Take a look at your hands, arms, and legs, and you can see them. They might be as clear as day. Yet while you pay attention to your skin, hair, and weight, you tend not to think about these. Heck, you probably think about your veins less than you do the things you can’t see—like your heart and brain.
Vein health is essential to overall health. They are responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood back to your heart, where it is pumped down into your lungs, oxygenated, pumped back into the heart, and then out to supply your cells and organs with healthy blood. When your veins aren’t healthy, the entire circulatory system is in danger.
But how do you keep this essential and intricate system functioning optimally? By paying attention to these do’s and don’ts:
- Don’t spend too much time in the heat: If you spend a lot of time in a hot tub, sauna, or sunbathing, you’re not doing any favor to your veins. Hot temperatures can promote vein swelling that leads to blood pooling. When it becomes routine, the risk for blood clots go way up.
- Do stay hydrated, but not with sugary drinks: Water helps thin the blood so it moves through veins with ease. Sugary drinks, however, stimulate “bad” LDL cholesterol production that can oxidize and stick to your blood vessels, making it more difficult for blood to pass through.
- Don’t stand or sit all day: Sure, you’ve heard don’t sit all day, but what about standing? When you maintain any position long enough, it puts pressure on the veins. Taking time to move around and change positions helps keep veins limber prevent blood pooling. If you spend a lot of time sitting, go for occasional walks. If you’re standing in place, take a moment to elevate your legs every once in a while—or go for a walk.
- Do try compression stockings: Compression socks/stockings help encourage blood flow by contracting leg muscles and veins to keep things moving. These are especially useful for people who spend long hours standing on the job.
When it comes to health, it’s easy to forget about your veins. Remember these tips to help with healthy veins and keep your circulatory system in check.