How much thought do you give to your veins and arteries? You probably exercise because you want to lose weight, build muscle or strengthen your heart. But did you know that your veins and arteries need your attention too? Just like your muscles, your veins and arteries need a workout. When you strengthen them, you may not notice a difference like you would when you work on your back, arms or legs. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting results. However, you may notice when your veins and arteries aren’t getting the workout that they need because your legs may swell or feel sore, or you may end up with signs of veinous disease.
Why Do You Need to Take Steps to Strengthen Veins and Arteries?
Your vascular system (circulatory system) has more than 60,000 miles of veins, arteries, and blood vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body. They deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and taking away waste matter. The veins in your legs work against gravity to return deoxygenated blood back to the heart.
Healthy, strong arteries and veins prevent a variety of circulation issues. Your veins’ health can be affected by various conditions, such as:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Certain occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting or standing
Want to learn how to make your veins stronger? Read on!
Bring a Rainbow of Colors into Your Diet!
Fresh vegetables and fruits, especially those rich in vitamins C, K, and E, contribute to the health of your vein walls, diameter, and circulation. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are full of bioflavonoids and antioxidants are great for your veins.
Activate Your Body!
Excessive weight gain strains the blood vessels in your lower body. Performing daily exercises like walking, gentle strength training, swimming, and yoga promotes healthy blood flow and strong veins. Cardiovascular exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your heart and other parts of the body. If you tend to sit for extended periods of time, take a stroll through the park or your neighborhood during lunch and stand up every 30 minutes to boost circulation.
When your hydration levels are at their peak, your blood is thinner and flows more easily through your veins. Water also flushes out your system. Eight glasses of water or other nutritious beverages can keep your body hydrated. When you exercise or sweat, drink some extra to make up for what you sweat out.
Stop Smoking for Good!
You already know that smoking damages your lungs, but did you know that it also damages your veins and arteries? Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can de-oxygenate and thicken the blood, which causes it to flow more slowly. Nicotine can cause your veins to harden and narrow, which increases your risk of blood clots.
Stretch It Out!
Do you have a job that requires you to stand in one place or sit down for extended periods? Make sure to get up, walk, and stretch every 30 to 45 minutes throughout the day. Stretching and moving to keep your blood flowing properly reduces your risk of future venous and arterial diseases. It can also lower your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Take Care of Your Blood Pressure!
Whether or not you have high blood pressure, you should always be aware of your levels and understand what the numbers mean. Low blood pressure can cause circulation problems, while high blood pressure can strain vein and arterial valves, causing them to weaken. Work with your doctor to find ways to regulate your blood pressure.
Listen to Your Lovely Body!
Your body is an amazing thing! It knows exactly what it needs to take care of itself, and it relies on you to fulfill many of those needs. Your body will tell you when something is out of whack. When that happens, listen and respond. Make an appointment to go to the doctor and get an expert’s opinion about what is going on.
How Exercising Strengthen Veins
The body has many parts that work as a whole. Unfortunately, many people think of it as many separate parts acting on their own, but the truth is that all the parts are reliant on each other. When you exercise, you improve your legs’ muscle tone, which helps pump blood back to your heart. Your calf muscles are like a heart in your legs. The movement of the calf muscle pumps the blood through the veins back up towards the heart. Because they have to work against gravity, weak calf muscles can result in less blood being pumped back up to the heart.
Vein walls also need to be strong and elastic. If they become longer and wider, then the valves’ flaps may separate and cause blood to flow backward and pool up. Low-impact cardio exercises like walking, bicycling, swimming and yoga effectively improve your veins’ elasticity as you age. When used in conjunction with vein treatment, these exercises can reduce the appearance and alleviate symptoms of vein disease.
When Your Veins Get Weak
Overworked veins stretch out and lose their ability to function properly. This could cause your blood to flow in the wrong direction and pool in the legs. The pooling will further weaken the veins and cause venous insufficiency, spider veins, or varicose veins.
Spider veins are small, thin lines that look like a spider web on the surface of the leg. They are usually nothing more than a painless cosmetic issue.
Varicose veins are larger and appear on the skin as twisted and bumpy. Varicose veins can indicate an underlying condition commonly known as venous insufficiency, or vein disease. Leaving it untreated increases your risk of blood clots, venous ulcers, and circulation problems. Vein disease causes a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Leg pain
- Dull aching
- Difficulty standing for long periods
- Burning or itching sensation
- Swelling in the legs or ankles
- Heavy or tired legs
- Restlessness legs
- Slow or non-healing wounds
- Dry, cracked, or hardened skin on your legs that worsens
We Love Veins!
Veins are our specialty, so if you have any concerns about your veins’ health or are ready to have varicose or spider veins removed, contact us for a consultation!