By David Martin

By using these last few weeks of cold weather to take charge of having your best legs, you’re sure to have an active, successful spring and summer sports season. You’re also more likely to look, feel and play your best when it’s time to pull out the golf shorts and tennis skirts.

Venous health issues are not just about zapping those embarrassing varicose or spider veins because they make us look older than we are. There are also valid health reasons to have a diagnostic ultrasound, especially for competitive athletes.

Oftentimes people wait until “irregular” veins are causing real pain to take care of them, but we also recommend that they call a venous health expert any time there is concern about:

• Tired legs
• Heavy legs
• Burning, itching or tingling skin on the legs
• Swelling
• Restless legs

Many athletes don’t realize their legs were feeling heavy, or even hurting, until after they have been through the screening process and have had treatment. (Most treatments are covered by insurance.) Without heavy legs dragging them down on the golf course, tennis court, dance floor or hiking trail, many weekend warriors are better able to compete at a higher level, in addition to gaining greater enjoyment of life and the activities they love.

Taking care of vein health now helps make sure you’ll be on your “A” game in warm weather and beyond, so you keep the competitive edge of having great legs for life!

David Martin, CEO/President In 2002, David Martin, RN, CRNFA founded VEININNOVATIONS as the first facility of its kind in Atlanta to offer every available technique for the treatment of venous insufficiency and varicose/spider veins. A decade later, they are widely regarded as the leader in office-based treatment of venous disease.

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DON’T rely on pills for nutrition. Pills cannot substitute for a whole food. Foods contain much more than just vitamins and minerals. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring substances found in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains that may offer defenses against cancer.

DO drink water. You might think it is bland compared with soft drinks and coffee, but the cells in your body don’t think so. For added flavor, try adding fresh fruits, cucumber slices or lemon and lime wedges to ice-cold water.

DO eat a “mixed” breakfast. Include foods containing a little carbohydrate, a little protein and a little fat. For example, eggs and a bowl of fruit or a protein shake with soy milk and a banana includes three essential macronutrients, provides energy and tastes good too.

DON’T eat sugary foods in the morning. A burst of refined sugar on an empty stomach will trigger a flood of insulin that suppresses the immune system and feeds any abnormal cells (which exist in everyone’s body).

DO eat less fat. The average American eats the equivalent of a stick of margarine a day, most of which is hidden in processed foods. However, because some fat is necessary, try to increase your consumption of healthier fats such as plant oils (olive oil, canola oil, walnuts and flaxseed).

DON’T eat daily amounts of corn oil and soybean oil, especially if it’s hydrogenated (check food labels). These fats are immune-suppressive, and researchers are linking hydrogenated fats to increased free radicals, which are destructive to cells. For the same reason, butter is a better choice than margarine.

DO increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps maintain the health of your colon. Check food labels for high-quality fiber ingredients such as psyllium seed, psyllium husk, oat bran, mucilages, gums and pectin. Remember to drink more water while increasing fiber intake.

DO eat nutrient-dense foods every day. Try to regularly consume yogurt, orange vegetables (carrots, squash and sweet potatoes), vegetables in the cabbage family, tomatoes, citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. Remember, go for color- the deeper the color of a fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients it provides.

-Courtesy of Crystal Langlois, RD, CSO, LD, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Newnan, GA, www.cancercenter.com

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Atlanta’s doctors provide answers to all your medical questions.

One Best Self reader asked: I have occasional knee pain when I’m active. Should I see a doctor for an evaluation?

Daniel Nicholson, MD of Perimeter Orthopaedics, P.C. says: Knee pain is a very common complaint. The most important symptom to look for is swelling within the knee. An injury to the structures of the knee will lead to fluid accumulation within the joint known as an effusion.

Other important symptoms to look for include mechanical complaints such as popping or clicking, a feeling of instability or a change in range of motion. These symptoms may indicate an injury which could be exacerbated by continued activity and should be evaluated by a physician.

