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Spider and Varicose Veins—What You Need to Know

Written on October 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm , by

Have you ever heard that running, especially long distances (like marathons), can actually cause spider or varicose veins? We have, but we weren’t so sure it was true. So with fall marathon season upon us, we turned to a top Phlebology (the branch of medicine that deals with veins and their diseases) expert, Dr. Luis Navarro of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City to clear up any confusion for all of the runners out there who are training for races—big or small.

Does running cause spider or varicose veins?
Running isn’t a direct cause of spider and varicose veins; the activity is actually beneficial to the circulatory system, and the ‘second heart.’  The ‘second heart’ is a system of muscles, veins and valves in the calf and foot that work together to push deoxygenated blood back up to the heart and lungs. However, if you wear sneakers that don’t offer proper support, the impact on hard surfaces can cause veins to swell. Make sure you purchase running shoes that are properly cushioned, and built specifically for running.”

How can you prevent spider or varicose veins from appearing?
For some people, spider and varicose veins are a hereditary disease passed along from generation to generation. If you are genetically predisposed to this condition, the veins might still develop regardless of prevention methods. The most important prevention methods include maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and frequent exercise to ensure proper circulation. If you stand for long periods during the day, wearing compression stockings will also help improve circulation, and help blood flow through the legs.”

If you already have spider or varicose veins, what can you do about them?
Sclerotherapy is a quick, painless treatment that gets rid of spider and small varicose veins. During the treatment, a mild chemical solution is injected into the vein causing the issue. The solution then collapses the vein, and the body reabsorbs the vein and blood, which is re-routed into a healthy vein. Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue; they can cause blood clots and other health risks, so it’s important to have them examined by your local venous expert. If it is determined that you have large varicose veins, there are several methods that can be used to eradicate them, including an out-patient surgical procedure known as an Endovenous Laser Ablation, foam Sclerotherapy or a phlebectomy.”

Are there other options available that don’t include a visit to a doctor’s office?
“If you have already developed spider or varicose veins, you can’t get rid of them without getting a treatment. You can disguise them with self-tanner, or relieve the uncomfortable ‘heavy leg’ feeling by wearing compression stockings. This will temporarily keep the blood from pooling in the veins and relieve discomfort.  Also, taking a horse chestnut seed extract may relieve the discomfort and swelling associated with venous disease. Other prevention methods include maintaining a low salt, high fiber diet, keeping an eye on your weight, as obesity can stress your circulatory system and eating foods rich in antioxidants.”

Olympian Allyson Felix Chats with FITNESS

Written on June 14, 2011 at 10:10 am , by

Last week we had the privilege to sit down with Olympic silver and gold medal-winning runner Allyson Felix to discuss everything beauty and fitness! Sweeter than words, the world-champion runner is volunteering to mentor for the winner of the ACUVUE Brand Contact Lenses 1-DAY Contest (click the link for information on how to enter). Felix said she trades in her glasses for 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST contacts in order to feel comfortable during her workouts and competitions. Here’s a peek at our conversation:

—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern

The Heat is On!

Written on June 13, 2011 at 6:22 am , by

Regular jog sessions in the scorching summer heat (the temp reached 100 in NYC last week!) can be tough on our skin, so Aquaphor and Chris Carmichael, CEO and President of Carmichael Training Systems, shared some simple tips to prevent chapped lips, chafed skin, and blistered feet during your weekly training:

Feet first. To avoid injuries, replace those worn-out running shoes every four months or 400 miles. Slather on a salve like Aquaphor® Healing Ointment before you run and after showers to keep your feet free of blisters and cracks.

Stay hydrated. Keeping your body water content up means less stress and increased performance. But how to drink on the run? Practice grabbing cups of water from tables so you’ll be ready to hydrate on the big day. Just pinch the top of your cup to avoid spills as you go.

Prevent chaffing. Keep your thighs, underarms, and more from being rubbed raw with a moisturizing ointment. Spread it on any areas that chafe before you hit the pavement, including under bra straps and waistbands.

Stretch out. Flexible muscles in your legs, hips and torso are a successful runner’s secret weapon. Give them a good stretch both before and after you hit the pavement.

To keep track of your fitness goals, join the Aquaphor online training community here.

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—By Kelly Garner, beauty intern

Locker Room Lesson: Treat Your Feet

Written on February 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm , by

I’m currently on week three of my half-marathon training schedule for the FITNESS Half-Marathon, and my feet are starting to look very callused and all-around rough. Heidi Waldorf, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, recently gave me this cool tip:

Before you put on your gym socks, slather on Vaseline all over your feet. “Vaseline will help soften your skin and also keep you from getting a blister,” Dr. Waldorf says. If you have calluses, Dr. Waldorf suggests using a lotion or serum with salicylic acid before Vaseline. Post-treadmill you’ll have baby-soft feet.