Mothers Day Gift Guide + Giveaway

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. We saved you the trouble of rushing out to the nearest store to find that perfect gift for mom – this year, it’s just one click away! Whether your mom is a fitness fanatic, wanderlust, fashion lover, or loves to kick back and relax, we have some great gift ideas all under $50!

Moms are always going 100 miles per hour. Talk her into slowing down and taking some time for herself to relax on Mother’s Day weekend. Take care of the chores, cook her dinner or even serve her breakfast in bed. Make her feel as special as you know she is. Pick up a pair of slippers, a candle, some bath salts and body lotion to create a sweet and practical spa gift from the family. Pro tip: polish off the spa gift set with a fresh bouquet of her favorite flowers.

NEOM Organics Scented Candle
$21 – selfridges.com

Fresh Bouquet Of Flowers
$13 – houseology.com

Kusmi Rose Green Tea Bags
bloomingdales.com

If your mom is always on the go, here are some great travel accessories for her. Pick out a nice backpack or coffee mug to take on her next vacation. A travel sized beauty set is a fast and easy gift she will always love and use. When you’re constantly on the move, coffee is a must! Get your mom a personalized or funny spill-proof travel mug to keep her going while running errands or traveling. Another idea is to give her something to look forward to and plan a nice getaway for you and your mom. No matter what the destination is, your mom can always use a pair of travel compression socks to prevent fatigue, swelling and blood clots (DVT) while traveling.

Drawstring Backpack
$25 – etsy.com

If your mom is a die-hard runner or loves hitting the gym, get her her own kettlebell or dumbbells. You can even get her a nice gym bag to throw all her gear in. You could also sign her up for that yoga or spinning class she’s been talking about. If your mom is fitness and fashion-focused, browse some cute fitness accessories that she can wear during her next workout, such as weightlifting gloves or a sweat headband. If you really want to impress her, choose a pair of athletic compression socks or leg sleeves to enhance athletic performance, shorten muscle recovery and prevent injury like shin splints.

Sweaty Bands Elastic Headband
$14 – nordstrom.com

Allegro Athletic Recovery Socks
brightlifedirect.com

If your mom is a trendsetter, get her a makeup or beauty set from her favorite store. To keep her legs energized, healthy and ache-free, get your mom a pair of compression stockings, available in a wide variety of fabrics, styles, colors and sizes to find the perfect look for her wardrobe. Take it a step further and complete the look with a matching phone case! Keep it simple yet personal with custom jewelry or pick up that necklace she’s been eyeing.

Anne Klein Watch
jomashop.com

Enter to win a $250 gift card for Mother’s Day. Mom’s don’t be shy, enter for yourself! You know you deserve it. ; ) Enter by commenting below, following us or sharing this post on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @supportsocks. Entry ends on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at midnight. The winner will be announced the next day, so make sure you check your email to claim your prize. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Compression Socks for Athletes

TheraSport Athletic Compression Socks

A growing trend among competitive athletes is the use of compression socks to help improve performance. Compression therapy is a hot topic in sports media right now as a growing number of triathletes, marathon runners and professional sport athletes are trying compression socks to improve their performance and recovery.

However, compression socks aren’t just for the professionals. Tons of weekend warriors and gym-goers swear by them. Whether you wear compression during your workout to keep your legs energized, afterwards to promote muscle recovery, or even while traveling, athletes are making graduated compression socks part of their everyday attire.

A number of sock manufacturers are claiming to offer “compression” socks for athletic use. Unfortunately, many of these so-called “compression” socks do not have true graduated compression. Instead, they may feature a tight foot band, bright colors or vertical stripes, plus a wide variety of other useless features meant to imply foot or leg support. Make sure to look for a compression level, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) when you’re buying compression socks. Compression socks should also be knee high length to get full benefits of compression.

Compression Socks For Performance

Athletic compression socks are designed to improve circulation, reduce fatigue and prevent injury like shin splints. For performance, athletes tend to wear 20-30 mmHg compression socks for longer endurance and to support muscles and ligaments. Many athletic performance socks are made from moisture-wicking fabric to keep your feet cool and dry. Socks that are woven with copper or silver are anti-microbial to prevent odor and bacteria so your feet smell fresh after your workout.

