Our veins are pretty amazing when you think about it. Within a mere minute, these courageous vessels undertake the Herculean task of transporting a whole gallon of blood from the tiniest of veins back to the command centers of our heart and lungs. This amounts to over 1,800 gallons each day! However, when these veins malfunction, our blood regresses and accumulates, resulting in the emergence of large, swollen, or itchy veins.
If you’re stumbling upon the rocky path of vein discomfort, don’t fret. There are millions of women and men with vein diseases like spider and varicose veins. Since there’s a populous community of vein-vexed individuals, there’s also a plethora of treatments out there.
With lifestyle tweaks, you have the power to improve vein health. By embracing these changes, you could reduce the look of visible veins and give a boost to their overall wellness.
1.Embrace the Wonders of Walking
Walking is good for you, you don’t say? Obvious as it may sound, the underestimated power of a half-hour jaunt can greatly benefit your overall health.
Walking just 30 minutes a day is a great way to circulate the blood in your legs and feet. That’s because when you walk, the muscles in your legs help push blood through your veins, decreasing pressure in your varicose veins.
Here are some other benefits that a simple stroll can bestow:
- Prevents Venous Stasis: Venous stasis refers to the pooling of blood in the veins due to sluggish blood flow. This can lead to varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. Walking aids the pumping action of calf muscles, which helps blood return to the heart.
- Reduces Blood Pressure: Regular walking can help reduce high blood pressure. Decreasing this risk can further reduce stress on your veins and fight off conditions such as atherosclerosis.
- Promotes Vascular Health: Walking can stimulate the release of nitric oxide. This is a molecule that plays a key role in maintaining the health and elasticity of blood vessels.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Consistent hydration lends itself to a fluid ballet of circulation. It keeps your blood thin and gives the cold shoulder to blood clots. So, throughout your day, indulge in a minimum of eight 8-ounce portions of life’s most sustainable liquid: water.
3. Shed A Few Pounds
Extra weight puts a strain on your heart and organs and can make varicose veins worse. Alternatively, losing weight can alleviate vein-related pain and swelling. It also slows the formation of new varicose veins, improves circulation, and reduces the risk of venous insufficiency.
Any other benefits weight loss can have on your vein health? A big one is that it decreases chronic inflammation, a condition that can lead to endothelial dysfunction and impair blood vessel tone and immune function. Inflammation can also cause direct damage to the walls of veins, which can then lead to phlebitis. All in all, weight loss is clearly a good thing for your vein health.
4. Go Easy on the Salt
Salt—our dear, savory accomplice in many a culinary endeavor—is annoyingly good at causing water retention in your blood. When you eat salty food, the extra fluid in your bloodstream makes your veins work harder. The result is higher blood pressure and increased strain on the delicate walls of your veins.
How do you solve your salt dependency? Try looking for low-sodium food alternatives to your favorite snacks. Or use substitutes like lemon and lime juice, pepper, vinegar, or other flavorful spices. And, start easing back on the amount of salt you use. Your palate will adjust and you’ll find you need less to enjoy your food.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking unleashes chaos on the lungs, creating pandemonium in the arteries and putting you on the fast track for an assortment of cardiovascular calamities. The chemicals in tobacco are guilty of removing oxygen from the blood and transforming it into a viscous liquid akin to a poorly made pudding. This can increase your blood pressure, cause blood clots to form, and prevent proper circulation.
Let’s not forget that nicotine also causes your veins to become rigid and narrow. This decreases the amount of blood that can flow through your circulatory pathways, making it harder for the heart to pump blood and resulting in increased blood pressure. Ceasing this hazardous habit will not only be a boon to your vein health, it will also be a grand favor to your overall well-being.
6. Raise Your Legs and Feet
Elevating your legs will keep blood from pooling in your lower leg. This will reduce swelling and improve overall blood flow. So aim to routinely lift your legs to the same level as your heart or higher. You can do this through exercises like ankle circles, leg lifts, or pedaling your legs in the air.
If it’s comfortable for your body to do so, recline on your back and impersonate a human ‘L’ against a wall. For an added layer of luxury, bring a plush pillow into the fold, sliding it under your back. Just think of this as business class accommodation for your circulatory journey.
7. Avoid Prolonged Sitting or Standing
If your lifestyle involves prolonged periods of sitting or standing, heed this golden nugget of advice: stretch often. Do not underestimate the magic of a little bend and flex to help your legs from hurting. This helps dissipate any traffic jams in your circulatory highway. When confined to a chair, resist the allure of the crossed-leg position. This can create roadblocks for blood flow to your lower extremities. So keep those limbs stretched and legs uncrossed.
8. Ditch the High Heels
High heels are the quintessential paradox of footwear: stunningly attractive yet shockingly detrimental to your veins and your entire lower body! They cunningly curtail the freedom of your foot and ankle and your calf muscle is left floundering, unable to muster the strength to send the blood back up to your heart and lungs.
Our advice? Look to a humble low-heeled sandal, versatile sneaker, or sturdy boot. You may have to sacrifice a bit of high glamor, but these styles are a much better option to improve vein health.
Taking Steps Forward: Simple Ways to Improve Vein Health
These tips may be simple individually, but when combined, they can lead to a positive chain reaction of improved vein health. And when your veins are healthy, they won’t be visible on the surface or cause chronic discomfort and pain.
While these lifestyle changes may improve vein health, they are not a permanent solution. If you have experienced prolonged vein problems, consult with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you. Most vein procedures today are non-invasive and covered by most insurance companies. So make sure to find a doctor that specializes in your vein problem to ensure you get the best results possible.