Did you know that getting exercise can boost blood flow? It's true, which is why staying active is one easy way to prevent varicose veins from developing on your legs. And here’s why: spider veins start to form when blood pools in your veins, making them bulge and show through your skin. So, if pooling blood can leave you with bulging veins, then blood that flows well can help prevent this problem. And here’s the good news: staying active with exercise dilates your blood vessels, which in turn creates a demand for increased blood flow.
Of course, it’s not always possible to exercise in a gym, or under the supervision of a doctor or trainer. Heck, in the hot Houston summers, even a simple walk outdoors isn't so appealing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work activity into your daily or weekly routine. With that goal in mind, here are 5 simple ways you can work physical activity into your day without ever leaving the house. And remember, as always, check with your doctor before starting any new fitness routine!
1. Catch up on laundry. Tackling those building piles of laundry is a great way to burn calories—and stress. Bonus activity points if your machine is on your top floor, and you keep working those stairs to swap loads.
2. Sweep and mop the kitchen (or your whole house, if you’re really feeling ambitious). Make the whole thing more fun (and burn bonus calories) by turning up the music and working some dance steps into your floor sweeping.
3. Cook up a storm. Did you know that standing at your stove and cooking burns around 180 calories an hour? And you can increase that burn by chopping your own veggies—heck, you may even score some bicep work!
4. Be mindful about ingredients. While you're in the kitchen, try adding some soy to your recipes. Packed with isoflavones (plant compounds that mimic estrogen in your body.) These compounds seem to boost blood flow in your pelvic and leg veins, potentially reducing your risk for varicose veins. Plus, because soybeans are a great source of protein and fiber, they may also help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for cardiovascular concerns such as peripheral arterial disease.
5. Just dance. Were you inspired by that musical sweeping session? Why not take it up a notch, and just dance through as many songs as you can handle. It doesn’t matter how fast you go—it’s all about moving and having fun.
6. Use your stairs. This is another tip you’ve already started tackling with our laundry suggestion. If you’re living in a home with a staircase in the house, you have your own stair master right in the house! Walk up and down at your own pace for as long as you feel safe and comfortable.
As we said, when you boost your blood flow, you'll lower your risk for spider veins. (You may even keep existing vein damage from getting worse.) Aside from exercise, these helpful lifestyle tips can help boost blood flow. But, did you know that improving circulation does more than simply protect your vein health?
Well, it's true! When your circulation works well, more blood reaches your muscles. That can improve your athletic performance, making it easier to stay active at home or on the go. Plus, for men, poor blood flow can be linked to erectile dysfunction. So staying on top of your circulatory health can help protect male fertility.
All of that sounds pretty good, doesn't it? We agree. With that in mind, we invite you to give our at-home exercise tips a try. And, if poor blood flow seems to be a problem, schedule an immediate appointmentschedule an immediate appointmentschedule an immediate appointment with our Houston and Dallas area vein specialists!
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