Wearing compression socks helps control muscle oscillation or the vibrations produced in your body when your feet hit the ground repetitively. They help restore blood circulation and reduce lactic acid build-up, which can cause fatigue. The cotton compression socks from SocksLane in particular are proven to encourage optimal blood circulation. Being made from natural cotton fibers, runners do not have to worry about rashes even after completing a long distance run.

No excuses

While you may need a MasterCard (or Visa) for everything else, running doesn’t require expensive gym memberships or bulky equipment. A quick search online can get you a wealth of information you need to start. A good activity tracker and your mobile phone, two things most people have these days, go hand in hand in tracking your progress and supervising your runs – with timely reminders and analytics to boot! Now all you need are the right pair of shoes, socks, comfortable clothing and your doctor’s approval before you start. So create your music playlist, pick your favorite path and start pounding against the pavement.

5 Sensible Ways to Treat Swelling and Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Bringing new life into the world is a miracle and gift, but it is not without caveats. Most women who have been pregnant will agree that two of the most difficult yet underestimated conditions that arise from pregnancy are swelling and varicose veins.

What is Edema?
Edema, or swelling, is a natural part of pregnancy. Your body will produce more fluids to ensure your baby has all it needs to develop properly. You will retain more fluids to help keep your body pliant as the baby grows. But your body can only do so much to accommodate the growing baby in your womb. Your pelvic veins and vena cava, the large vein responsible for transporting blood from the lower limbs back to the heart, is “squeezed” by the growing uterus as the pregnancy progresses. This pressure hampers your blood flow and causes your body fluids to pool in your ankles and feet. Your hands, face, and neck may also experience swelling as your body fluids are pushed into tissues due to changes in your blood chemistry and hormones. Pregnant women typically experience pronounced swelling in their third trimester.

What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins, usually blue or purple in color, which cause a distended or uneven appearance of the skin area they are found in. Varicose veins develop when the natural flow of blood is restrained, weakening the walls of the vein where the blood collects until the vein swells and becomes visible as a bulging blue or purple varicose vein. As you go further along in your pregnancy the body will steadily retain all those excess fluids while blood from your legs has a harder time flowing back to your heart, leading to the formation of varicose veins. Studies show that at least a third of first-time mothers and more than half of women on their second (or more) pregnancy develop varicose veins.

Are Edema and Varicose Veins permanent?
The good news is edema and varicose veins go away once the pregnancy ends for most women. For the next three months after delivery, your body naturally expels all the excess fluids from your body and your hands, legs, feet, and other parts affected return to their normal appearance and color. But until your due date comes, you have to cope with living, and for some, working, with these two.

How to treat Edema and Varicose Veins naturally during pregnancy?
Living and working with edema and varicose veins is challenging for most expecting mothers, and it can be debilitating for some. That is why it is important to find safe and natural ways to treat them. This is to ensure that the development of the baby and the health of mother and child are not compromised by undesired effects from additional medication.

Fortunately, most of the prescribed natural treatments are easy, need little to no equipment, and can mostly be categorized as slight lifestyle changes. Here are the five most commonly prescribed natural ways to treat edema and varicose veins:

1. Avoid prolonged sitting or standing in one place. It is important to take breaks, ideally every thirty to sixty minutes. Get a cup of coffee, or glass of water, or anything to get you moving (or sitting) if only for a few minutes before you resume work.

2. Engage in physician-approved exercises. Even if you have been exercising your entire life, always consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise or strenuous activity.

3. Wear comfortable clothing. Avoid restrictive clothing and artificial fabrics that prevent the skin from breathing and sweat from evaporating properly.

4. Wear appropriate footwear. Stilettos and other heeled footwear distribute the body weight unevenly which can worsen your edema and varicose veins. Wedges and platforms, although seemingly more comfortable than heels, make you prone to sprains and tripping.

5. Wear compression socks for better blood flow in the leg and ankle area.

What are the benefits of wearing compression socks during pregnancy?
In a nutshell, compression socks are designed to help or improve blood flow. Clothing accessories imbued with compression technology all seek to improve blood flow, improve the comfort of the wearer, and enhance performance. On a more serious note, they can help to prevent some medical conditions such as DVT or deep vein thrombosis which can be life-threatening.

