Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can improve your overall mental and physical health, but did you know that spending time outdoors may even help you prevent varicose veins…if you do it right? Spring is officially here, which means more beautiful sunny weather and more time to get outside and get healthy. Check out the ways spending time outdoors may help improve your vein health.

Go for a walk.

Getting 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day is key to maintaining your overall health, and that includes your veins. Walking is great because it works your calf muscles, which promotes good circulation. It is also not too strenuous, and practically anyone can do it. Some people assume you need to run or do something more intense when you work out, but a brisk walk is perfect.

Go for a swim.

Swimming is another great way to add cardiovascular exercise to your day, and it also happens to be one of the best exercises for your veins. Because you are weightless in the water, you are not adding pressure to the veins in your legs, which make it harder for them to work properly.

Go for a bike ride.

Riding a bike offers many of the same benefits as swimming, because you are not putting quite as much pressure on your legs while you sit. Just make sure you do at least 30 minutes a day and pedal fast enough to get your heartrate up. Also, don’t forget your helmet, and consider knee pads to avoid injuries to your legs in the event of a crash.

Kick back on the hammock.

Just relaxing outdoors may help improve your vein health, especially if you have a hammock. Kicking back with your legs above your heart for at least 15 minutes a day can improve your circulation and your vein health. So, don’t think of it as being lazy — think of it as a way to improve your life!

Plant a vegetable garden.

Vegetable gardening is a great way to burn calories, but the best part of it all is that you end up with plenty of fresh, healthy foods that may help improve your vein health. So, what kind of vein-friendly veggies should you plant? This list will help you get started:

  • Broccoli, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and red bell peppers: These foods contain lots of vitamin C which is essential for strengthening the walls of the veins and healing vein issues. Some contain more than even oranges.
  • Garlic: Garlic is as popular for its anti-inflammatory properties as it is for its bold flavor.
  • Cayenne Peppers: Improves overall cell health with spicy cayenne peppers. They can also help improve circulation.
  • Lima beans, artichokes, peas, and avocados: These foods are high in fiber which can keep your digestive system running smoothly. Constipation and the straining that comes with it has been linked to the development of varicose veins.
  • Spinach, Swiss chard, and parsley: These greens are rich in vitamin K, which some studies have shown can help keep vein diseases at bay.
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