First, the good news: The cold weather can actually help your veins. Lower temperatures can help to shrink veins, promoting blood flow and better circulation. (Compare this to warmer weather, when heat can cause veins to swell and cramp.)
But even though the cold weather is not all bad, this time of year can also be hard on veins in certain situations. Here are a few easy health tips for keeping your venous health in tiptop shape all winter long.
Watch your weight
After munching on cookies and rich foods all holiday season, it’s easy to put on weight. Unfortunately, even just a few extra pounds is enough to aggravate varicose veins. Now that the holidays are behind you, it’s a great time to start fresh and adopt healthier dietary habits so you can lose those extra pounds as quickly as you gained them. Sometimes, losing weight can be as simple as cutting out after-dinner snacking at night or substituting your morning bagel for a protein bar. Or, simply cutting out all the leftover sweets and treats from your December diet might do the trick.
Start walking, stretching and moving
Walking is a cure-all for almost every health issue, especially varicose veins and other venous concerns! Even a short walk is enough to promote better vein health by increasing your blood circulation. Flexing your ankles and bending your knees is also helpful for promoting better circulation throughout the day. At work, be sure to change your position every 30 minutes between sitting and standing to prevent blood from pooling.
Put your feet up
At the end of a long day, if you’re experiencing swelling and venous discomfort, you can get some immediate relief by elevating your feet above your heart for 15 to 30 minutes. Elevating your feet helps blood to flow from your lower extremities to your heart while also improving the function of your vein valves.
Splash some cold water (avoid hot baths and saunas)
Cold water can help to shrink your blood vessels and reduce swelling and cramping. Be careful to avoid hot temperatures, including long showers, hot baths, hot tubs and saunas, which can exacerbate vein conditions.
If your veins regularly cause you discomfort, it’s time to visit Dr. Surya Challa, who is board-certified in general surgery, a Diplomate of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine (ABVLM), a Diplomate in Clinical Informatics (ABPM) and a Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS). Dr. Challa can help you find relief from varicose veins and other venous issues with minimally-invasive, state-of-the-art vein treatments that involve minimal downtime.
To learn more, please schedule a consultation with us by calling 757.819.7633 or requesting your personal consultation online today.