Our legs have something to say about our health, and it’s never too early to start listening. Problems with leg health can affect the entire body. That’s why ignoring symptoms like pain, numbness, or heaviness can have a severe impact on your long-term health. The good news is, there are simple steps we can all take to keep our legs as healthy as possible for years to come.
Walking and Talking: Listening to What Your Legs are Trying to Say.
If you are experiencing discomfort or unusual symptoms in your legs, you may be suffering from a condition that impairs your leg health. There are diseases that affect leg health that you’ll want to know about.
Top 10 signs and symptoms you don’t want to ignore:
- Swollen legs, feet, or ankles
- Muscle spasms
- Wounds that won’t heal
- Weakness or pain while walking
- Burning or cold sensations
- Spider-like vein patterns
- Bulging, swelling, or pain in veins
- Changes in skin color
- Heaviness or pain in legs after walking
- Electric shock sensation
If you are experiencing one or more symptoms, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your leg health.
Keeping Your Legs Healthy: 7 Steps to Start Taking Today
Walk. Daily exercise is important for overall health; but brisk walking, in particular, is one of the greatest ways to promote good circulation. Just 30 minutes per day can decrease your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, all of which compromise leg health.
Maintain a healthy weight. Fluctuations in weight can cause stress on the body. Finding the balance that is just right for you and maintaining an ideal body weight can contribute to overall health and eliminate excess strain on your body.
Avoid smoking and vaping. Inhalation of the chemicals found in cigarettes and vaping products can be harmful to your blood cells and impair the function of your heart and blood vessels. Smoking increases your risk factors for a variety of medical conditions, including venous insufficiency or arterial diseases. If you are a current smoker, ask your doctor about a cessation program that’s right for you.
Take frequent breaks. Taking the time to stretch and hydrate throughout the day is a small step that can make a significant impact. Stretching, especially if you sit for long periods of time, will promote circulation and blood flow. Being vigilant to drink about eight glasses of water a day can help keep your blood pressure within healthy limits.
Know the signs, symptoms, and risk factors. Talk with your doctor if you have swelling, muscle spasms, or wounds that won’t heal. Weakness or pain while walking, changes in skin color, and burning or cold sensations are other symptoms you don’t want to ignore. If you notice spider-like vein patterns, bulging veins, or heaviness in the legs after walking, there are treatment options that could provide great relief.
Don’t forget to take your medicine. Stay diligent about following the prescribed daily dosage on any medications you may have. Maintaining control of your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, diabetes, and/or kidneys, is a vital part of staying healthy.
Eat a balanced diet. Avoid foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and/or saturated or trans fats. Instead, choose meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals with a proper balance of proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Ask your doctor if you have questions about a diet that’s right for you.