A Lighter Vein

Discussions of Vein Health

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Ames Walker! As you celebrate, we are sure that some of you are making health and fitness resolutions. That’s great! Did you know that January is National Healthy Weight awareness month? If not you can read here all about it:

National Healthy Weight Awareness Month falls in January, most likely as a result of so many New Year’s resolutions focusing on the topic. However, many people simply set resolutions to “lose weight” not to reach a “healthy weight”, and there is a big difference. To become healthier, you need to know why excess weight is so bad for our bodies, what a healthy weight range is, and steps to take in order to reach your healthy weight.

What exactly is the cost of excess weight? In actual dollar terms, in 1998 excess body weight and obesity accounted for about 10% of U.S. medical expenses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that about one million dollars are spent annually on diet and weight loss products. In terms of overall health, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that excess weight and obesity contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. Additionally, excess weight negatively affects blood pressure and cholesterol and put increased strain on your joints. Mentally, obesity can lead to low self esteem because of feelings of rejection, social discrimination, unattractiveness, and guilt from a perceived lack of self control. All of these add up to a very high cost to carry excess weight.

Now that we’ve covered the reasons for reaching your healthy weight, we need to discover what a healthy weight is. One common method for determining your healthy weight range is to use a body mass index (BMI). The CDC website has a calculator to determine your BMI (www.cdc.gov). However, BMI does not take into account how much of your weight is muscle and how much is fat. Another tool is to use waist circumference. Measure just above your hip bones all the way around your waist, holding the tape measure firmly against your skin. For men, waist circumference should not exceed 40 inches and women, unless pregnant, should not exceed 35 inches. To get a full picture of where you are health wise, you should consult a fitness professional to have more accurate tests performed. One accurate but affordable test is electrical impedance, which sends an electrical current through the body and measures the resistance as muscle is a good conductor of electricity but fat is not. While BMI and waist circumference should not be seen as the gold standard for healthy weight measures, they are helpful for establishing a target weight range.

We know now why excess fat is bad for us and what range we’re shooting for, but how do we get there? To lose weight, the basic equation is to eat less and move more. Eating less though doesn’t mean volume-wise but calorie-wise. Begin by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Substitute low fat dairy products for your usual full fat and choose leaner cuts of meat. Choose whole grains over refined carbohydrates whenever possible. Also remember that some foods, while high calorie, have significant health benefits. These include the healthy fats in avocadoes and nuts as well as the fiber in beans. On the flip side, remember that just because they’re healthy they don’t become calorie free. Be sure to enjoy these foods in moderation. As you reduce your calorie intake, remember also to watch your sodium and sugar intake. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, and too much sugar will cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water every day to help support proper functioning of all your body’s systems.

Physical activity is also a key ingredient to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. The government recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity workout, as stated on the CDC website. The best way to get this activity in is to find things you love doing. Take a walk with your husband, ride bikes with your kids, or swim laps at a local pool. If you love dancing, find a class and sign up. Cardio workouts don’t necessarily mean you have to hit a gym. If you enjoy time on the treadmill, then go for it! If not though, you are more likely to stick with your workouts if you do what you love. To fit in even more workout time, follow simple steps to sneak in exercise. These include parking in the furthest spot when running errands, take grocery bags out of the car one at a time, walk to the mailbox instead of driving, and pace around the table while talking on your phone. You’ll be surprised at how many extra steps you can take in a day by making these small changes!

Now that you know why being at your healthy weight is important, what that weight is, and how to reach it, you can jumpstart your efforts to get there. Maybe, with the help of these tips, 2010 will be the year you finally realize your New Year’s resolution to lose weight for good!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Healthy Weight - It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Harvard Publications, “Effects of Obesity and Exercise: Is Obesity a Mental Issue?” Harvard University.

Jones, JC, “Healthy Weight Week January 21-27.” Healthline Networks, Inc.

World Health Organization, “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health.” World Health Organization.

As you charge forward into the New Year and declare that you will be healthier this year, let Ames Walker help by keeping your legs happy and healthy too. Click here to shop our wide selection of Active and Athletic products: http://www.ameswalker.com/active.html

And once again, Happy New Year!

