Beach-Ready Legs: The 30-Day Plan

Feb 26, 2021

Eliminate Spider & Varicose Veins
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Beach-Ready Legs: The 30-Day Plan

We understand that patient’s are rightly concerned about getting the right diagnosis and treatment for vein disease. Your vein health is incredibly important and having an experienced vein doctor can be the difference between relief and disappointment. To that end, we have put together this simple guide to help you find the best vein doctor for spider and varicose vein treatment.

In the last year, you have gone through some change.

Professionally speaking, you now have a real home office. Your 60-minute commute is now 60 steps from your bed. And all your meetings can be found on at least one screen on your laptop.

Personally, the dreaded drive to your families for Thanksgiving and the holidays didn’t happen. You can’t remember that last time you watched a movie that wasn’t streaming. Or the last time you went to a nice restaurant that wasn’t crammed into a tent.

The era of COVID-19 has meant many things to many people, including inactivity and weight gain.

As we near the most anticipated beach season in history—yes, the snow is actually melting—you must ask yourself something: Is my fluffy, good-enough-for-quarantine body ready to go on public display at my favorite beach? Do you have beach-ready legs?

Inactivity and weight gain are also driving factors for vein insufficiency, which means poor blood circulation in your leg veins. Over time, that condition can create complications, such as unsightly varicose veins, spider veins and deep vein thrombosis.

But here’s the good news: We have a plan that you can start within the next 30 days that will put you and your legs on a healthier course—right to the nearest beach.

Walk A Mile In Your Own Shoes

It’s best to counter inactivity with more activity.

When it comes to getting in shape, exercise is a key component of a healthy program. After first checking with your healthcare provider, you can start to create a new workout routine, according to the University of Michigan, that calls for a warm-up (5-10 minutes), aerobics (30-60 continuous minutes), weight training (10-20 minutes), a cool-down (5-10 minutes) and light stretching (up to 5 minutes).

You can even start small at your desk. Have you tried leg extensions? While seated, lift your legs so they are almost parallel to the floor. Now, bring your legs back down into the resting position. How about foot extensions? In a seated position, lift your foot toward your knee, while keeping your heels on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and rest. Now, extend the other way by pushing your toes into the ground and raising your heels.

To be clear, making yourself healthier doesn’t have to be overly involved. In fact, the hardest part might be your ability to not overlook something relatively simple when it comes to exercising. Depending on your weight, the simple act of walking can burn weight (85 to 135 calories per mile) and improve your blood pressure—two factors that would directly improve your leg health.

“Veins are muscles in our body that help bring blood back to the heart,” says Dr. Alissa Brotman O’Neil, who is vascular surgeon and vein specialist at Vein Specialist Centers. “Venous blood in the legs is aided back to the heart by movement and walking. The calf muscles pump the venous blood up a level and then valves in our veins shut so that the blood does not go in the wrong directions.  It is very important to walk during the day for venous health.  Immobility can lead to swelling and even blood clots.”

Eat Colorful Food

Lack of movement and obesity can increase your chances of inflammation and swelling in your veins (i.e. thrombophlebitis), which can cause bulging veins such as varicose veins.

Reviewing your diet would be a good next-move. Think about putting more bioflavonoids on your menu. There are 4,000 to 6,000 varieties of these plant-derived compounds. They can be found all over the supermarket: berries, red cabbage, onions, kale, parsley, tea and dark chocolate to name a few.

But here’s what makes them special: They are antioxidants that may fight against free radical damage, which is thought to play a role in many illnesses ranging from high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes to cancer – all of which inflame your body including your leg veins.

