Resolve to improve your vascular system in the New Year

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for 2019?

Do you want to quit smoking? Lose weight? Eat healthier? Add daily exercise to your schedule?

If so, you are like millions of Americans. Studies show that health-related resolutions are at the top of the list for most people.

Resolving to improve vascular health fits right in with New Year promises, because making healthy choices leads to an improved vascular system. Those choices can reduce the side effects from varicose veins, too.

Many vascular problems arise when the valves in leg veins fail to move blood back to the heart. Problems develop when the vein walls are stretched and blood begins to pool in the legs, and varicose veins are created. The symptoms from varicose veins can be quite uncomfortable and include swelling, leg cramps and leg pain. Varicose veins also can lead to serious medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.

What can you do to meet the resolution of better vein health?

  1. Daily exercise

The first step to improve your vascular system is to create an exercise plan. Walking 30 minutes a day is an inexpensive and effective option. During a walk, your calf muscles contract and cause your blood to flow from your lower half of the body to your heart, which in turn has a positive effect on the circulatory system.

Running, swimming, dancing, hiking and rock climbing strengthen your legs and improve circulation. Like walking, these exercises promote calf/muscle strength and ankle flexibility. Plus, these exercises will encourage blood to pump through your legs and flow back up to the heart.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight

Extra body weight creates pressures on your legs and circulatory system. When you resolve to maintain a healthy weight, you are choosing to improve the veins that run throughout your body.

As part of watching your weight, be mindful of your Body Mass Index or BMI. A BMI of 35 or less is ideal for supporting a healthy body, including your circulatory system.

Incorporating a diet that is high in fiber and low in sodium reduces constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. Remove fried foods from your diet, and be sure to stay hydrated.

  1. Pamper your body

Compression socks might not be the most stylish stocking available, but wearing compression socks is an easy solution to improve vein health. These socks support your body’s circulatory system and encourage the blood to return to the heart more easily. Nowadays compression socks can be found in a variety of styles and colors. Look for them at your local pharmacy, sporting goods store or online.

Every day resolve to elevate your legs for 20 minutes. This will reduce swelling in your legs and take pressure off the veins to move the blood back to your heart.

Remember to use sun screen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Sun damage on your face can lead to spider veins.

  1. Throw away the cigarettes and the cigars

When you quit smoking, you immediately improve your circulatory system. Smoking constricts blood vessels and can worsen venous symptoms. Exposure to second-hand smoke has the same affect on the circulatory system.

  1. Be proactive with your health

If varicose veins or other venous health issues are prevalent in your family, discuss this with your doctor. Varicose veins do not go away and can lead to deep vein thrombosis or other serious venous health issues. If you have symptoms of venous disease, your doctor can determine if there is a concern that needs to be addressed.

San Diego Vein Institute specializes in treating a number of venous concerns and optimizing venous health. San Diego Vein Institute is located at 336 Encinitas Boulevard, Suite 130, Encinitas, CA 92024. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 944-9263 or visit