Here are some of our favorite athletic performance socks:

Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Compression SocksThe Sigvaris Outdoor Performance Sock is made with Australian Merino wool, which is anti-microbial, itch-free and absorbs moisture to keep your feet dry while exercising. Despite popular belief, compression socks made with wool are very soft and not only keep your legs warm in the colder months, but will also keep your legs cool in the summer too!

 

Jobst Sport Compression SocksJobst Sport Compression Socks for men and women are lightweight, breathable and soft. These socks also provide moisture control and help to prevent odor to keep your legs fresh and comfortable. Made with a padded foot to absorb impact, these socks are especially great for runners.

 

 

TheraSport Compression Leg SleevesIf you’re looking for lots of color options, the TheraSport Performance Compression Socks are designed with moisture-wicking, anti-microbial fabric and features a cushioned heel and foot to reduce impact. These socks are made for men and women for maximum endurance and energy. TheraSport Compression is also available in calf sleeves.

 

Compression Socks For Recovery

After a grueling workout, put on a pair of 15-20 mmHg compression socks to flush out lactic acid from your muscles. This speeds up muscle recovery and helps to reduce fatigue and swelling. After a marathon or tough gym workout, compression socks will have your legs feeling great the very next day. Wear compression socks for at least a couple of hours after physical activity, but do not sleep in compression socks unless your doctor tells you otherwise – not all compression garments are safe to sleep in.

Here are some of our favorite compression socks for recovery:

Allegro Recovery Compression Socks in BlackThe Allegro Athletic Recovery Sock is one of our best selling athletic socks. Designed for men and women in 4 colors from a super soft material that will sooth your legs and make them feel better in no time – even after a tough workout! These socks feature a ribbed pattern so you can wear them to work or while running errands for continued recovery.

 

 

TheraSport Athletic Compression SocksTheraSport also makes an Athletic Recovery Sock and Recovery Leg Sleeves for men and women. These come in a variety of colors and provide graduated compression to increase circulation and reduce inflammation to help your muscles heal faster.

 

Sigvaris Recovery Compression Socks
Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Socks are made with DriRelease and FreshGuard to eliminate odor and moisture. These compression socks are great to wear during your workout or afterwards to relieve delayed muscle soreness. Designed for men and and women to flush out lactic acid to reduce fatigue and swelling.

 

 

Athletic Leg Sleeves

Sigvaris Performance Leg SleevesCalf sleeves are also great to wear while exercising if you want to wear your favorite pair of ankle socks or shoes. Compression leg sleeves come in a variety of colors and patterns in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg. These are also great to wear everyday with a pair of open toe shoes or flip flops for continued recovery. Many athletes wear calf sleeves while working out to stabilize and support muscles and to prevent shin splints.

Who can benefit from athletic compression socks?

Performance socks and sleeves are great for marathons, triathlons, biking, golfing, crossfit, and working out at the gym. Compression socks also benefit skiers and snowboarders who are on the slopes for long days. A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that 86% of participants reported NO muscle fatigue and soreness after extended strenuous activity when they wore compression socks, compared to only 7% that felt no muscle fatigue after wearing regular socks.

Athletic compression socks are the new fitness essential for everyone from dedicated competitors to the occasional exerciser. Whether you want to get in shape or are looking to gain a competitive edge, compression will help you surpass your fitness goals in no time.

Check out BrightLife Go for more athletic compression socks and sleeves.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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BrightLife New Year’s Resolutions!

The end of every year is a time for reflection. As we look back, we set new goals for the next year of things we want to change or improve. This year, we asked the BrightLife family what their resolutions are. Take a look:

Resolution 1:

My resolution is to be able to take on leg day at the gym and actually be able to walk the next day…without limping or feeling like my legs are Jello. TheraSport Recovery Socks are the key to success here.

resolution

Resolution 2:

It’s time to stop kidding myself. My real resolution is to embrace the amount of time I spend on the internet. Sitting there for hours isn’t as bad if I’m wearing compression socks…right??

