Summer is just around the corner, which means people everywhere will be loading up the car, hopping on the plane, or hitting the boat for a week or two of fun in the sun. But just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t mean you should forget about vein health. If you are at risk or suffer from varicose veins, there are some things you can do to help prevent the pain and swelling that often comes with the condition.
1. Stay active.
Maintaining good circulation in your lower body is essential for preventing and treating varicose veins. Getting at least half an hour of cardiovascular exercise is the best place to start. You may not feel like hitting the gym while you’re on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you need to become a beach bum. Take an evening stroll on the sand as you watch the sun set. Go for a swim in the ocean or pool each day. Take a bike ride through town or down the beach. You can even do a little mall walking and shopping at the same time.
2. Watch what you eat.
No one wants to diet on vacation, but you can indulge and still avoid gaining extra pounds. That added weight puts pressure on your veins. Make a resolution to opt for a salad or lean protein with vegetables for at least one meal a day. If you’re in a rental home or condo with a kitchen, try dining in a few times instead of eating out three meals a day. Choose the small instead of the large option when you go out for ice cream or a drink, and split your dessert with a friend or family member.
3. Stay Hydrated.
It’s easy to get dehydrated when you spend your days in the warm sun, so it’s important to make sure you drink plenty of water while on vacation. Staying hydrated means less swelling in the lower body. Avoid over-indulging in alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, as these can speed up the dehydration process.
4. Dress comfortably.
It’s tempting to want to wear your best outfits on vacation to show off your summer beach body, but tight clothing can restrict circulation and aggravate varicose veins. Ladies, opt for a loose maxi dress instead of a tight skirt, and guys, look for a comfortable pair of shorts and loafers instead of tight jeans. Also avoid wearing high heels. Flats work your calf muscles more when you walk which is another way to get the blood pumping in your legs.
5. Kick your feet up.
You are on vacation, so surely you can spare 30 minutes or more to prop your feet up above your heart. Kick back in a hammock, in bed, or on a sofa with your feet elevated and read, watch a movie, or enjoy a nap. This helps get your blood flowing back towards your heart and can prevent pain from varicose veins in your legs. Use pillows to ensure your feet are up high enough.