So why wear compression socks at all during pregnancy?
Because they directly address the swelling and varicose veins that come with pregnancy. They are snug so your legs will feel taut but stretchy enough so that you do not feel as if you are wearing a leg corset. They compress or hug the ankle area with the right amount of pressure, and this pressure gradually decreases moving up the leg, to help the blood from your legs flow back to your heart.

Are all compression socks are created equal?
If you are pregnant, then it is better to avoid synthetic compression socks that are made of 100% oil derived yarns and can cause rashes and allergies when worn for long periods of time.

The best choice is to use good quality cotton compression sock as they are safer, hypoallergenic and just much more comfortable. Cotton compression socks let the skin breathe during hot summers and provide added warmth during cooler temperatures. Sockslane manufactures high-quality compression socks made of cotton that are comfortable, durable and fashionable. To learn more about Sockslane and how it has made a difference in other women’s lives, click here.

Pregnancy and motherhood come with its challenges but sometimes something as simple as wearing the right pair of socks can go a long way in ensuring the safety and well-being of expecting mothers and their babies.

10 Tips for Leg Pain Self-Care

The importance of leg health cannot be emphasized enough. Too many people take their perfect pins for granted, but the legs are a passport to complete mobility and independence. We’re living longer, and when you reach your 70s and 80s, you surely want to be able to continue doing the things you love?
With this in mind, let’s look at what it takes to keep legs healthy.

In many of the earlier blog posts, we have discussed the benefits of general self-care such as quitting smoking, adding omega-3 oils to your diet, keeping your weight healthy, and cutting out “bad fats,” as well as regular exercise and stretching. Here are 10 more self-care tips to keep your legs healthy.
Remember to consult your doctor before trying new remedies.

A Cold Compress
If your leg pain occurs after strenuous exercise, apply a cold compress to reduce pain and numb the affected area. Cold compresses also control swelling and inflammation. Just wrap a couple of ice cubes in a thin towel and apply to the area for 10 minutes, while keeping your leg elevated.

Turmeric
Turmeric is an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little warm sesame oil to create a paste. Apply the paste to the legs and rub gently. Leave the paste on your legs for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. Alternatively, you could take turmeric as a dietary supplement or drink a glass of hot turmeric milk every day.

Soak in Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are full of magnesium, which is an essential electrolyte that works to regulate nerve signals in your body. It also works as a muscle relaxant and can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Add a half a cup of Epsom salt to your hot bath and stir it in. Soak your legs in the bath for 15 minutes. You can do this up to 3 times per week.
You can also consume more magnesium-rich foods to help reduce swelling, such as:
 Soymilk
 Bananas
 Whole grains
 Tofu
 Pumpkin seeds
 Green leafy vegetables
 Walnuts

Regular Massage
Massage helps to promote recovery from muscle damage that might be causing your leg pain. Just ten minutes of massage therapy can re-attune inflammatory signals after exercise-induced damage to the muscles. Massage also improves circulation and promotes relaxation while alleviating anxiety and stress.
You can massage your legs yourself by rubbing warm mustard, coconut, or olive oil on the legs and using gentle, firm strokes to rub the oil in. You can self-massage two to three times a day.

Apple Cider Vinegar
The vinegar can help to reduce pain in the legs and is especially beneficial for pain associated with arthritis. The alkalizing effect of apple cider vinegar helps dissolve uric acid crystals in your bloodstream, and it removes the buildup of toxins in connective tissues and joints. What’s more, apple cider vinegar provides a good dose of calcium, potassium, and essential minerals that help to ease inflammation and pain. You can add a cup or two of unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar to your bathtub with warm water and soak your sore legs for half an hour, once a day. You can also mix a tablespoon or two of the vinegar in a glass of warm water, add a drop of raw honey, and drink daily.

Ginger
Ginger is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and
pain-reducing properties. It can also improve
circulation and blood flow and relieve muscle pain.
Use ginger oil to massage your legs two to three times
a day or drink ginger tea several times a day – but
make it fresh by simmering fresh slices of ginger in a
cup of water for 10 minutes and adding raw honey
and lemon for flavor.

Tart Cherry Juice
If your leg pain stems from strenuous activity, poor circulation, and general muscle soreness, try drinking tart cherry juice. Tart cherries have tremendous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can both prevent and treat soft tissue pain. Either drink a cup of the juice once a day or eat half a cup of fresh, organic cherries.

