April 07, 2015

New website!

We've been working hard to update our website. We listened to feedback from our customers and the new LegSmart has some new features that we hope you will like.

Here's what's new:

More Product Options

We put more product options to make it easier to shop. No more redundant products cluttering up the product list pages. If you can't find what you're looking for, drop us a line: support@legsmart.com and we'll be happy to help you find it.

New Lifestyle Images and Refreshed Branding

Our compression socks are meant to match your style and fashionable self expression. We've updated the majority of our product images to share with you the modern, sporty and fashionable possibilities our compression socks can have on your lifestyle. We refreshed our logo and also updated the branding on our compression socks. We hope you like the new graphics and images!

Fully Responsive for Mobile devices

We're especially proud of delivering a usable mobile shopping experience. No more pinching and zooming just to find one thing.

 

We hope you like changes, and please let us know about any feedback you have by emailing us support@legsmart.com.

November 05, 2013

Healthy Eating for Diabetics

Part of what makes living with diabetes so tough is maintaining control of blood glucose levels, and a lot of what affects those levels is your diet. For type I diabetics, maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as taking your insulin. For type II diabetics, learning to make healthy choices can be a process, but will ultimately help you maintain your symptoms the best. Because type II diabetes is typically the result of unhealthy diet and exercise regimens, it is very important to learn about what your dinner plate should look like, and how active you should be throughout your day. Remember, this won't happen overnight, but by making small steps daily, you can slowly shift your diet towards a healthier and safer lifestyle.

So what foods should I avoid as a diabetic?

  • Foods high in fat, calories, or sodium
  • Foods with added sugars or preservatives (most prepared meals or frozen foods fall into this category!)
  • Foods with excessive carbohydrates
  • Flavored or artificially sweetened beverages
  • Fast Food. Period.

Any food or drink that falls into those categories should be kept in serious moderation, or cut out of your diet completely. Whenever you catch yourself snacking, make sure what is in your hand will not severely throw your blood glucose levels out of balance. There are plenty of other healthier options that won't put you at risk for diabetic shock. Additionally, if you need ideas for good recipes or snack ideas, there are plenty of websites that contain hundreds of recipes for free! Here is a list of some broad categories of foods that you should always keep in your diet.

What Should My Healthy Diet Consist Of?

  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Non-fat dairy produts
  • Beans
  • Poultry, Lean meats, & fish

The most important thing to remember is that there is no single diet that will be the answer for everything. Everyone's body responds differently, and everyone's insulin levels will be different, so keep track of your blood glucose levels by being diligent about testing regularly. As long as you do this and portion your food out appropriately, you will find that your symptoms will be easier to manage. As always, have your family and friends help you keep track and utilize the community resources available to you online (like our blog!) or locally. Happy reading, happy eating, and happy living! Cheers.


Sources:
http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/diabetes-meal-plans-and-a-healthy-diet.html
http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/food-to-eat/nutrition/22-foods-to-avoid-diabetes?page=2
October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

We hope you all enjoy this fun, freaky holiday, however you choose to celebrate it. From costume parties to trick-or-treating with the kids, be sure you stay safe (and warm) out there tonight!

If you're out and about, chances are you're probably going to be in some type of costume that may or may not be the most comfortable thing you've worn. If you’re going to be on your feet for long periods of time, make sure you're wearing your compression socks! Not only will they keep you warmer, but they'll help you be the life of the party (or endure walking around with the kids on their quest for the heaviest sack of candy). Maybe now is the time to put those black and orange running sleeves to use. ;)

For trick-or-treaters, be careful when walking out on the street! Bring a flashlight with you and make sure you're wearing bright enough clothes that people can see well enough in dark areas. If you're hitting the town, don't drink and drive! Be mindful of your friends and make sure everyone gets home safely. Besides cabs, there are plenty of services such as Lyft, Sidecar, and Uber that can get you a ride home easily!

Most importantly, have a great time and take lots of pictures of the most interesting, funny, weird, or scary costumes you see! Happy Halloween!

