Swelling of the veins and pooling of blood is a major contributor to varicose veins. Consciously consuming foods with anti-inflammatory properties will not only strengthen your vein health, but these foods taste great, too! Try out this smoothie recipe after your favorite low-impact exercise.
- 3 tbsp hemp protein powder
- 2-inch piece of ginger (peel if it is not organic)
- 2 cups of leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach, etc)
- 1 cup celery
- 1 cup mixed frozen berries of your choice
- ½ cup filtered water
- Place ingredients in blender
- Once smooth, serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 1 day
The holidays are notorious for a lack of exercise, less-than-ideal food choices, and an overall obstacle in healthier lifestyle choices from the inevitable busy schedule. If you feel as though the holidays have put a dent in your wellness – don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. There are ways to get back on track with your vein and overall health without bringing too much of a shock to your system.
Maintaining your circulation through exercise is vital to vein health because good circulation helps move blood that may be pooling in the lower body, which otherwise would place strain on your veins. Improvement in lower body strength also improves the health and strength of your veins. Making a commitment to exercise after the holidays is a great way to keep your vein health in check!
Try some of these exercises that will easy your body into an exercise schedule after the holiday delay:
- Micro-movements: These movements are inspired by Barre fitness, which use tiny muscle movements, without the use of weights and stress on your joints. These movements are also designed to strengthen your core, which builds a solid foundation for increasing your exercise levels in the future. Try out some beginner Barre micro-movements at home to feel like getting back into an exercise routine is truly effortless (but don’t worry, it IS working).
- Gentle, stretch-focused yoga. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, yoga is an excellent, low-impact exercise to maintain circulation. When your exercise routine has fallen off, yoga provides great tools for easing back into a regular routine. Try yoga motions that focus on gently stretching your muscles, balanced breathing and concentration. This will not only ease your body back into shape, but it will energize your mind and have you ready to tackle your New Year’s resolutions!
- Daily walks: Committing to taking a walk once daily will improve your circulation, increase stamina over time, and help your mind decompress from the mental stimulation overload after the holidays. Try increasing the length of your walk every week to see an improvement in your health and exercise capabilities!
The winter holidays are a common time for overindulgence. Don’t fall into the trap! You can have delicious sides throughout the festive season, while also making vein-healthy food choices. Here are a few awesome recipes to try this year:
Beet & Apple Salad: Beets are a great superfood to incorporate into your side dishes. Beets are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and consequently reduces strain on your veins and their valves. They are also known to lower inflammation and blood pressure.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry and Barley: Brussel sprouts are AMAZING for you. They have anti-inflammatory properties, and are packed with vitamins K, B6, and C – which are ideal for maintaining your vein health (check out our blog post on vitamins for vein health for more information). Cranberries are also a superfood! They have antioxidant properties and are high in vitamin C and fiber. Combining these two into a delicious side dish is the way to go!
Mashed Cauliflower (swap for potatoes!): Cauliflower is high in fiber and B-vitamins, which are key components to a vein-healthy diet. Bonus: cauliflower is also known to be good for eye health! Try using this recipe as an alternative to the classic mashed potatoes, which can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.
We recommend taking brisk walks often to improve your circulation and benefit your overall vein health! Don’t limit yourself to walking around the neighborhood, take advantage of the parks Reno has to offer – the change of scenery will spice up your routine and making exercise more fun!
There’s an endless list of amazing locations to take your brisk walks, but here are a few recommendations from us:
Wingfield Park: The Truckee river is a sight to be seen at this time of year! Wingfield Park in downtown Reno is right in the middle of things, and a perfect place to enjoy the river.
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park: This famous location of The Great Reno Hot Air Balloon Race is an incredible place to get a brisk walk in! The Wilbur D. May Arboretum has beautiful walking trails that allow you to enjoy all of the beautiful, snow-dusted botanicals Reno has to offer at this time of year. Have a pup? Bring them here to enjoy one of the largest off-leash dog parks in the area!
Bartley Ranch Regional Park: This beautiful location in south Reno has 56 acres of scenic pasture and an abundance of walking trails for you to enjoy! Check it out for your next morning walk to see some new, beautiful sights right here in Reno.
Smoothies typically conjure up the idea of fruity, summer drinks. Don’t be fooled – autumn is in full swing and the flavors of fall make delicious smoothies! The sweet potatoes in this recipe are great for your vein health, too. They’re packed full of B vitamins and vitamin C! Try this recipe to satisfy your fall treat cravings without breaking your healthy habits.
- 1 Sweet Potato (small, about 1/2 – 2/3 cup)
- 1 Banana
- 6 Dates, pitted & chopped
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- 1/4 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Prep: Cook the sweet potato (using any method you like) and let cool completely — put in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Let the chopped and pitted dates soak in water (about 1/4 cup or so) for about 15-20 minutes to soften.
- Add all ingredients to blender, along with ice. Blend, pour into a glass and top with another sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Yoga is a great low-impact exercise to get moving and improve the health of your cardiac system. If you are interested in starting yoga to improve your circulation and vein health, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some beginner yoga poses recommended for improving circulation:
Forward Fold: 1 minute
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and firmly planted on the ground, with hands on hips.
- Exhale, slowly folding forward from your hip joints, lengthening the front of your torso.
- Bend your elbows, holding each elbow with the opposite hand.
- Optional: Lightly sway from side to side.
Happy Baby: 1 minute
- Lay on your back.
- Bend knees and grab the outer edges of your feet. Draw them down to the ground.
Seated Twist Pose: 1 minute
- Start seated, your legs extended forward.
- Keeping your spine straight, lift and bend your right leg over your left leg, placing your right foot next to your left thigh.
- Initiate a gentle twist from your torso and use your left arm to lightly grasp your right knee, deepening the twist.
As the weather cools down, it’s very tempting to cuddle under a pile of blankets and stay in the house. Don’t fall into the trap! Vein health requires year-round maintenance. Keep yourself active and your circulatory system in great shape and try some of these cold-season-friendly activities:
Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is a great activity for the winter time! It keeps you feeling warm while also increasing your strength, flexibility, and balance. Not to mention the calming effects that yoga has on the mind. If the heat is too much, regular-temp yoga is still an amazing winter practice. Try enrolling in a trial set of classes at a local studio!
Swimming in a heated, indoor pool: Swimming in general is already a great activity for vein health due to the reduced pressure it puts on your legs. Swap your outdoor pool or lake swim sessions for an indoor lap pool where you can keep the amazing benefits of swimming going all year long!
Pedaling on a stationary bike: If you find it difficult to get out and bike in your neighborhood on a chilly day, it might be time to invest in a stationary bike for your home! Or, for those who are just occasional bikers, visit your local gym and hop on one of their stationary bikes. It’s the same beneficial exercise, but without cold wind in your face. If you’re really missing the scenery of your usual bike ride – there are plenty of videos on the internet you can play while on your indoor bike, like this one!
If you’re experiencing painful and uncomfortable symptoms of varicose veins, call the Reno Vein Clinic at (775) 329-3100 to schedule a consultation for treatment!