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Putting Your Best Foot Forward!

One of my fondest memories of Mother’s Day is the tradition my mother shared with her children. Every year, we would spend Mother’s Day in the garden. We would help mother sow the seeds for that year’s crop and gently transplant the seedlings she had nurtured indoors for weeks. We were players in the cyclical miracle that Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 3:7: “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”

The day was a blend of all that is beautiful – the delicate handling of new life in a self-sustaining, nutritious food source; the joy of a mother in a place that made her happy with people who made her happy; and the grit and sweat of hard work that would yield rewards many months later. Between kneeling in the garden and hauling load after load of soil and fertilizer in the wheelbarrow, we were sore, tired and dirty by the end of the day – and it was great. 

The outdoor world offers us many gifts – and all of them are great for our mental and physical health! Rooting around in the garden connects us to the cycle of life and our own food. Hiking in the woods allows our senses to marvel in the sights, scents and sounds of nature. Swimming, biking and strolling along on a sunny day all give us a much needed infusion of fresh air after a long and sometimes insufferable winter.

The outdoors adds so many marvelous dimensions to the exercise we all need to be healthy. For many of us, however, these activities that we enjoy, that connect us to nature and enhance a healthy lifestyle, can become more challenging as we age. How many of you find your legs feel heavy and sore after a mountain hike? Or notice your ankles are swollen when you take off your running shoes? 

The condition of your legs is a strong indicator of your overall health. More than half of U.S. adults have some kind of vein disorder that can produce these symptoms. Those who notice more severe limitations to their activity, like walking that is painful or lower extremity wounds that won’t heal, may be suffering from vascular disease. The good thing is, most vein and vascular disorders can be successfully treated, especially if they’re detected early. 

CMC’s recently-opened Vein & Vascular Specialists makes it easy for people to get comprehensive diagnoses and treatment for vein and vascular conditions. Vein & Vascular Specialists is led by our talented providers from the New England Heart & Vascular Institute. The practice offers screening, minimally-invasive procedures to treat spider and varicose veins, and treatment options for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). 

The location – 160 So. River Road at Meetinghouse Road in Bedford – is convenient and the setting is comfortable. We created a place where you can get expert care from highly-trained surgeons without having to go to the hospital. Why? Because we know you want to get back to your active lifestyle with less hassle! So get outdoors this Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and every day. CMC’s Vein & Vascular Specialists is here to help you put your best foot – and leg – forward. 

Dr. Joseph Pepe is the president and CEO of CMC Healthcare System: Catholic Medical Center, New England Heart & Vascular Institute and several subsidiaries. He and his wife reside in Manchester.