Resolution

Resolution 3:

My resolution is to wear jeans less often! Good thing I can stock up on Allegro sheers & stockings during the January Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale! 🙂

new year resolution joke

Resolution 4:

My resolution is to be more bold and outgoing this year. Check out these hot new colors! I’m really going to stand out at the gym wearing these Sigvaris Performance Calf Sleeves. The compression helps to enhance performance and speed up recovery, so I can lap all the other “Resolutioners” at the gym.

Sigvaris 412 Compression Calf Sleeves - BrightLife Direct

Resolution 5:

My resolution is to stop spending time sorting laundry by color, what’s machine washable vs. hand washable etc. and to start living life on the edge and just throw it all in. Good thing Juzo is machine washable!

New Years Resolution

Resolution 6:

LOSE WEIGHT. But seriously, just need the time/energy. I have the compression!

Calvin and Hobbs

Resolution 7:

Instead of dreading traveling, my resolution is to start looking forward to new adventures. Between the hassle of flying and the stress of driving in traffic, there’s a lot of time spent sitting around. It’s time to start traveling comfortably and in style. These Sockwell compression socks are a must have!

Sockwell On the Spot Compression Socks

Resolution 8:

This year, I’m going to take it upon myself to spend more time in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. Now, this could take all year, so there’s going to be a lot of standing involved. Compression socks anyone?

Funny New Year Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to stick to it?

Holiday Gift Guide 2015!

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas right around the corner, here are some ideas to start crossing people off of your list. Let’s start with the guys.

Holiday Gift Guide For Men!

If you’re drawing a blank on what to get your male friends and family members, think about useful and functional presents. Guys tend to like practical gifts, so look for something they can use often. H&M has a lot of great shirts and jackets at great prices right now. You could also look for a nice bag or wallet to keep his things organized. If your man tends to run on the late side, get him a watch as a funny way to help him keep track of the time.

Now that “No-Shave November” is over, it’s time to break out the razor! Celebrate by getting him a nice grooming set. You can find these at Target, Walmart or your local mall. Another great must-have item this season is a comfy, warm hat. They even make hats with speakers in them now!

Compression socks are great for any guy who travels, exercises or for someone who sits or stands for long periods of time. They help to reduce leg fatigue and blood clots, which is important to keep him happy and healthy. The socks shown above are made by Sockwell. This brand is great for casual wear. Compression socks are available in tons of styles, fabrics and colors for any occasion. Comfort is everything these days, so make sure he has a comfortable pair of boots during the winter months!

Get the look:

1. H&M Parka / 2. H&M Shirt / 3. H&M Button Down Shirt / 4. Target Gift Card / 5. Beats Headphones / 6. Slouchy Hat / 7. August Steiner Stainless Steel Watch / 8. Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg Compression Sock / 9. H&M Leather Messenger Bag / 10. H&M Boots / 11. Buxton Men’s Grooming Set

 

If the men on your shopping list love technology or STAR WARS, here are some of our favorite picks:

Gifts for the Techy

If you have friends or family who are anxiously awaiting the new Star Wars movie, get them a Darth Vader toaster, Death Star cutting board or an R2D2 USB Flash Drive. For the cold commute to work this winter, pick him up a pair of driving gloves or a scarf. You can’t go wrong with sunglasses – they are a necessity in any season. Compression socks are also a must to keep his legs energized all day long and eliminate the feeling of tired, achy legs. Those commutes can be pretty lengthy and let’s face it – nobody likes cramps!

For your man on the go, a portable charger is a great idea so he can charge his phone or any other USB-charging device from anywhere. You can also pick him up a briefcase or backpack to carry around his new gadgets! If you’re looking for some other technology gift ideas, try a nice camera for that vacation you’ve been hinting at, wireless bluetooth speakers or an fitness armband to hold his phone while working out.

Get the look:

 

Now for the ladies. If you are completely stumped on what to get the special woman in your life, try some spa-inspired gifts. Here are our favorite products to help her relax after a long day.

Gifts for Her

For your leading lady, pamper her with the beauty essentials – makeup, nail polish, body lotion, bubble bath and chapstick. These gifts are great for her friends too! A lot of stores offer gift baskets with different kinds of foods and small items that are tailored towards different interests. These are easy last minute gifts as well.