NASCAR Drive done for the season due to Blood Clot

Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 55 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, is done for the rest of the NASCAR season due to a blood clot. He was complaining of pain in his ankle, and at a regular check up, the clot was found.

Michael Waltrip is quoted as saying, “It’s pretty amazing, talking to Brian, looking at Brian, that he can’t race. It just goes to show you how fragile life is at times. He feels perfectly fine. He just had a sore ankle. That regular checkup exposed he had a problem.” (Read full article here: http://ow.ly/pViEP)

Being in the heart of NASCAR country, we here at Ames Walker® hate to hear news like this. Especially when it is something so easily prevented. Vickers will be fine, with plans to be back for the 2014 season, but it is still a very serious issue. Blood clots are silent, and often deadly, attackers that can sneak up on anyone, of any age, at anytime. Even healthy, 29 year old race car drivers.

Here are some tips to help prevent blood clots:

• Wear compression socks and stockings to encourage blood flow from legs. (www.AmesWalker.com)

• Get up and move as much as you can. Don’t sit for more than an hour at a time. Same goes for standing for long periods of time.

• Live healthy; Exercise, watch your weight, don’t smoke, and stay hydrated.

• Elevate your legs from time to time.

• Try to avoid crossing your legs when sitting.

These are just a few simple ideas to keep those legs healthy and we encourage all to follow them!

Get well soon, Brian, and good luck in 2014!

(Source: USA Today)

Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Ames Walker!

What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Although October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year. We encourage you to regularly visit these sites to learn more about breast cancer, breast health, and the latest research developments.

Find out more about the great things that are happening here: http://www.nbcam.org/


We’re doing our part at Ames Walker by offering 15% off all of our Ames Walker Brand Armsleeves and Gauntlets all month long! Hurry and get yours today!

September is Healthy Aging Month!

