Is Cold Weather Good For Your Vein Health?
Whether the weather is cold or warm, taking care of your veins is a year-round effort.
If you have varicose veins, you’ve probably noticed how the change in seasons affects your condition. When temperatures rise, varicose veins tend to widen, allowing blood to accumulate in the protruding vein. As a result, the veins swell and tend to be more uncomfortable. So when the weather cools, your varicose veins symptoms will diminish, right? Not exactly.
Cold temperatures can have a negative effect on your varicose veins, as well, largely due to atmospheric changes and lessened activity. Therefore, whatever the time of year, you need to take steps to care for your veins.
Cold Weather and Varicose Veins
Colder weather isn’t always bad for varicose veins, however. When temperatures drop, veins tighten up, allowing for better blood flow. As a result, you may experience less swelling and cramping during wintertime.
Nevertheless, other factors that arise during the winter months may counteract that positive effect, including:
- Lower Atmospheric Pressure. In general, atmospheric pressure lowers during the winter season. This causes our circulatory system to slow down. Consequently, blood doesn’t pump as efficiently. When that happens, blood pools within the veins.
- You’re Less Active. It’s understandable that when the weather is cold you’d rather huddle indoors than go outdoors and exercise. Yet inactivity can increase the risk of developing varicose veins or worsening their symptoms. Exercise supports proper blood flow through the leg veins. Instead of exercising outdoors, join a gym or take a brisk walk in warm clothing.
- Weight Gain. Less activity usually translates into weight gain — and those extra pounds put more stress on already-overtaxed veins. Not to mention the holiday season falls during the winter months, so it’s hard to avoid salt- and calorie-packed foods. While it’s fine to indulge occasionally, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet rich in high-fiber foods that promote circulation.
Maintaining your vein health is a year-round effort. Staying active is one component of vein health, but there are other measures you can take to care for your veins anytime of year. For example, if you work at a job where you sit for hours, be sure to take frequent breaks to exercise your calves with a quick stroll around the office. When you get home from work, elevate your feet above your heart to drain excess blood from the extremities and nudge circulation back to the heart. Simply stretching your legs in the morning and at night also helps keep the blood circulating.
Is Now the Time to Get Your Varicose Veins Treated?
To permanently eliminate varicose veins you need treatment. At the Center for Vein Restoration, we specialize in treating varicose veins through a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are virtually painless and require very little downtime. Our staff will recommend a therapy best suited for your condition and one with which you are comfortable. Contact us today for a consultation.