For a more sentimental gift, pick out a picture frame and put an image of your favorite memory with her in it. Or, you can fill the frame with a picture of a future trip to take together. You can even get her a passport case to go with it! You can also pick up a nicely scented candle and dinner for a relaxing evening at home.

Cold weather items like scarves, hats and gloves are nice generic but meaningful gifts. To me, a great gift is something people will actually use and not just shove to the back of their closet. For women who frequently work out, travel, or for those who sit or stand for long periods of time at work, compression socks are a must. The Sockwell Women’s Chevron Compression Socks shown above increase circulation to prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Plus, they make her legs feel amazing, even after a long day on her feet. Finally, Sockwell provides a fashionable and functional solution to the health and beauty dilemma.

Lastly – Remember, you can never go wrong with jewelry.

Get the look:

 

SHOP TRAVEL SOCKS

 

Workout Essentials – TheraSport, Solidea and Dr. Comfort

As the weather starts to cool off, check out your ultimate workout guide to get you through the Fall without skipping workouts.

BLD Workout Essentials
Workout Essentials featuring:

First things first, make yourself a killer gym playlist filled with all of your favorite songs. Nothing gets you motivated like music! Get yourself a pair of comfortable headphones. The B&O Play headphones pictured feature a detachable cord, microphone and great sound quality. If you and your workout buddy both have these headphones, you can use the daisy chain functionality to link your headphones so you’re both listening to the same thing.

Another great piece of technology to help meet your fitness goals is the Everlast Sport Watch. This high-tech bracelet keeps track of calories burned, steps taken and how many miles you walk or run each day. The Everlast Sport Watch is a great way to see how much progress you have made. It even tells you the time so you can stay on track.

When you get to the gym, make sure to stretch. Using a foam roller is ideal to target specific muscles to work out kinks. It also works well for physical therapy, yoga balance and strength training. During your workout, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. The Camelbak water bottle featured in this guide has a loop to clip it to your bag or carry with your finger so you don’t misplace it at the gym. This durable bottle is spill-proof so you never have to worry about it leaking. The Camelbak water bottle is made BPA free and is available in a large variety of colors.

Now for the most important workout essentials: compression socks. The new TheraSport Athletic Performance Sock provides 20-30mmHg graduated compression to improve circulation to energize your legs. Once you put these on, you’ll finish your workout strong. These socks will have you feeling better than ever, even after pushing yourself through a grueling workout. Check out this TheraSport product review on the and see for yourself! These socks are made with tons of cushioning to support your feet and reduce impact. TheraSport socks are anti-microbial to prevent odor and are made with moisture-wicking fibers to keep your feet cool and dry. After your workout, slip on TheraSport Athletic Recovery Socks to reduce fatigue and heal faster than ever.

The only thing that’s worse than sore legs is sore feet. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that don’t rub or irritate your feet. Nothing’s harder than trying to run with a blister! Our recommendation is the Dr. Comfort Women’s Athletic Refresh Shoe. These lightweight shoes are great for people with sensitive feet. These shoes support side-to-side movement unlike regular running shoes, making them ideal for kickboxing, Zumba, weight training and stretching. Choose from a variety of colors and two different lace options. They even come with a gel shoe insert for maximum comfort.

Say goodbye to cellulite! Last but not least, the Solidea Strong Advanced Micro Massage Compression Bike Short is made with a breathable fabric that reduces bacteria and odor to keep your skin clean, dry and healthy. This bike short smooths the silhouette helping to shape mid-thighs and to reduce scar formation, fibrosis and the ever so dreaded cellulite. It also helps to sooth symptoms of lymphedema, edema and swelling by using 3D wave knit fabric to stimulate the lymphatic system. As you move, the fabric expands and contracts creating a massage affect.

SHOP WORKOUT GEAR:

SHOP ALL ATHLETIC COMPRESSION SOCKS

The US National Field Hockey Team Wears Compression Socks!