Potassium
A potassium deficiency can contribute to leg pain. It is an essential nutrient for optimal nerve and muscle functioning and it prevents dehydration. To get enough potassium in your diet, eat foods such as sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, plums, bananas, prune juice, tomato juice, and raisins.

Vitamin D
If you have leg pain, it’s worth having your vitamin D levels checked. Vitamin D can help to ease leg pain and regulate phosphorus and calcium which are both essential for proper muscle and nerve functioning.
To combat leg pain, try to expose your body to early morning sunlight for about 15 minutes per day and include foods rich in vitamin D in your diet, such as fortified milk, salmon, mackerel, sardines, cereal, and orange juice.

Lemons
Lemons are a fantastic source of antioxidants that help to relieve leg pain and maintain your body’s pH levels which also prevents inflammation. Add the juice of a lemon and a drop of raw honey to a cup of warm water and drink daily, or mix equal amounts of castor oil and lemon juice and massage into your legs a few times a day.

Wear Cotton Compression Socks
Cotton compression socks have all the advantages of regular compression stockings and the advantage of being made of natural cotton fibers that are naturally breathable and anti-allergic. High-quality cotton compression stockings such the ones manufactured by SocksLane specifically for women, allow you to enjoy all the benefits of compression technology such better blood flow and tissues oxygenation.

SocksLane women compression socks are available in several trendy models and they actively supporting your lower legs when working, traveling or relaxing without looking like medical socks.

How to Avoid DVT when Traveling Long Distances

How often have you opted for the window seat during a long-haul flight? It’s great watching the world go by from the sky, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, sitting on a plane for a long time can have a negative effect on your health with increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT, a.k.a Economy Class Syndrome)

DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) develops in the lower leg and then breaks free, traveling towards the heart causing damages that can be permanent.
The good news is that it is possible to prevent this from happening following few simple tips.

First of all, despite its name. economy class syndrome can happen in any class of long-haul flight, be it economy, business, or first class, and as many as 5% of passengers may be at risk. The same goes for desk-workers who sit for eight or more hours a day, and people who travel in cars, trains or cars for hours on end.

Typically, the likelihood of developing DVT depends on several factors, such as your weight, gender, health, pregnancy, medication, and how long the flight is.

As an airplane ascends, the pressure in the cabin falls. So, by the time the plane reaches its cruising altitude, the pressure in the cabin can drop to as low as 8,000 feet up in a mountain accelerating dehydration that increases the risk of DVT as it thickens your blood.

Some of the warning signs of DVT are tenderness, pain, heaviness, cramping or swelling in the legs as well as blue toes and redness on the legs.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to limit your chances of developing economy class syndrome, and they are pretty easy to implement.

Drop the Weight
Obesity doubles your risk of DVT, especially in women taller than five foot six or men taller than six feet.
That’s because taller individuals have to pump blood farther and are working against the force of gravity which can reduce blood flow and circulation in the legs.

Move Around
Raising and lowering your heels while seated, and walking to engage your calf muscles helps to squeeze the veins and propel blood upwards, preventing DVT.
Incidentally, immobility is the reason why long flights are the riskiest for economy class syndrome, but so is sitting at a desk all day long.

On a plane, it is recommended that you get up and walk at least every hour and raise and lower the heels and rotate your ankles when you are sitting. You should also avoid crossing your feet when sitting for extended periods.

Add Fish to Your Diet
Eating fish three or more times a week can lower your chances of developing DVT by as much as 48 percent. The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish or fish oil supplements are known to reduce inflammation and therefore prevent vein damage and clot formation.

Stay Hydrated, But Avoid Alcohol
When sitting for prolonged periods, keep your body hydrated. But avoid alcohol and caffeine which deplete the body of hydration. Overall, you can’t go wrong with water for good health.

Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks can help you avoid the risk of blood clots and DVT. They can also help to ease or prevent the symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome. These special type of socks are designed to stabilize the tissues and restrict muscle movement helping the blood to flow back up from the lower legs to the heart.

Prefer Cotton Compression Socks
You should try to avoid the flimsy, ineffective compression stockings sold in multipacks and the synthetic ones, the former because they are just no better than a regular pair of socks and do not provide enough support, the latter because synthetic materials, when worn for long periods can irritate the skin leading to rashes and allergies. In addition to this, synthetic socks make you sweat making your feet literally freeze on the plane because of the air conditioning (try to get some sleep in such conditions…).