October 10, 2013

Training for Endurance

When you're out for your run and you get to that point of fatigue, what do you do to help yourself keep going? Some people have mental tricks, others put on their highest energy song to keep with the beat, and a few can just turn off their mind and keep going. Regardless of what strategies you use to keep pushing harder, there comes a point in time where your body simply cannot physically endure much more stress. Lactic acid is flooding your legs, your breaths are getting shorter, and eventually you have to stop. You were THAT much closer to beating your previous goals, but came just short, and you felt like you've exhausted all the different methods of pushing yourself further. However, there is one thing you may be missing that could very well change the way you train forever. Compression socks! How would tight socks help you with running? Just these three reasons will help you understand why:

Compression increases proprioceptive awareness

Part of the muscle fatigue that occurs during running is due to the constant shock on your muscles and joints, especially when you're running on uneven surfaces or unpaved roads. This forces you to think more about balance, stability, and form. By applying graduated compression to your leg, you are reducing muscle wobble resonance, thus allowing you to focus on just running, and nothing else.

Compression promotes increased circulation

The worst thing that can happen while you're on a run is getting a cramp in your foot or calf. It completely ruins the rhythm, and even discourages you from continuing your run. Besides eating a banana prior to your run, putting on compression socks will keep your circulation flowing, ensuring that you won't get an unwanted cramp during training.

Compression reduces lactic acid buildup

Recovery is as much of an important part of training as physical activity itself. If you don't recover properly, then you won't be primed for your training or even worse, the actual event. By applying a lighter compression while you're resting, you are helping your legs flush out any excess lactic acid buildup, thus shortening the overall recovery time. You'll feel more well rested and ready to take on another work out sooner.

There are a number of different styles of sports compression, but only a handful of them are quality garments that will last through the toughest of workouts. The Sigvaris Performance Running sock is breathable, supportive, and stylish. If you don’t like wearing socks or run with those Vibram five finger shoes, try out a compression sleeve. CEP and Sigvaris both make really great sleeves, with plenty of fun colors. Finally, Sigvaris has a recovery sock that is a lighter compression in cotton, so you can rest and be comfortable after your workout. Have questions about measuring and fitting, or just need someone to talk to? Get in touch with us via phone or email, at 888-577-9617 or support@legsmart.com.

October 01, 2013

Eat Better, Eat Together

October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month! With all the hustle and bustle of your daily routines, far too often do you get caught up in your personal lives and forget to spend quality time with your family. Even though you may live under the same roof, just being around each other daily is not enough. Regardless of who you are, food always brings people together, so what better time to be with your family than around the dinner table with a home cooked meal? Eating at least one meal a day with your family is good for a number of reasons.

Research shows that eating as a family promotes healthier eating overall. If you prepare and eat healthy meals with your children, you will be setting a good example of what good nutrition should look like. Additionally, it gives you time to talk, bond, and build relationships. Everyone has hectic schedules and life can get stressful, but by practicing this one healthy habit, you will find that it benefits both you and your family. Here are some helpful tips for coordinating family meals:

Figure out everyone's schedule and plan accordingly.

There will be days where not everyone will be able to eat together, but try your best to work around it and accommodate. Save leftovers for those who are coming home later! If it comes down to it, set aside at least one day a week where everyone can share a meal.

Cook together

Eating together is great, but cooking together can be even better. Not only are you spending more time together, but eating the meal that everyone contributed to making tastes that much better!

On busier days, make a simple and quick meal.

This does not mean resort to carry out or even worse, fast food. Fire up some pasta or rice, sauté some veggies, and cook some chicken breast. Voila! In 30 minutes or less you have a balanced and healthy meal.

Leave electronics in a different room when sitting around the table.

Chances are you've already spent the majority of your day on one or more of these devices. Set them down for the 30 or 40 minutes you're at the table and enjoy the company of your family.

Think of a topic to discuss to which everyone can contribute.

Whether you're simply asking how everyone's day went, or what they aspire to do in the next 5 years, there are plenty of things to talk about that everyone can relate to.

Humans by nature are social animals, and we thrive off being around each other. Between enjoying mom's famous lasagna to preparing a family picnic on the weekend, food has the amazing ability to not only nourish, but bring people together and even have a therapeutic effect. So as you go about your busy month, think about how often you truly sit down and have some quality family time, and don't forget to eat better and eat together.

