I'm the editor of Smart, a magazine for women in southcentral Pennsylvania. I said "I do" to my wonderful husband in 2002. We have two adorable children who have taught me much about life and love. With the birth of my second child, I bid farewell to my dreams of having a clean house, folded laundry and family dinners on weeknights.

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Bare your legs with pride

By SAMANTHA K. DELLINGER for Smart

Many women cringe at the rising ­temperatures and hemlines.

But don’t let the heat cause you to sweat over showing some bare skin. There are many options out there to prepare your legs for the summer.

VelaShape

Hillary Lebouitz-Schaefer, president of Lebó Skin Care Center and medical aesthetician, says one of the newest advances for women who want to put their best foot — or leg — forward is VelaShape.

VelaShape is a non-surgical procedure that helps smooth and eliminate the appearance of cellulite. It uses a combination of infrared light, suction and radio frequency. Lebouitz-Schaefer said the process breaks down excess fat and leaves behind a ­well-defined area.

Lebouitz-Schaefer cautions that, while the results are remarkable, upkeep by the patient is necessary. Patients must maintain active lifestyles and eat healthy so the cellulite doesn’t come back. The best candidates for VelaShape are those who already are active but can’t budge those last few pounds.

Being active and caring what you put inside your body is important, said Lebouitz-Schaefer, who also is a mother of three ­children.


Exercise

Exercise is another key way to keep your body in shape. And although it’s not a quick fix, it’s beneficial for body and mind.
Erin Yingling, personal trainer and certified athletic trainer at The Athletic Club in West Manchester Township, believes in sweating off excess weight and eating a balanced diet.

For women who aren’t motivated, Yingling encourages them to try something new, such as Zumba, a fast-paced dance workout.

Or women can fit exercise into their day by making small changes, such as parking the car far away from the store or taking the stairs instead the elevator. All of these small changes really do add up, Yingling says.

She also suggests mixing cardio and strength training to get the most burn for your muscles. Having more lean muscle burns calories, even when you’re not working out.

After age 30, women lose about 10 percent of their muscle mass every decade, Yingling said. “That’s why building muscle is so important as you age,” she said.

And don’t worry about bulking up, she added. “It’s not possible, because women don’t have the testosterone to bulk up naturally like men do.”

Vein treatment

Another concern for women when baring their legs are the appearance of veins.v
Dr. Steven B. Heird of Advance Vein & Laser Center in York said, “Since we are upright beings, the appearance of veins sometimes cannot be avoided.”

People who stand in one place at their jobs are more susceptible to the appearance of veins, he said. Standing in one place puts more pressure on the veins.

To help prevent veins from forming, try eating healthy and excerise regularly to keep excess weight off, so you don’t add the extra pressure to your veins.

Treatment varies depending on the size of the vein.

Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They begin as tiny capillaries and appear as blue or red squiggles. A common form of treatment for spider veins is sclerotherapy. This is an in-office procedure where veins are injected with a solution, using small needles, which causes them to collapse and fade from view.

The more pronounced varicose veins are the blue or purplish enlarged veins you typically see bulging out of a person’s leg. There are different options to treat these types of veins. Sclerotherapy is still sometimes an option. Endovenous Laser Treatment or Radiofrequency Occlusion both use heat to seal the vein shut. There also are laser procedures. The many options for treating veins is something to be discussed with your doctor after a thorough diagnosis, Heird said.

Treatment at Advance Vein & Laser Center is a “minimally invasive” procedure. There is no real downtime, but Heird recommends patients who are treated for varicose veins to take it easy.

But, unlike the early procedures done in the ’90s where a patient might spend weeks recovering, today’s treatments are less time consuming and painful. Results are immediate. And many insurance companies cover the treatments.

Say ‘no’ to cellulite creams

Hillary Lebouitz-Schaefer and Erin Yingling caution against firming and anti-cellulite creams; they simply don’t work.
“It’s only a temporary fix to the problem,” Lebouitz-Schaefer said. “I personally don’t use them ‘cause they are a waste of money,” Yingling said.

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