Cotton compression socks are an excellent alternative to synthetic hoses as they are just as effective as traditional support stockings. They contain a high percentage of cotton that is naturally hypoallergenic and breathable, so your legs are protected and stay comfortable, even after wearing them for long hours. In addition to this, cotton compression socks can be used every day and are the ideal travel companion providing the support that your legs need when walking about visiting your travel destination.

SocksLane’s Women Cotton Compression Socks are made of 65% Natural Combed Cotton and specifically chosen high-quality stretch fibers. They are specifically designed for women who do not want to compromise on quality and prefer to wear natural fibers in contact with their skin.

SocksLane Women’s Cotton Compression Socks are comfortable, durable and are available in different trendy models and no one will ever notice that you are wearing medicated stockings.

You can find some great workout tips to use while wearing your cotton compression socks right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWGWyliQDlo&index=2&list=PLGSZfeCOcMgA-mlDOyvFumPMsqfY4ZlWr

How to put on your Compression Socks. The easy way

How To Put On Your SocksLane Compression Socks. The Easy Way (Video link, contains 10% Off Coupon)

 

The benefits of compression socks are multiple. They can help you feel more energy in your legs, soothe conditions ranging from mild edema to spider and varicose veins as well as preventing cramps, fatigue or DVT (Deep Veins Thrombosis).

If you are suffering from any of these complaints, then you need compression socks. These socks squeeze the tissues and muscles in the legs more firmly than the regular ones and the compression effectively prevents the blood from clotting so that it can easily flow back to the heart. However, unlike regular socks, compression stockings require special handling. This is especially true in the way that you put them on.

Regular socks can just be pulled over the feet in one go and that’s it. But for compression stockings, you have to take specific, precise steps.

The easiest technique to so is the “Heel Pocket method”
To use this technique the first step is to pull a compression sock over one hand until the heel of the sock is right over the heel of the hand.
The second step is to turn the sock leg over by peeling it off of your hand up to the heel.
The next step is to put the sock on your foot and, once the sole of your foot is aligned with the sole of the foot, slowly pull the sock’s leg up.
The final touch is to spread it evenly over the leg up to about 1 inch below the knee.

And that’s it! You just learned the easiest way to wear your compression socks. Not sure yet? For better clarity check out the video that we have put together for you on YouTube: https://youtu.be/HF1p0Hws0Oc

For more comfort and durability avoid buying the flimsy, ineffective socks sold in multipacks, they may be cheap, but their effectiveness is, at best, limited. You should also try to avoid synthetic ones too as they are composed nearly exclusively of nylon and other oil-derived fibers that can become uncomfortable when worn for long periods (as it is the case with compression socks) can give rashes or even allergies.

Choose Cotton Compression socks instead, the cotton blend makes them naturally more comfortable and anti-allergic and, even if they may cost slightly more, they offer better value for money as they last and hold their compression level much longer than cheap ones.

SocksLane Cotton compression socks for women are specifically designed to have the greatest level of comfort, last a long time and prevent the risks of skin reaction. Look at the customer reviews here and judge for yourself: https://goo.gl/4Dk66Y

SocksLane products also come with Free shipping, an extended 60 days “No Question Asked” manufacturer’s guarantee and Top-notch Customer Care

SocksLane’s Women Cotton Compression Socks are for sale on both Amazon and eBay.

 

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Relieving Painful Arthritis in Cold Weather

Christmas is just around the corner. For most people, it’s something to look forward to. Families are reunited, parties abound in every corner, and gifts change hands by the minute. But if you’re an elderly person, the winter is also a dreaded time because the cold weather inadvertently brings your worst enemy with it: arthritis.

Your legs joints start to swell up and you can barely walk because of the pain. Luckily, for every ache, there is always something you can do to help.

One thing to understand about arthritis is that it’s really all about the fluids in the joints. Think of it as something like motor oil. When the oil is warm, it lubricates perfectly, but once the weather gets cold, it thickens and prevents proper movement.