WNT 14_15 poster

The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team is one of the most hard working teams out there, training twice a day for five days a week. This year, they are utilizing athletic compression socks to get a competitive advantage. These socks provide medical grade compression to help prevent leg and ankle injury, reduce the time it takes to recover and to increase circulation to keep legs feeling energized and fresh.

Dave Hamilton, the USA Field Hockey director for performance science explains that these are not your average socks; “They are individually knitted using measurements obtained from a 3 dimensional scan of both legs.” The idea is to help athletes train more effectively. Unlike most compression socks, the ones the U.S. National Team wear come complete with an electrical stimulation device (firefly) that stimulates the body’s natural calf pump.

Compression garments without all the bells and whistles still give athletes a competitive advantage. Professional sports players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are widely known for their use of compression garments. Compression socks and sleeves are designed to increase blood flow to enhance performance. For the most part you’ll find that athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by wearing compression socks post workout to flush out lactic acid from the muscles, which speeds up recovery. Most athletes who use compression for recovery are able to perform at the same level of intensity within a day or two.

Athletic compression socks help athletes reach their full potential without experiencing muscle soreness afterwards. Both the Men’s and Women’s National Field Hockey Teams have been wearing compression socks for years. Compression socks are becoming more and more popular in the sports world with good reason. Whether you want to run farther, train harder or recover faster, athletic compression socks can help you achieve your goals.

SHOP ATHLETIC COMPRESSION SOCKS

Looking for flashy athletic compression socks? Check out BrightLife GoS14_Campaign_Urban_Run_Underpass_RGB-smaller

Introducing…OrthoSleeve!

If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis Pain, Patellar or Achilles Tendonitis, you’re going to love OrthoSleeve. These products aid in recovery, relieve pain, reduce swelling, provide support and improve circulation using Compression Zone Technology and medical-grade orthopedic support. Made from a lightweight fabric that is easy to take on and off, OrthoSleeve will have you feeling comfortable in no time. The OrthoSleeve line consists of products that help you recover after surgery or a sports injury.

FS6-ZoneGraphic

To better understand Compression Zone Technology, check out the diagram above of the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve. Both the Foot and Calf Sleeve incorporate six zones that vary in the level of compression to most effectively provide muscle support and improve circulation. The first zone uses light compression to prevent pinching or binding for maximum comfort. The second zone provides support and helps to increase circulation to speed up recovery by removing lactic acid. The third zone gently stretches the plantar fascia with firm pressure. The fourth zone features a shaped-to-fit design, provides moderate compression and prevents pinching as you move your foot. The fifth zone also provides firm compression to support the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia while further enhancing circulation. The final zone features light compression to keep you comfortable with a wide-knit band that’s non-binding and won’t pinch you.

Black FS6The FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve is one of the most popular sports braces available. It provides graduated compression and support for the arch, foot and ankle using Compression Zone Technology. This foot sleeve helps to relieve pain and swelling as well as improve circulation to help you recover faster. This product is ideal if you have Plantar Fasciitis, chronic arch or heel pain, Achilles Tendonitis, swelling or heel spurs. The medical-grade compression also helps to prevent plantar fasciitis flare-ups. You can wear the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve overnight or during the day under your normal socks and shoes. It is made with a lightweight, breathable moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you comfortable and dry. Designed for men and women in Natural, Black and White in sizes Small to XX-Large.

orthosleeve-CS6-natural-largeThe OrthoSleeve CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve also provides medical-grade compression using the unique Compression Zone Technology to provide relief for those with venous insufficiency, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, sore calf muscles, cramping or Restless Leg Syndrome. This Calf Sleeve improves circulation, aids recovery and provides relief for tired, achy legs. The CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve is safe to wear at night and is designed for men and women. It is available in sizes Small to Large in Natural, Black and White.

orthosleeve-foot-gym-1-largeIf you have Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis or other foot pain, The Foot Gym can help you strengthen your foot, ankle and calf as well as aid in a speedy recovery after an injury or surgery. This clever device incorporates seven exercises including toe curls, toe extensions, calf raises/calf stretch, dorsiflexion, plantar fascia stretch as well as a “ice or heat” removable massage roller to massage, strengthen and stretch your muscles. The Foot Gym comes with a non-slip antimicrobial foot pad, three resistance bands (light, moderate and firm), and has a storage area underneath the device. Chiropractors, Trainers, Orthopedic Surgeons, Physical Therapists, Podiatrists, Professional Sports Teams and Olympic Athletes have all reviewed and tested The Foot Gym. To see it in action, click here.

