Winter months can mean a lot for the health of your veins, good and bad. During hot summer months, you may be experiencing pain and swelling from the heat and the inability to get treatment. Summer means shorts, outdoor activities, and having your veins on display. Here are some tips on how to use winter to your advantage and give your veins a healthy vacation.
Tip 1: Don’t get too caught up in “seasons eatings”
During winter months, weight gain is a problem we all face. Between delicious meals spent with friends and family (that involve a whole lot more calories than normal) and a decrease in activity as we bundle up inside, it is easy to gain a few pounds. We aren’t saying not to enjoy the season, but do make a conscious effort to swap the sugary treats for more healthy options. Fiber-rich foods can help promote circulation instead of limiting it. Gaining even a few pounds can create additional problems for varicose veins, so be mindful.
Tip 2: Get your blood pumping
Depending on where you live, this could be a great time to get outside for some exercise. With the heat gone, you can choose the amount of clothing needed to keep you comfortable while you go walking or running. Many people stay inside with limited activity during winter. Staying sedentary can cause blood to pool in your veins and create or make worse spider veins and varicose veins. Combat this with daily exercise in the cold air. It can be light cardio outside or more intense training indoors, just make sure to get it in!
Tip 3: Enjoy what cold weather brings your veins
What we mean by this is that cold weather has some redeeming qualities for your vein health. The cold temperature is healthy for your veins and blood flow. Warm weather and heat can cause veins to dilate and blood to pool. Cold weather does the opposite and shrinks veins! Smaller veins also contribute to better blood flow to all parts of the body. Not only will your veins look smaller, but pain like swelling and cramps can dissipate as well.
Tip 4: Hide your treatments with comfy clothing
If you choose to do a vein treatment, now is the best time! Depending on the vein treatment recommended by your board certified vascular surgeon, you may have bruising, swelling, or scarring. You will also need to wear special compression stockings to promote healing. Winter makes recovery easier for several reasons. The cold temperatures are soothing to veins to help decrease swelling. You generally will be engaging in less physical activity, so you will have time to rest and heal. Compression stockings will be easier to hide and will also help keep you warm during the winter cold.
Tip 5: Drink Water Instead of Holiday Drinks
While eggnog is only around certain times a year, it is essential to make sure you are getting enough water! Getting enough water all year round is good advice, so this is a reminder. Well-hydrated blood is thinner and can travel through your veins easier. This increased blood flow will alleviate stress and reduce the risk of blood clots and can reduce varicose veins or DVT concerns.
For a few more tips, read Keep your Veins Healthy this Holiday Season.
We hope you enjoy your holiday season with your family and practice these 5 tips for vein health. Our vascular surgeons in Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood, Tennessee, are board certified in reading screenings and treating patients with vein health concerns. Contact us to set up an appointment!