One contributing factor in developing varicose veins for some people is being overweight. Now be sure and know, that the simple fact that you have varicose veins, does not mean that you are overweight. There are many factors that can cause an individual to be more prone to venous disease of all kinds, including varicose veins. However, extra weight can put increased pressure on veins causing them to stretch out, valves to weaken and blood to pool in the lower legs and ankles, so reaching a healthy weight can help prevent varicose veins.
Because our personal and cultural concept of what qualifies as excess weight can be skewed, it is important to get the advice of a reputable doctor you trust as you navigate your ideal size for your best health.
But if you suspect excess weight could be contributing to the development of varicose veins or if you are concerned it may happen in the future, just ask your doctor if some of these exercise and lifestyle changes could benefit your path to better health.
Increase Everyday Movement
You do not have to jump straight to hardcore exercise but simply look for ways to incorporate movement more into your everyday life. For example, if you have a desk job then get up once an hour to stretch and move in a way that gets your heart rate up a bit.
Instead of trying to minimize movement, look for ways to naturally move a little bit more. You could try parking a little further out at the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
When you feel a late afternoon lull, you could try a brisk walk to get your blood flowing and endorphins going instead of grabbing a sugary snack.
While you are working on adding more movement to your lifestyle, you definitely want to include the people you love! A walk can easily become a playful dance with your special one. Or just a simple game of tag with the kids.
Guard Your Sleep
If you are not getting healthy rest, then you will likely feel sluggish and an overall lack of energy which can lead to an unhealthy level of inactivity. Not getting enough sleep can also actually change your hormones in a way that increases your appetite.
We recommend these tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Increase your exposure to natural sunlight during the day, it will help you stay awake and tell your body when to sleep
- Reduce your exposure to blue light from electronic devices like smartphones and computers that can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, making it harder to fall asleep
- Reduce caffeine consumption late in the day. Consuming caffeine up to six hours before bed will worsen your sleep quality.
- Consistency is key. Just like with young children, our bodies work best on a schedule, so work towards a consistent sleep and wake schedule.
- Don’t drink alcohol at night. It alters nighttime melatonin productions and hinders a restful sleep.
- Make sure you have a comfortable environment as possible. Adjust the temperature noise, external lights, or even rearrange the furniture to help you sleep your best.
- Don’t eat late at night. It can lead to poor sleep and hormone disruption
- Consider getting a new mattress or pillow. It’s recommended that you upgrade your bedding every 5-8 years.
- Exercise, but not before bed. Exercise during the day will help you get to sleep faster. But exercising too close to bed can stimulate alertness and hormone releases that are detrimental to sleep.
Exercise does not have to be something you dread. There are so many forms, types, classes, coaches, trainers, apps and styles. Find what works for you! Exercise really is key to maintaining your weight at a healthy place. However, you should always consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Incorporate Some Truly Healthy Eating Habits
Just as the definition of a healthy size can be skewed, our concept of what healthy eating is can be distorted. But focusing on what you can add rather than what you take away is a great start.
Try adding some of these healthy eating habits:
- Add in fresh, seasonal produce when possible. Explore and try new fruits and vegetables you have not tried before!
- Cook and eat more at home, and less out and about.
- Add breakfast back into your routine if it is not currently a habit for you. If breakfast is a hard meal for you, try finding a few simple things you can have on hand to grab quickly or even take with you to eat once you do get hungry.
- Try finding some fun drinks to try and have on hand at home that do not have added processed sugars. Be curious! Explore.
- Make sure you drink enough water. Try finding and carrying a water bottle or cup that you like that will remind you to drink enough water and make it more fun and convenient.
A great place to start if you need help on your journey is LIFE at Southern Surgical Arts MedSpa. If you have concerns about your varicose veins, we would be honored to have you come on in for a free consultation. Schedule yours today!
What are some ways you’ve used to maintain a healthy weight? Have other lifestyle changes helped your vein health improve? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.