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Issue 66: Are You Circulating to Full Potential?

We recently took a look at the “uphill battle” your veins have in keeping your blood flowing. We also discussed those who may be more at risk for vein unhealth, including women aged 30 to 70 (and men to a lesser extent), women who are pregnant, those with a family history of circulation problems, and people who are overweight or who have limited mobility.

Even though circulation problems may not be able to be fully prevented, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them or adding to the ones you already have. The following lifestyle measures may help with the discomfort associated with unhealthy veins and may prevent their worsening:

Exercise. Move it! Getting your legs in motion to boost circulation is a must. Walking is one exercise that most people can do, and a good stroll helps keep the blood flowing.

Weight management. Being too heavy can put undue pressure on your veins, so lose any excess pounds. Your veins will thank you!

Diet. Choose your foods wisely. Eating a diet high in fiber and low in salt can help prevent unnecessary swelling associated with water retention and constipation—both of which can strain veins. (Hemorrhoids, by the way, are types of varicose veins.)

Show some smart style. You can still look amazing, but you need to avoid high heels and tight clothes around your waist, legs and midsection. Low-heeled shoes work your calf muscles more than high heels do and that’s a plus for your veins. Tight clothes can strangle vein health right out of you.

Love your legs. Take several short intervals daily to elevate your legs above your heart level; this can help improve circulation in your legs. Avoid sitting or standing for too long at a time, and be sure to change position at least every 30 minutes. While it may seem ladylike to cross your legs, some experts believe that leg-crossing only compounds circulation problems.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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