September 13, 2013

Office Exercise

If you're sitting here reading this at work, I want you to take a moment to think about what you've done for the past few hours. Chances are you may have gotten out of your chair for water or a bathroom break, but most of your time has probably been spent sitting at your desk. Regardless of what office job you're doing, chances are you're mostly sedentary throughout your day. I mean come on, having job responsibilities is enough, why would you want to move more than you need to right? All jokes aside, being productive in your workplace is tough if you're not taking breaks and moving your body enough. When you're sitting for long periods of time, your circulation is affected, your muscles get stiff, and your eyes are strained from staring at whatever you've been working on for who knows how long. Ultimately, you lose focus and end up thinking about how badly you want to relax after you get home. So how do you avoid the mid-day lull and keep your motivation going? Move around. Here are some ways to incorporate exercise into your work day:

Walk, Bus, Bike, Carpool

If your commute allows for it conveniently, find different ways of getting to work. Not only will you save money by using your car less (think long term, maintenance!), but you will be able to get a nice walk or bike in before getting into the office. Your muscles will get a good stretch, and your circulation will be jumpstarted. If you break into a little sweat or get the heart rate going, even better! Additionally, challenge yourself to take different routes every day. This breaks the learned behavior of driving the same old route every morning, which benefits you in two ways: you feel happier because you're not repeating a mundane routine, and your brain gets more exercise earlier in the morning. Win win!

Get Office Exercise Gear

I'm not saying set up a mini gym in your cubicle, but there are a few compact things that you can keep lying around your desk drawers that will help you stay active without having to go very far. For example, sit on a giant exercise ball instead of a normal office chair to promote better posture. And when you're taking a break, it's always fun to bounce around on it. Exercise bands are great because they can go anywhere with you, and you can just stand up and do some quick curls, extensions, or even stretches. Stress balls not only relieve stress, but help with circulation to your arms and hands. Take a 10 minute break every hour you’re on the computer, and shake out your hands and squeeze the ball to avoid carpal tunnel or tendonitis. Check out these exercises you can do without having to leave your desk. Many times if it's for the sake of being healthy in the workplace, your boss will likely be more than happy to provide these things for you! Just ask!

Take Advantage of Your Breaks

This may seem too obvious, but in this day and age of constantly being connected to our electronics, our "breaks" may consist of leaning back in the office chair and playing on our phones or surfing the web. Instead, try to remove yourself from the computer screen and get outside for some fresh air. You may not notice it until you actually get out there, but getting fresh air is one of the best ways to get over the afternoon lull. Especially if you've just finished eating lunch, a nice walk around the block will make you feel less heavy and lethargic. Plus, getting outside is the best way to take a mental break at work. Staying inside the office and looking at things that remind of you of work will only add to your stress. Move yourself to a different environment, relax for a bit, and take some deep breaths. You will feel ready to take on the rest of the day with the same energy as you had in the morning.

Work might not necessarily be the most sought after part of our day, but at least you can make the most of it. Don't let the sedentary nature of your office job dictate the rest of your day. Sitting can be more tiring than you'd think, and it can carry over to when you get home and plop down on the couch from exhaustion of sitting all day. Get up, move around, and don't let your energy levels get taken away by that office chair of yours.

September 11, 2013

Healthy Aging Month

In addition to Fruits and Veggies month, September is also Healthy Aging Month! This annual observance serves to remind people to focus on staying positive as they grow older. Far too often people associate the coming of age with achy joints, loss of memory, and health problems. However, there are certainly easy ways to go about preventing these things. First things first, get your mind wrapped around the fact that age is but a mindset. Then, follow these few steps in order to maintain your health as the years go on.

Get at Least 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day

This does not have to mean rigorous workouts, long distance runs, or heavy lifting. (But if that's your thing, then power to ya!). 30 minutes spent walking around the mall, playing with your kids, or simply strolling around the neighborhood after dinner will keep your circulation moving, joints lubricated, and muscles stimulated. Whether you prefer to be active during the day or in the evening, it is important to simply get up and get moving. Heck, you may even want to have some fun and dance around once in a while.

Socialize

Whether you're spending time with your family or friends, it's always important to make sure you continue having regular interactions with others. Even if you tend to enjoy alone time more, interacting with others will keep your mind sharp and healthy. There are many ways to go about meeting people and maintaining friendships. Join clubs, work out at your local gym, do some weekend volunteer work, or just stroll around the park and say hi to people. Go ahead and try it, you'll see the difference it makes on your overall mood.

