Quitting smoking and vaping, exercising more, and improving your diet aren’t just great New Year’s resolutions — they’re also a good way to improve vein health.
Invariably, the arrival of the new year means the creation of New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s learning a new language, saving money, or losing weight, everyone seems to start the year by taking steps to better themselves. But did you know that common resolutions can come with an added benefit when it comes to your vein health? It’s true — some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions can also lead to healthier veins. Quitting smoking, exercising more, and starting a new diet can all help improve your vein health.
Quitting Smoking and Vaping
Quitting smoking and vaping is a great New Year’s resolution, as regular smoking has a negative effect on vein health. Smoking toxins harden your arteries, constrict your veins, and reduce blood flow — which can contribute to the development of varicose veins. While quitting smoking has many benefits, reducing your risk of venous disease is a definite plus.
The relationship between vaping and vein health is less well-documented. However, a recent study by the Center for Disease Control found that vaping has an immediate and significant impact on vein health. In the study, researchers compressed and released participants’ veins, then measured their blood flow levels. They found that post-vaping, the vessels dilated less and the peak blood flow was slower than when the same conditions were tested before vaping. If your resolution is to quit smoking, you might want to reconsider replacing your habit with vaping if you’re concerned about vein health.
If your New Year’s resolution is exercising more, then we have good news for you. Regular physical activity comes with a slew of health benefits — in fact, it can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. If you are already living with varicose veins, regular exercise can also keep your condition from progressing and ease your symptoms.
Exercise helps keep your blood pumping and can improve circulation in your legs. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which may also help prevent vein-related health issues. Any kind of exercise can improve your vein health, but there are a few options that are particularly beneficial when it comes to preventing varicose veins:
- Riding a bike (either a real bike or a stationary bike will work)
- Doing leg lifts
- Doing lunges
- Stretching your legs and feet.
Starting a Healthy Diet or Losing Weight
Making the right choices when it comes to your diet can help keep you from developing varicose veins and keep any existing vein issues from worsening. If your New Year’s resolution is improving your eating habits, there are a few specific changes that can benefit your vein health.
If you already have varicose veins, anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce their visibility by reducing the inflammation present in your skin tissue. High-antioxidant and high-fiber foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are another good choice for a healthy diet as they can help prevent blood clots and reduce inflammation.
Drinking a lot of water should also be a key element of any health-based New Year’s resolution. Try to always keep a bottle of water on you to remind you to drink. You should also try to cut down on sugary drinks, including milk, juice, and soda, as well as cutting down on alcohol consumption.
Healthy eating can have an added benefit of helping you shed extra pounds. Carrying extra weight can in itself be a risk for venous disease given that it leads to added pressure on your veins. That pressure then contributes to the veins’ inability to send your blood back up to the heart. If healthy weight loss is on your resolutions list, you may find that it helps improve your venous health.
Contact a Specialist
Whether the first day of the year or the last, there’s one resolution that you can always fulfill. Schedule a visit with one of our specialists for a consultation about your vein health. Make this year your year for addressing your varicose veins or spider veins.