“Bioflavonoids are a class of powerful phytochemicals that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to help prevent vein disease,” says Dr. Claudia Rios-Datta, who is a pioneer in cryo-sclerotherapy, which quickly turned spider vein treatments into pain-free, minimally invasive, outpatient procedures in 2000. “There are a number of studies that show that Rustin, a type of bioflavonoid, can decrease swelling and pain from venous insufficiency. This is found in asparagus, fruits, as well as fruit rinds from citrus fruits and buckwheat. Other bioflavonoids can be found in grapeseed, pine bark as well as in broccoli, kale, watercress, rutabaga, hot peppers, spinach and red onions. Nearly all fruits and vegetables contain bioflavonoids, as well as chocolate, tea, and some dried beans and seeds that make a great snack.”

Change Your Legs? Change Your Mind

There are a few other things you can add to your lifestyle in the next 30 days to get your legs ready for the beach.

Elevate Your Legs: Elevating your legs ease the workload on your lower body, helping the blood flow return from your foot back to your heart. You may elevate your feet above your heart 3-4 times each day for about 15 minutes at a time.

Use Compression: Wearing compressions socks works, even with problems associated with long-term inactivity or sitting. It can prevent or reduce the amount of swelling and pooling of blood in the legs. High-compression socks (20-30 mm Hg) are the most effective, while lower compression can be used for extra fluid in your legs, while being easier to tolerate.

Drink More Water: Water is the most important thing we consume. Every cell in our body needs it to work properly. Yet, most Americans are chronically dehydrated, which is troubling for every body function including your circulation, blood pressure and even your leg veins. Although the survey found participants were drinking about eight servings of beverages each day, the effort was offset by servings that included caffeine, alcohol or high amounts of sodium. Drinking water throughout the day is better for your whole body. On the bright side, it only takes 45 minutes and 20.3 ounces (600ml) of water to counter mild dehydration.

Leverage Minimally Invasive Intervention

If your legs need more than dietary and behavior changes to get ready for the beach, your solution may include a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure that could be done during your lunch break. No cuts, no sutures, no down time. Things have changed dramatically in this field of medicine.

Varicose veins, for example, can cause long-term swelling, as well as ulcers and non-healing sores. Blood clots associated with deep vein thrombosis also can become a problem. In fact, varicose veins have the potential to become dangerous if they are not treated properly.

Radiofrequency ablation, deemed the standard for today’s treatments for venous insufficiency, involves a small catheter that delivers heat to close the abnormal vein. The procedure is minimally invasive, and it can be done directly in the office.

Microphlebectomy is a brief procedure that is only offered by skilled vein clinics and remains one of the best options for treating bulging varicose veins. Under local anesthesia, the vein is removed in small sections through tiny incisions during the procedure, which is provided in an office setting.

Spider veins, which have a blue, red or purple color, can often be the first indication of an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency. Sclerotherapy is the most common technique for treating spider veins. This medical procedure involves the injection of a sclerosant into a vein to collapse it.

Other minimally invasive medical procedures include VenaSeal, which uses a special glue to close damaged veins and ClariVein, which uses a catheter to treat the diseased vein chemically and mechanically. Both procedures are safe and equally as effective as radiofrequency ablation.

In Summary

Finding the right vein specialist is the most important step towards getting the right diagnosis and treatment. The Vein Specialist Centers are a premier destination for spider and varicose vein treatment. Our team of vein specialists have been carefully selected based on their training background, reputation, and favorability rating with patients. The experience has been great for our patients and we look forward to helping you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.


Dr. Brotman O’Neill

Harvard Trained | Vascular Surgeon / Vein Specialist

Dr. Alissa Brotman O’Neill is an accomplished vascular surgeon and vein specialist and skilled in applying cutting-edge, minimally-invasive endovascular technology of the aorta and peripheral arteries.

Dr. Claudia Rios Datta


Dr. Claudia Rios-Datta

NY and NJ Board Certified

Dr. Rios-Datta is a pioneer in cryo-sclerotherapy, which quickly turned spider vein treatments into pain-free, minimally invasive, outpatient procedures in 2000. As a result, the media crowned her the “Vein Queen” during its coverage of the breakthrough medical advancement.

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