Continue to Eat Healthy

If you already have a healthy diet, good for you, stick with it. However, if you tend to have poor eating habits and food choices, now would be a better time to change than ever. Genetically some people are more prone to certain health risks, and metabolism changes over time, so there will be some minor changes that you will need to make based on your health. Overall, it is important to be conscious about your body and make sure that you are nourishing it properly.

Do Something Different

Chances are at this time in your life you've already established a steady routine. I challenge you to step out of that routine and do something different. Try planting new veggies and herbs in your garden, volunteer for a cause you're passionate about, or challenge yourself to complete a DIY project at home. Regardless of what it is, by switching things up, you'll keep things interesting in your life and keep your mind sharp.

Always Smile, Laugh Often, Have Fun

Going back to the idea of age as a mindset, you are as young as you act. Growing up does not mean you have to become cynical and apathetic to the world around you. The only real thing that has changed is you! Take time to really enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds you daily. Look up at the stars to remind yourself just how insignificant your frustrations are in the larger scope. Compliment someone completely random. Find fun and harmless ways to pull pranks on your family. Whatever you do, take time to enjoy the fact that you're alive (and well) and smile about that fact.

The coming of age does not and should not be associated with negative connotations. While illness and aging cannot be stopped, you can definitely protect yourself by treating your body right. Take these steps to be healthy, both physically and mentally, and you will begin to have a more positive outlook. Most important, smile and have fun!

September 06, 2013

National Fruit and Veggies Month

September is National Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Month!

Fruits and vegetables provide the crucial fibers, vitamins, and minerals that we need in our daily diet. They promote healthy skin, support immune function, and they taste delicious! The inconvenient truth is that very few of us are actually eating enough servings of each every day. Our plate portions are so out of, well, proportion that it almost seems normal to barely have any veggies with dinner. Some think that the slice of tomato and lettuce in the sandwich justifies the piles of turkey and bacon, along with the side of fries and soda. This month, I encourage you to shift your frame of mind, and look at your plate a little differently.

The burger, fries, and soda combo is an American staple. However, if you really take a look at what you're getting from this meal, you'll quickly find that this is not how people should be eating regularly. With the bun and copious amounts of french fries, the meal is already 50% starch. Break down the rest of the burger and you have a patty (maybe two) that is covered in cheese and, depending on where you are, chances are it is highly processed beef. This accounts for maybe 35% of your plate. We'll be generous and say that you enjoy all toppings, so veggies include tomato, lettuce, onion, and pickle. Each slice added up will only account for the last bit of your plate, about 10%. The other 5% is that large coke that you're most likely going to refill after the meal.

Now let’s take a look at what a healthy portioned plate looks like...

50% veggies (or more), 25% starch, 25% protein. Pretty straightforward right? When you think about it, it makes sense! Why would you fill your body up with empty carbohydrates that are later stored as sugar, which then turns to fat? It would be much better to get some quality, clean protein, and supplement that with the fiber-vitamin-mineral-rich fruits and veggies. All of which contribute to digestion, muscle growth, immune support... You get the idea. More matters!

The first thing you'll notice by making this change in your diet is how you feel after you eat. No one has ever said "I feel great!" after eating a big greasy meal at a fast food restaurant. As you continue to eat healthier, your body will reap the benefits and you will begin to have more energy. Additionally, fruits and veggies provide numerous amounts of preventative health benefits, too many to discuss in just one blog article. Who would have thought that eating right could make you feel good? CRAZY concept right? The best thing about fruit and vegetables, is that you can eat as MUCH as you want! So go crazy, be creative, and most of all eat your (fruits) and veggies!

September 05, 2013

Healthy Game Day Eating

As you're getting ready for football season, you must also have in mind all the great festivities that come along with it. Sunday morning spent hanging out with your fantasy league, drinking beer and eating lots of good food (and by good food I mean junk food). Super bowl parties that have been planned for who knows how long, with the grill fired up, cooler full of beverages, and a buffet with a great spread of game-day bites. Whether you're a wing/burger/hot dog guy, or it's all about the chips and dip, football season usually ends up turning into weight gain season. All of the work you do at the gym throughout your week goes to waste in a 4 hour window on Sunday. So how do you eat healthier without resorting to the same boring carrot sticks and broccoli with ranch? Simply switch up the methods by which you prepare your food. Check out these tips that will change your game-day meals forever.

