5 Tips for Winter Vein Care
Don’t take a break from caring for your veins during winter. Follow these tips to maintain your vein health during these colder months.
If you have varicose veins, you likely welcome the cooler air of the winter months. Unlike summer, when heat tends to make bulging veins swell and cramp even more, cold temperatures thin veins, helping blood circulate faster and thereby reducing pain and swelling. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect your vein health during winter.
Several factors inhibit circulation as the temperatures drop. When atmospheric pressure lowers in winter, our bodies respond by slowing down circulation. Because we aren’t pumping blood efficiently, blood pools in the veins, leading to swollen and visible varicose veins. Although cold temperatures tighten up veins and boost circulation, if the veins become too restricted, blood cannot flow smoothly. But you can combat those seasonal shifts with some simple tips.
5 Vein Care Tips to Help You Get Through Winter
You can’t change the weather, but you can take measures to support your veins when the weather turns chilly. Here are five tips that will help you and your veins enjoy a healthy and pain-free winter.
Stay Active. When temperatures warm up, we’re motivated to get out and exercise. Unfortunately, the opposite is true when temperatures plummet. We want to stay inside and avoid the cold outdoors. But inactivity is bad for your circulation — and can worsen varicose vein symptoms like pain and swelling. You need to stimulate your circulation with exercises that engage your calf muscles, which in turn encourages the veins to pump blood. So you may want to switch your workout routine indoors to a gym, or take a daily brisk walk.
Watch Your Diet. The wintertime brings the holidays, and while it’s tempting to indulge in sweet, salty, and carb-laden foods as you celebrate, these treats may lead to weight gain. Excess pounds puts extra pressure on veins and curbs blood flow. It’s okay to enjoy some seasonal delicacies, but remember to balance your intake with high-fiber foods and healthy fruits and vegetables.
Hydrate. Proper hydration is just as important in the winter months as the summer. When you become dehydrated, your blood thickens and moves slowly through the veins, creating conditions that cause varicose veins (and possibly blood clots). Drinking plenty of water — eight to 10 glasses a day— keeps the blood flowing smoothly. As with high-calorie holiday foods, avoid dehydrating alcoholic beverages that interfere with circulation.
Stretch. When your muscles contract and tighten, so do your veins, which makes it harder for blood to circulate. Maintain limber muscles — and efficient blood flow — by taking a yoga class, or simply doing a daily early morning stretch to loosen your muscles.
Get Treatment — Now. Anytime is a good time to get treatment for your varicose veins. But winter may be the best. Here’s why: although today’s minimally invasive therapies require only a short recovery period, you still need to recover from some residual bruising. In the winter, you can cover up those slight bruises with winter clothing and allow yourself time to fully heal before you put on summer shorts and skirts. Also, after most treatments, you’ll be advised to wear compression stocking to promote healing and circulation. Those tight elastic garments are more comfortable to wear in winter and even give you an extra layer of warmth.
Year-round Vein Care
Center for Vein Restoration offers year-round vein care. Our vein specialists provide the latest therapy techniques to eliminate unsightly and painful varicose veins. Contact us today for a consultation.