More OrthoSleeve products are coming soon! Check our blog for the latest updates.

SHOP ORTHOSLEEVE

Beat the Heat with these Summer Health Tips

 

It is important to take care of your body, especially in the warmer months. Whether you’re heading to the pool, going camping or getting some exercise outside, we have tons of tips to keep you healthy and comfortable all summer long. Plus, check out some of the best skin care products and how to stay cool in the hottest weather.

The Basics

  1. Hydrate! The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to regulate its temperature.
  2. Wear loose clothing to avoid overheating and to make you more comfortable.
  3. Avoid salty foods to prevent dehydration and swelling.
  4. Skin care is important! Make sure to moisturize your skin multiple times a day.
  5. Wear compression stockings while traveling and take frequent breaks on long trips to walk around.
  6. Stay in the shade as much as possible and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Skin Care

During the summer months, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and moisturize frequently. If you have lymphedema, getting sunburn can damage your lymphatic system, resulting in overly sensitive skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen before heading out, but try to avoid applying it to areas covered by your compression garment. Suntan lotion can cause the material to deteriorate faster and can irritate the skin underneath the garment. You should also put on bug spray to avoid infections, cuts and discomfort. Try to use natural bug spray to eliminate unwanted chemicals such as DEET on your skin. If you do get bit, make sure to carefully wash and dry the area and apply a hydrocortisone cream.

“If you are going camping or hiking, be sure to take along a specialized first aid kit. The kit should include alcohol wipes to clean off any skin break, antibiotic cream for application on the skin, and bandages to protect the area.” – National Lymphatic Network

If you have dry or cracked skin, try using Remedy Skin Repair Cream. It is non-allergenic and great for those with diabetes or sensitive skin. If you are looking for a cream that won’t clog your pores, isn’t greasy and can be used with compression garments, try the Cutimed ACUTE Cream Mouse to moisturize your skin. It is perfect for people with diabetes, lymphedema or those with damaged skin. It is available in three different strengths, depending on what you need. For an everyday lotion that is also safe for compression garments, apply Medi Day Gel. This fast absorbing gel makes it easier to get your compression stockings on without the greasy residue.

Comfort is Key

During the summer, make sure to wear loose clothing to stay cool and to avoid restricting the flow of your lymphatic system. One of the most important things when you’re out in the sun is to wear comfortable shoes. Check out the new Dr. Comfort summer shoes for men and women. They are great for those with diabetes, plantar fasciitis or sensitive feet. They provide additional cushioning and shock absorption to keep you comfortably on your feet all day long. Nothing’s worse than tired feet halfway through the day!

Summer is one the best times for traveling, but it can also be the most uncomfortable. Whether you are flying, driving or traveling by train, make sure to wear your compression stockings! Sitting for long periods of time is bad for circulation and can lead to fatigue, swelling and more serious complications. If you are driving, make sure to use the air conditioning and stop as much as possible to get out and stretch. If you have lymphedema, try to keep your affected limb as elevated as possible. If you take a plane, the lower air pressure can aggravate lymphedema. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, try to get an aisle seat so you have more leg room and can get up to walk around more frequently without the difficulty. If you have lymphedema in your arms, make sure to carry a light carry-on or get a rolling suitcase to avoid heavy lifting. Again, make sure to stay hydrated while traveling!

How to Keep Your Cool in the Summer

If you have lymphedema, you know the importance of staying cool. When you start to feel overheated, try taking a cool shower and elevate the affected limb in an air conditioned place. You can also wrap the limb in a cold, wet towel and elevate it as well. To avoid getting your compression garment wet, the National Lymphatic Network suggests putting a plastic bag between the garment and the wet towel. This avoids skin irritation and damage to the garment. If you have upper extremity lymphedema, check out Lymphedivas. These fashionable compression armsleeves are made with moisture wicking fabric to keep your arm cool and dry. They are lightweight and are infused with aloe vera to soften and moisturize your skin. They are latex and silicone free, and made in America. To stay cool with compression socks, thigh highs or pantyhose, try an open toe stocking. This style is great to wear with sandals or other summer shoes.

