While frigid winter weather is always a bother, bundling up before you head out can actually do more than just keep your teeth from chattering. Sure, cold weather can cause uncomfortable chapped lips and cracked hands, but did you know it can also affect your circulatory system as well?
The negative effects thatcold weather can have on your veins and arteries can make you more susceptible to developing varicose and spider veins, as well as other potentially life-threatening cardiovascular conditions, and here’s why:
Narrowed Blood Vessels – As the weather cools down and temperatures drop, our bodies will naturally react by constricting and narrowing blood vessels. This causes blood pressure to increase since more force is necessary to funnel blood through the tighter passageways in the veins and arteries. Higher blood pressure means more strain on your veins, leaving you susceptible to weakened, overworked valves, burst blood vessels and more.
Decreased Physical Activity – In addition to the body’s natural tendency to tighten up when the weather cools down, we also have our own tendency to forgo exercising when it’s cold out. The decrease in exercise combined with the inevitable weight gain from all of those holiday goodies causes more pressure to be exerted on the veins, which also increases blood pressure.
Now that you know two leading causes of high blood pressure during the holiday season, here’s what you can do to prevent it:
- Bundle up whenever you go out! Be sure to wear warm clothing that covers all of your extremities, and a nice, heavy coat.
- Stretch daily! Even if you don’t make it outdoors, stretching and exercising by the fire can be as relaxing as it is beneficial.
- Keep calorie count low! Enjoy yourself, but remember to indulge in moderation. Click here for some tips for healthy veins during the holidays from one of our previous posts.
Do you already experience unsightly or painful veins that are putting a damper on your holiday spirit? If so, giveIsland Vein Specialists a call today to schedule your consultation and let Dr. John Gallagher help you choose the perfect treatment plan from our wide selection of minimally and non-invasive varicose and spider vein procedures.