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If you want to learn more about what services would be good for your skin, you may want to try the Image Pro II.

This imaging system looks deep into the layers of the skin to assess treatments that may be appropriate for your skin.

How does it work?

  • Uses 3D Spectral Imaging
  • Targeted Complexion Analysis
  • Triple Light Source Analysis

What is assessed during the imaging process?

  • The condition of the pores
  • The wrinkles on the skin’s surface
  • The skin’s pigmentation and any discoloration
  • The amount of Sebum (oil) the skin produces

—Courtesy of Nirvana Med Spa, www.nirvanalasercentre.com

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women just like youShock isn’t a strong enough word to describe the emotion that rushed through Sabrina Sexton when she discovered she was the winner of the “Women Just Like You” contest.

The contest, which was sponsored by BOTOX Cosmetic and People Magazine, was created to recognize women who are making a difference at home, in their community and for themselves.

Sexton was unknowingly nominated for the contest by a friend and became one of five winners chosen from more than 2,200 entries. “My friend nominated me because I’m a caregiver for my partially disabled mother,” explains Sexton, who works for the American Cancer Society. “We flew to New York and received star treatment. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget! Our photos and stories were featured in a recent issue of People Magazine.”

Sexton began her philanthropic work through her photography hobby. “When I started raising funds to support the fight to end cancer, incorporating those hobbies into my fundraising just seemed like a natural thing for me to do,” she says. She also uses her passion for baking to raise money for local charities such as Meals on Wheels Atlanta.

“In addition to their meals service, they support a network of Fulton County neighborhood senior centers. My mom goes to one of them, and it’s made such a difference in her quality of life,” Sexton says. “I also try to support the arts, because I feel like we all need beauty, inspiration and provocation in our lives.”

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Put your running shoes on and get ready for the 2013 Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, March 17. Runners will gather at Centennial Olympic Park starting at 7 a.m. for a race that goes through our city’s historic neighborhoods and beautiful parks.

Not running? You can still cheer on participants from the sidelines! Join the Atlanta lululemon community at the corner of North and North Avenue from 7 to 10 a.m. They will be easy to spot, dressed in green and cheering like maniacs!

www.georgiamarathon.com

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Sometimes spider veins or bulging veins can make wearing shorts and skirts a bit embarrassing.

Luckily, there are a variety of vein treatments – both surgical and non-surgical – to get rid of or reduce unsightly veins.

Whatever type of veins you are having issues with, you should see an expert so they can determine the best treatment for you.
See our Atlanta experts for a list of vein experts in the city.

 

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Keep legs limber and decrease muscle tension by incorporating stretching into your routine. Dr. Alan H. Bragman, DC recommends an effective method of stretching called “active isolated stretching” (AIS), which incorporates an eight-foot length of nylon rope.

In AIS, you don’t hold a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds as you would in traditional stretching. Instead, you use the rope to gently assist you in pulling the muscles.

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Bring a little ease back into your schedule with Baked. This eatery is a community-oriented restaurant that makes it easy for health-conscious diners to grab a delicious meal on-the-go. The daily changing menu at this family-friendly restaurant offers a wide variety of fresh, preservative-free food to satisfy any palate. Some of the local favorites include shrimp and grits, baked tilapia and a chef’s vegetarian option. They also offer catering for special events.

1111 Johnson Ferry Road, Ste. 150, Marietta, GA, (770) 612-2533, www.bakeithappen.com

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If you are ready to unleash your inner writer and delve into the art of storytelling, then make sure to check out the Creating Picture Books Workshop at Binders.

Learn the rules of a good critique, gain insight into the children’s publishing industry and have your manuscript evaluated.

This workshop will be led by children’s book author Elizabeth Dulemba. The unique class will take place March 15 to 17 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  $375
Details: 3330 Piedmont Road, Ste. 18, Atlanta, GA, (404) 237-6331, www.bindersart.com

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