Think it’s too late to “re-invent” yourself? Think again. According to Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging® Magazine and executive director of Healthy Aging®, it’s never too late to find a new career, a new sport, passion or hobby. Worthington is the creator of September is Healthy Aging® Month, an annual health observance designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. Now in its second decade, Worthington says September is Healthy Aging® Month provides inspiration and practical ideas for adults, ages 50-plus, to improve their physical, mental, social and financial well being.
“Use September as the motivation to take stock of where you’ve been, what you really would like to do if money was no object,” says Worthington. “And try it! Who says you have to do something related to
what you studied in school? Who says, you can’t start your own home business later in life, test you’re your physical prowess, or do something wildly different from anything you’ve done before? Only that person you see in the mirror!”
Why Healthy Aging?
According to Worthington, “We saw a need to draw attention to the myths of aging, to shout out ‘Hey, it’s not too late to take control of your health, it’s never too late to get started on something new.’ Why not think about the positive aspects of aging instead of the stereotypes and the negative aspects?” She says she chose September as a time when many people think about getting started on new tasks after the summer. Drawing on the “back to school” urge embedded in everyone from childhood, the observance month’s activities are designed to encourage
people to rejuvenate and get going on positive measures that can impact the areas of physical, social, financial and mental wellness.
September is Healthy Aging® Month was first introduced when the baby boomers were about to turn 50. “At that time, no one wanted to talk about growing older,” Worthington says. “You know, it was that same ‘60’s attitude – ‘Don’t trust anyone over 30; hell no we won’t go.’ Today as the boomers turn 60 and 65, it’s a different story,” Worthington explains.
“We recognized early on that careful attention to the combination of physical, social, mental and financial fitness was powerful in the pursuit of a positive lifestyle and have built our Healthy Aging® programs around that concept for the government and private sector through this annual observance as well as TV specials, videos, books, printed material, our website and blogs.
“What’s new for the Healthy Aging® campaign this year is the continued growth of our print and digital Healthy Aging® Magazine, now in its fifth issue. We are not about retirement. Nor are we a ‘senior’ magazine filled witharticles about depression, incontinence or organ recitals. We are about vibrant, active, 50-plus people who are taking charge of their lives, following their passion, and who are happily looking forward to what’s next in life.”
To get you started on re-inventing yourself, here are some ideas from the editors of Healthy Aging® Magazine (www.healthyaging.net). Maybe these will help you think outside the box:
10 Tips for Re-Inventing Yourself During September is Healthy Aging Month:
You’re never too old to start at the bottom. Many employers now hire only after they’ve seen the quality of the employee, so an internship is
your opportunity to show off your mature skills. Check for college and department websites that offerdetailed listings. If you’re really lucky, you could end up with a paid internship and, possibly, a full-time job
after graduation. See more tips like this from author Kate Forgach in Healthy Aging® Magazine, www.healthyaging.net.
It’s never too late…Take courses to refocus your career, enhance your skill set and increase your earning power. Finding the balance between work, family and education while pursuing a higher degree may seem overwhelming. Dr. Savitri Dixon-Saxon, associate dean for Walden University’sSchool of Counseling and Social Service, offers this tip:
Choose a focus or specialization that you truly care about.The juggling act will be much more challenging for you if you don’t enjoy your field of study. Choose a focus area you are passionate about. You can pursue a degree online. Walden University is one example.
Visit New Places, Connect, and Give Back. Many travelers today are opting out of the self-indulgent vacation and opting in for the chance to “give back” through a volunteer vacation. These trips are a great way to try something new, fulfill a dream, or experiment living in a different place, for a short or longer time commitment. Volunteer Vacations Across America, (http://www.immersiontraveler.com/) is a good resource with more than 200 trips for volunteering to help people. More resource ideas and links can be found in the Volunteer Vacation article of the September
issue of Healthy Aging® Magazine, www.healthyaging.net.
Older adults getting regular physical exercise are 60% less likely to get dementia. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and releases a protein that strengthens cells and neurons. Dance involves all of the above plus the cerebral activity present in learning and memory. Peggy Buchanan,
director of fitness, aquatics and physical therapy at Front Porch’s Vista del Monte retirement community in Santa Barbara, Calif. Where to find dance classes? Check out these websites for ideas: National Dance Council of America (http://ndca.org/getting-started-in-dance/), Dance Studios USA(http://www.dancestudiosusa.com/), National Arts & Disability Center (UCLA) (http://nadc.ucla.edu/dance.cfm)
Travel is one of the top picks when people are asked what they would do if they had more time. Sometimes the money factor makes that dream fall apart. Here are several travel sites for finding good fares and rates: SmarterTravel.com, Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Priceline.com and Kayak.com. A relatively new one is Jetsetter, http://www.jetsetter.com, “a community of travelers that provides members with insider access, expert knowledge and exclusive deals on the world’s greatest vacations. We curate travel experiences, which means we only recommend places we’ve been, loved and would go to again. Everything else we leave out.”
For a weekend any way. Here’s a good one for the bucket list. Check out Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp (www.RockCamp.com), where mere mortals jam with rock legends, write/record an original song and play live on stage at a major concert venue. Past camps have been held in New York City, Woodstock, and London. This is a great decade gift or corporate event too.
Complete A Landscape, seascape, floral or still life painting in one class. No painting experience necessary. Seek if fine arts peeks you interest. One day classes by Grumbacher, an American manufacturer of art materials for over 100 years, can be found atMichaels, the arts and crafts retailer with locations nationwide. (http://www.michaels.com/Fine-Arts-Class-by-Michaels/Fine-Arts-Class,default,pg.html#)
Try a new sport or pick up on one you left behind in your early days. Check out issue of Healthy Aging Magazine for ideas. What about surfing, hiking or skiing? It’s never too late and there are many locations offering courses, trips, and lessons. Here what passionate people have to say about their sports in Healthy Aging® Magazine, www.healthyaging.net
Make a commitment to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. September is still harvest time in many areas so seek out local farmers markets and buy local produce. Make it a point to try to make foods from scratch… skip the processed foods as much as you can. How much do you need to eat? Check this easy calculator to find out how many fruits and vegetables you need each day, based on your daily calories needs. Details: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/
Travel to the famed wine country this Fall and take a wine tasting course
(http://www.ciachef.edu/california/educational.asp) at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, CA.
Do you have any tips for Healthy Aging? We want to hear them!