Sometimes Arthritis may not be preventable or curable but in a certain way, the symptoms can be reduced.
Fish oil and Turmeric are known to reduce the symptoms and “oil up” the joint.
A healthy diet low in sugars, drinking plenty of water, no alcohol and not smoking are also known to help. Also, shedding some weight can ease the knee joints.

Another way to aid you legs joints is to use compression socks to support the muscles and veins from toes to knees. By squeezing the lower leg, compression socks aid the blood to flow back from the bottom of the body up to the hart enhancing keeping the muscle and joints oxygenated that helps with arthritis too.

The only downside with compression socks is that they are often made with synthetic materials that, when worn for long periods, can irritate the skin.

Fortunately, not all compression socks are made of nylon. Cotton compression socks offer all the benefits of traditional support stockings with the advantage of being hypoallergenic thanks to their high cotton content. This is the reason why they are preferred by people with sensitive skins, pregnant women or people who simply prefer to wear natural fibers on their bodies.

Cotton compression socks, such as the ones produced by SocksLane, are also naturally breathable, comfortable and fashionable so you can use them every day without people ever noticing that you are wearing medicated socks.

Do you want to know more about SocksLane Cotton Compression Socks?

Check out our products here

Leg Fatigue: an Ounce of Prevention is Better than a Pound of Cure

Leg fatigue has a wide range of causes and cures. But one thing is for sure: everybody experiences muscle weakness at some point. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to relieve or even prevent it.

Sitting or standing for long hours at a time, pregnancy, intensive exercises, brisk walking while wearing inappropriate footwear or even diabetic neuropathy and lack of fitness can be the cause of leg fatigue.

Once you recognize the reason why the muscles in your legs hurt, it will be a lot easier to address the problem.

We have asked Blogger and Health Expert Dr. Jo to create a video to show some exercises that anyone can do to increase their leg’s strength and significantly reduce pain and fatigue. The exercises are pretty easy and suitable for all level of fitness, but their benefits are real and long-lasting. (take a look at Dr.Jo Original post here)

One of the easiest and most effective exercises to perform is to lie down flat on your back with your legs up parallel to the wall. This is actually a yoga pose that’s well known to have many benefits. The pose facilitates drainage of the leg veins, which then promotes proper blood circulation.

But come to think of it, why wait until you have to address an issue that can actually be prevented? It’s so easy to prevent leg fatigue.
One of the smartest thing that you can do to make sure that your legs are well taken care of is to wear compression socks. Compression socks “squeeze” your calves and increase venous blood circulation, that is to say, that they help the blood flowing back to the heart effectively preventing the build-up of fluid in the veins. Support socks are also specially-designed so that they compress more snugly in the foot area and bit less all the way up to the knee providing the support that your legs need.

So, are all compression stockings the same? Of course not. They come in a range of strength from very weak to extremely tight. For most people, moderate 15-20mmHg compression level is adequate as it provides just the right amount of support without being too tight or difficult to put on.

Most compression socks on the market are made of synthetic fabric such as nylon that is known for causing rashes and even allergies.
To avoid any risk related to skin irritation, SocksLane has chosen to make their compression socks with Natural Cotton.

Cotton compression socks offer the same benefits of traditional support hose and the advantage of being comfortable and hypoallergenic.

Another, often overlooked, way to lessen leg fatigue is to hydrate well.
We all often forget to drink, especially when the weather is cold. Experts suggest drinking at least 4 pints of water a day, but your body may need even more in dry climates, when on a plane or when doing any kind of strenuous activity. This advice is commonly given to people who regularly jog or do leg-intensive exercises such Pilates, Yoga, Plyometrics or Muay Thai.

A major cause of leg fatigue is not wearing appropriate shoes. A brisk walk covering some distance may easily end up with tired aching muscles.
The best way to prevent this is wearing supportive shoes, even better if associated with a good pair of cotton compression socks because this doubles the support on the lower part of the leg. This combination is popular with ER nurses who have to run around the hospital during their long shifts.Even when you are not wearing sneakers, experts suggest choosing walking shoes that aren’t too bulky so they don’t restrict the foot’s motion too much.

There’s often a remedy for every ache and pain in the body. But rather than spending too much money on the remedy, would it not be better to invest in prevention?

Do you want to get 20% OFF SocksLane Cotton Compression Socks on Amazon.com?

Click here to visit our Amazon page and enter Coupon code:  20YTSAVE  at checkout