High heels or flats? Guess which is better for your legs
For some of us, there’s nothing better than shopping for shoes. And when you get them home and put them on – damn, you look good!
It’s too bad they aren’t healthy for your legs.
We don’t intend to freak you out, here. You can still wear high heels. But moderation is called for when you think you might be prone to varicose veins. That’s because high heels tend to reduce the action of leg muscles, which help move blood back to the heart. As a result, blood pressure increases in your lower leg.
This is according to a National Institutes of Health study that tested 30 women with no varicose vein symptoms. They all walked on a treadmill – barefoot and then in three heel sizes — while the pressure in their legs was measured.
“The continuous use of high heels tends to provoke venous hypertension in the lower limbs,” the study found, “and may represent a causal factor of venous disease symptoms.”
Shoes aren’t the only consideration when you are trying to avoid varicose veins.
While for some of us there may be no avoiding varicose veins because of heredity, there are several things we can all do to at least postpone them.
Don’t cross your legs
Crossing your legs prevents blood from flowing freely in your legs. Every time that happens, you increase the chance of weakening a vein’s wall or of the valves in each vein that function to keep the blood moving in the right direction.
Remember the lack of blood flow caused by high heels? A brisk walk (in sneakers) will tone leg muscles for maximum efficiency and keep the blood moving.
Maintain healthy weight
People with extra pounds tend to suffer more from varicose veins.
Regularly vary your standing and sitting
If your job requires you to stand for several hours in a row, that’s bad. If your job requires you to sit for several hours in a row, that’s bad, too. If you’ve been sitting, walk around. If you’ve been standing for an hour at a time, find a chair and put up your feet for a while.
And don’t forget those beautiful high heels. Luckily, flats can be very stylish, too. Wear them as often as fashion permits.
If you are concerned about your susceptibility to varicose veins, schedule an appointment for a free consultation.