Football & Compression

As the football season officially gets into full swing across the nation, we here at Ames Walker are more than excited. We also believe that our compression socks should be a vital part of every football players uniform. Here are 3 great reasons why. http://ow.ly/oAQQ0

Are you ready for some football?! Who’s your favorite team?


It’s that time of year again!
Now through September 9, when you buy 3 of the same Ames Walker® Brand product, you get another one absolutely free! But the savings don’t stop! Buy 6, get 2 free! Buy 9, get 3 free! You can’t lose! Hurry over now to start shopping!
*Applies to Ames Walker® products only. List the size and color of the free item you are requesting in the notes section of your order. Do not add to cart. You must purchase 3 of the same Ames Walker® brand style in order to qualify. If no additional size and color is specified in the notes, we will use our best judgement and it will be at our discretion.

It’s that time of year again!

Now through September 9, when you buy 3 of the same Ames Walker® Brand product, you get another one absolutely free! But the savings don’t stop! Buy 6, get 2 free! Buy 9, get 3 free! You can’t lose! Hurry over now to start shopping!


*Applies to Ames Walker® products only. List the size and color of the free item you are requesting in the notes section of your order. Do not add to cart. You must purchase 3 of the same Ames Walker® brand style in order to qualify. If no additional size and color is specified in the notes, we will use our best judgement and it will be at our discretion.

Happy National Tell a Joke Day!

In honor of National Tell a Joke Day 2013, here is a jewel of our own!

Please, please try to hold your applause!

Did you know?

The medical abbreviation “mmHg” stands for “millimeters of Mercury”, which is a unit of measurement for pressure. It’s the same unit of measure when you take your blood pressure. Compression stockings use a range for how much pressure it provides because the compression changes depending on your size.

The more you know! We’ll be here all week!

Therapeutic Shoe Sale!

Therapeutic shoes come in many shapes and styles, so there’s something for everyone! And they’re great for your feet too! Especially for Diabetics in particular.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition, and those suffering from this disease should understand the necessity and benefits of wearing therapeutic shoes. Diabetics are more susceptible to foot problems which have serious consequences if left untreated. Wearing therapeutic shoes is an effective method to lessen the risks.

  1. Prevent Foot Ulcers. Developing foot ulcers and sores on the feet is a common problem for diabetics. Ulcers and sores on the feet may lead to infections which are difficult for diabetics to overcome. Wearing diabetic shoes reduces the likelihood of this concern by providing proper protection for the feet.
  2. Increase Blood Circulation. Shoes that fit improperly may restrict blood circulation in the feet, which is already a concern of those suffering from diabetes. Wearing therapeutic shoes insures proper ventilation, space and support for the feet. This helps eliminate the possibility of shoes being too tight which may impede blood circulation.
  3. Relieve Pain. There is nothing worse than aching feet. Wearing therapeutic shoes which are especially designed for each diabetic patient is the best solution to relieve feet pain. The shoes are comfortable and should be worn everyday. They have adjustable straps and easily accommodate swollen feet, which often occur in diabetics.

The decision to wear therapeutic shoes is an essential step to maintaining health for diabetics. Additionally, diabetics should take proper care of their feet and toenails by keeping the feet clean and carefully examining them each day. Be aware of any bruises, cuts or blisters and keep your doctor informed.  Annual foot examinations by a healthcare provider are also recommended because failure to properly care for the feet could lead to amputation.

Save on your pair today!

How often should you replace your compression garments?

Graduated compression hosiery and socks will loosen over time with wear and wash causing the compression levels in your hosiery to decrease. This makes them ineffective over time. At Ames Walker®, we recommend replacing your compression garments every 4-6 months to ensure you are getting the most accurate compression for your needs. We value you as a customer and we value your health!