How Can Winter Weather Affect Your Vein Health?

shutterstock_60982198(1)We all know winter weather can have an impact on our skin— from ashy legs to cracked feet. But, did you know that cold temperatures can also have an effect on what goes on underneath your skin?

As the temperatures drop, people will continue to find themselves wanting to go outside less and less, and instead revert to the sofa with a comfy blanket and hot cup of coffee or tea. In the winter time, we tend to be less mobile than in the warmer seasons, and this can have a negative effect on your vein health. A lack of exercise and physical activity, combined with prolonged sitting, can contribute to spider and varicose veins. And, if you combine this immobility with unhealthy eating, you can exacerbate the health of your veins even further.

While spider and varicose veins are often hereditary, lack of movement, a poor diet, and obesity can contribute to their development. This is because immobility forces the veins to work harder to pump blood back to the heart, while being overweight causes extra pressure to be applied on the veins— both of which can weaken the vessel valves. The weakening of the vessel valves cause blood to flow backward and pool in the veins, contributing to varicose and spider veins.

Prevention

With that said, it's important to maintain a healthy diet and stay active during the winter months. Here are some tips to help you combat spider and varicose veins during the cold season.

  • shutterstock_144907495Exercise regularly. While going outside for a jog in below freezing temperatures is the least appealing, there are plenty of other ways you can stay fit. On extremely cold days when you don't want to even go outside to warm up your car, you can workout at home. There are several exercises you can do at home that involve little to no equipment, including lunges, wall sits, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, planks, and so on. You can perform these exercises before work or bedtime or in-between reruns of your favorite shows. You may also want to consider joining a gym, where you'll have complete access to the environment and equipment you'll need to stay fit. Additionally, you can download a free fitness app on your phone, where you can track your steps and physical activity, as well as record your daily food intake, to ensure you're staying on track with your diet and exercise plan.
  • Eat healthy. Eating a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s, and vitamins and minerals will increase the supply of oxygen to your blood and improve your overall blood circulation. Some foods that are known to improve blood flow include whole grains, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, garlic, ginger, salmon, avocados, and cayenne pepper.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated can also help improve blood circulation. This is due to the higher oxygen levels that are present when the body is hydrated.
  • Keep your legs elevated. When lounging on the sofa, keep your legs elevated. Elevating your legs will help with your blood circulation. Also, if you read or watch TV in bed before bedtime, elevate your legs for 30 minutes before going to sleep.

Treatment

Even by following these preventive measures, spider and varicose veins can still arise. As previously stated, these vein conditions are often caused by genetics, as well as your health history and a number of other factors. In the event that you develop spider or varicose veins, contact a vein specialist in your area. A vein specialist can diagnose your condition and recommend the appropriate treatments. Not undergoing a varicose or spider veins treatment can cost you your health down the road, and contribute to more serious health issues. Contact the New York Vein Treatment Center today to schedule a consultation and learn more about vein health: (212) 575-8346.

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