It is also important to wash your compression garments daily, especially in the summer. Frequent washing is better for compression stockings because it helps to maintain its effectiveness and prolongs the garments lifespan. Regularly washing compression garments also helps to get rid of dirt and oils that can reduce the effectiveness of the garment and avoids bacteria that can cause skin irritation or other complications. Plus, lotions that aren’t safe for compression can cause the fabric to deteriorate faster.

Diet

Eating healthy is important for more reasons than getting the perfect “beach body.” During the summer, it is vital to avoid salty foods because they can lead to swelling, water retention and bloating. Instead of grabbing a soda and chips, snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts. Make sure to get lots of protein and to eat a big, balanced breakfast to keep your energy up all day long. Avoid foods with lots of carbohydrates and sugar to keep you from craving sweets and junk food. Eat 3-5 small meals throughout the day and make sure you’re not hungry. When you don’t eat enough, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and can lead to fainting, dizziness, exhaustion and fatigue. Most importantly, drink lots of water to give your body the oxygen it needs. Dehydration can cause you to feel overheated, so stay cool with a nice, refreshing glass of water.

Exercise

The summertime is great for exercising and playing sports, but it is important to take it easy. Physical activities you do in the winter won’t affect you as much as they do in the summer because of the heat. Even though you typically run 5 miles in the winter, you may not be able to run as far in the summer. The heat can cause your lymphatic system to “overload”, which is why many people with lymphedema dread the summer months. However, the heat doesn’t have to prevent you from going outside and enjoying yourself, you just have to be more careful. Make sure to exercise for a shorter amount of time and to take a lot of breaks. If your arm or leg starts to ache, hurt or feel irritated in any way, go inside to cool down and elevate the affected limb. This is a sign that your lymphatic system is overloaded.

Swimming is recommended for those with lymphedema. Make sure to moisturize after swimming in the pool to avoid dry skin. Once you are out of the water, remember to put your compression garment or bandages back on as soon as possible. You can use an old garment if you want to swim with one on. Remember to rinse off after swimming and dry completely to avoid infection and skin irritation. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, make sure to wear shoes at the pool whenever you’re not in the water to avoid bacteria or getting cuts or scratches that could get infected. If you have a cut or open wound, it is best to avoid swimming until after it has healed.

Resources

Cool Tips For A Hot Summer – NLN

How to Wear Compression in the Summer – RejuvaHealth

4 Tips To Get Your Legs Ready For Summer

Protect Your Skin From the Sun – American Cancer Society

Diabetes and Summer Safety Tips

Sigvaris Hypoallergenic Skin & Foot Cream

7 Critical Precautions for Summer if You Have Diabetes

How to Prevent Skin Cancer – American Cancer Society

Jobst ActiveWear and Casual Updates

New sizes for wide calves
Jobst ActiveWear support socks for men and women have been a huge success from the day they were introduced.  ActiveWear features a fully cushioned foot, comfort knee band, and seamless toe box.  Now Jobst has added two new full-calf sizes in all compression levels.  Designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24″, Large Full-Calf and X-Large Full-Calf are great additions to this popular sport sock.

Jobst Casual now in navy
The Jobst Casual sock for men is now available in navy as well as khaki and black.  Casual is marketed as a transition sock between the athletic Jobst Active and the dressier Jobst For Men.  It has wide contemporary ribbing, and looks great with a suit or a pair of jeans.  Made from a blend of nylon, polyester, spandex and wool, this sock is super soft.  It also has a very generously sized foot and is a great option for men with large feet.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
Google+

Varicose Veins and Pregnancy

The burdens of pregnancy are many for the expectant mother.  In addition to all the normal demands of daily living, which often includes a full-time job on top of taking care of a home and family, there is a special need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, to get proper exercise and for plenty of rest. But even for the expecting mom who is doing an excellent job of keeping all the balls of daily life in the air while also giving herself the tender loving care she deserves, there are still times when her legs are going to feeling tired and achy.