Forget Frozen Food:

First and foremost for preparing successful game day meals, forget about walking down the frozen aisle of your grocery store. The fake, processed, and heavily preserved foods are all high in sodium, sugars, and well, preservatives. Instead, buy fresh ingredients and learn how to make your favorite foods yourself. It may be daunting initially but once you look at the recipes you'll find that it's really easy to make many of these dishes, without all the excess salt, sugars, and preservatives. The most important thing to keep in mind is how you prepare these foods...

Preparation is key:

Instead of busting out the deep fat fryer, try baking your food! Virtually every game day food you can think of can be saved from the depths of the hot oil bath you're thinking about throwing them into. Wings, french fries, nachos, and even potato chips can all be baked without using all the excess grease. Additionally, there are great recipes for fresh-prepared food that will skip the grease, fats, and salts. There are plenty of healthier recipe alternatives that you can look up online. Check them out and try your favorite this weekend!

Moderation and substitution:

As with many other things in life, moderation is key. When you're with your friends for 4 hours sipping on beer after beer and eating copious amounts of food, the calories can add up really quickly . Limit the amount of chip bowls you put out, and try to find healthier potato chip alternatives. Try baking your own potato wedges and go easy on the salt and seasonings. Substitute mayo out for sour cream or cream cheese for your favorite chip dips. Try making turkey burgers, or use a lower fat percentage ground beef. All in all, there are many ways in which you can tweak the recipe to make your food healthier without compromising the taste. Before long, your friends will start coming to your house for game day, simply because the food is much better than the generic spread you see at every football party.

As cool as it looks, the idea is to avoid something like this...

Being healthy does not mean you have to compromise your enjoyment in what you like to do. Instead, find ways to incorporate the healthy lifestyle into the things you already love; you may find it to be easier than you initially thought.

August 07, 2013

Fit For Life

What are your motivations for getting into shape? Maybe you're trying to lose some weight, gain some muscle, or run a 5k. Regardless of what your end goal is, what happens when you finally reach it? Ideally you would continue with the good habit and incorporate fitness into your life. However, other factors of your busy life may distract you from your plans – remember those new years resolutions? – and eventually your resolve which once burned strong now begins to fade.

So let's take a look at a pretty typical work out cycle and determine where the motivation breaks, and how to stop it from ever happening.

Renewed Motivation:

This is when the new year has started, and your mind is fresh with the thought of being fit, active, and healthy all year. You have a healthy eating plan laid out, your gym schedule is posted in your bedroom, and you have a bunch of new exercise gear that you can't wait to put to good use. Every day as you leave work, you are excited to check-in on Facebook to let everyone know you're taking your plan into action. Things are going great, and you're starting to get used to the good habit and you're feeling better about yourself. This high may last a few months depending on your personal drive. Some make it to summer with a good body, but how long until a good habit turns into a mundane routine?

Devil on the Shoulder:

You've worked so hard for the past few months, and you're beginning to see positive changes in your body. The thought of the gym is less dreadful, workouts are getting less tiring, and you're beginning to have more energy. You're pretty satisfied with yourself for being able to come this far, so why not treat yourself to some junk food as a reward? After you're done eating the whole pizza or super sized meal, what are the chances that you actually go work out? This is typically referred to as a "cheat day." Time progresses and you begin to incorporate the cheat day into your weekly routine. However, you're beginning to reach the point where the devil on the shoulder tells you, "It's okay. You've worked so hard, another extra day off won't make a big difference." Before long you're taking more cheat days and you find yourself going down a...

Slippery Slope:

At this point, you begin to find that it's just easier to sit at home and eat than to lift weights or go for a run. Your mind gets comfortable with the fact that the six months of exercise just might be enough to compensate for six months of unhealthy habits. Rewards become justifications, justifications become excuses, excuses lead to guilt, and guilt kills the goal. What once started out as a strong desire to see yourself lose weight and be fit has turned into a negative mindset of "It's just too much work to maintain."

So, what's the problem? Certainly it is not about your physical ability to do it. Rather, the problem ultimately comes from your reason for working out. If you're working out to get an awesome beach body or simply to impress other people, your habit will not last long. The ultimate goal for any healthy habit should never be in vain, but for your health in the long term. Think about it! Beauty is trivial and fleeting, but your health is what will keep you happy over the years. The most difficult part about staying fit is the mental battle, but if you are truly doing it for your health, you will be much more motivated to get your butt off the couch and start exercising! Remember this: Fitness is for LIFE.

 

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