Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

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A few quick tips on the do’s and don’ts for promoting healthy veins through exercise during the winter:

The Dos:

  • Do take a walk once in a while. Walking is one of the best things you can do to improve circulation in your legs. It’s beneficial whether done on the treadmill or while taking your pet out for a walk.
  • Do wear compression socks to help your blood flow efficiently through your legs and back up to your heart. Compression socks offer added support for your veins and are especially recommended for exercises that require a lot of sitting or standing still.
  • Do keep your legs elevated whenever possible. While working out, use machines that allow your legs to remain level with or above your heart, like the leg press, to help reduce vein pressure and keep the blood flowing.
  • Do hop on a bicycle if you have a chance. If you would like to spend time outdoors, a leisurely bike ride is both enjoyable and beneficial to your vascular health. A stationary bicycle indoors is just as helpful; both are excellent choices for stretching and strengthening your leg muscles without causing excessive stress on your joints.

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t run on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Running outside is great for your health, as long as you avoid the pavement and seek out softer surfaces, like grass, sand or a track that is designed for repetitive running. Keep in mind that running can be harmful if done incorrectly, and walking is extremely beneficial for your veins.
  • Don’t hold your breath, especially while doing strenuous exercise. You should always practice proper breathing when doing any physical activity to improve blood flow and avoid tensing up and straining your muscles.
  • Don’t lift heavy weights. Lifting heavy loads adds stress to your leg muscles, causing you to strain and put pressure on your veins. If you feel you need to lift weights, avoid pumping heavy iron and try lighter loads with more repetition.