The circulatory system in our bodies has two kinds of blood vessels: arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries have thick walls which actually help the heart to pump the blood by gently contracting with each heartbeat.

Veins are the thin-walled blood vessels which return blood back to the heart. The veins have valves that open when the blood flows past them, then close after each heartbeat to stop the blood from flowing backwards in the vein. These valves are especially important in the legs. When weak or damaged valves allow blood to flow backward, it collects at the bottom of the leg. This excess blood increases pressure in the vein and causes that tired aching feeling in your legs. That increased pressure, over time, can eventually stretch and enlarge your veins. These stretched and twisted veins are what we call varicose veins. The smaller veins close to the skin’s surface may be bluish, appearing knotted or like a spider-web.

While anyone at any age can develop varicose veins, the changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy increase the chances that varicose veins may occur. Some health experts have estimated that about 40% of women will be affected by varicose veins during pregnancy. One reason is that pregnancy causes hormonal changes in a woman’s body, one of which results in the vein walls relaxing slightly and stretching out. While this can help in increasing blood flow, important for the developing baby, it can also increase the likelihood that varicose veins may form. That likelihood is also increased by the additional weight a woman adds during pregnancy, weight that puts greater pressure on the veins of the expecting mom’s legs.

Other factors that can increase the risk of developing varicose veins include activities that require you to spend long periods of time standing or sitting. Such inactivity makes it easier for blood and other fluids to pool in your legs, again increasing the pressure on the veins and causing additional stretching of veins and possible damage to the valves within the veins.

Some women, of course, may already have varicose veins prior to pregnancy. There are numerous things that can lead to the development of varicose veins unrelated to pregnancy. Excessive weight, heavy use of alcohol and lack of exercise can all help contribute to the problem, as can smoking. Becoming pregnant will usually aggravate and worsen the condition when varicose veins already exist.

In some cases, however, there is simply an inherited tendency to have weaker vein walls and valve problems. Often, if a woman’s mother developed varicose veins during pregnancy, there is a good chance that her daughter will as well.

The good news for many women is that the varicose veins that develop during pregnancy return to normal after the baby is born. As the conditions that led to the varicose veins disappear after giving birth, so too, in most cases, will the varicose veins themselves. There is a greater chance, however, of the problem disappearing if there are steps taken during pregnancy, as outlined below, to minimize both the occurrence and severity of varicose veins.

For a woman who has an inherited tendency for thin-walled veins or weak valves within the veins of the legs, there is of course a much higher chance that the varicose veins that have developed will not go away once the pregnancy is over. In any case, it is always worth the effort of taking steps to try and minimize the seriousness and permanence of varicose veins that occur during pregnancy.

One of the easiest actions to take to help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy is to wear high-quality compression stockings. Maternity pantyhose like Jobst UltraSheer or Mediven Comfort provide gradient compression, providing the highest level of pressure at the ankle and gradually decreasing the pressure up the leg. This design gently compresses the leg muscles, squeezing the veins, and helping to push the blood back toward the heart.

Regular, sensible exercise is another means of minimizing varicose vein risk. Simply walking regularly helps to strengthen the leg muscles, providing more support for the veins in the legs and helping, through the compression of the muscles as your walk, to move the blood out of the leg and back toward the lungs and heart. Your doctor can offer advice on exercise that is appropriate and healthful during pregnancy.

It is also good advice to avoid long periods of standing or sitting. The lack of activity allows blood to pool in the veins of the leg, increasing the pressure on both the veins and the valves within the veins and thus increasing the risk of varicose veins forming. If you will be facing a prolonged period of standing or sitting, break it up with regular periods of exercise, either taking a short walk or, at the very minimum, doing some foot exercises, such as flexing your toes, rotating your feet at the ankles and doing toe lifts with your heels on the floor. All of these will help keep the blood circulating better in your feet and legs.

While varicose veins generally have few if any immediate health implications, they are something most women wish to avoid during pregnancy. Compression stockings, regular exercise, and keeping active can help minimize the risk. Talk to your physician about the problem and see what he or she has to recommend.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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