While the winter offers some respite for many suffering from varicose veins as it allows them to cover the unsightly veins up, the condition can be aggravated during the colder months. The winter can also lead to vein issues occurring, such as spider veins.

So, why exactly does the cold weather of winter negatively affect our vein health, causing or aggravating varicose veins and other vein conditions?

Less inclined to exercise in the winter

As the cold weather bites, it can be tempting to curl back under the duvet during the winter rather than going for a run! A decreased level of activity during the winter can mean varicose veins can get worse.

Walking is regarded as being one of the best forms of exercise there is to help prevent varicose veins. So, even if you don’t feel like putting on your trainers and pounding the streets on a five-mile run, practising brisk walking regularly throughout the winter can help prevent the onset of varicose veins or stop the condition getting worse.

Comfort eating

As easy it is to refrain from exercising in the winter, it is to reach for stodgy comfort food, for a quick ‘energy’ fix. Our diet can have a direct affect on the condition of our veins. Instead of reaching for sugary or fatty snacks, try to maintain a diet that is rich in fibre and has plenty of fruits and vegetables.

A high-fibre diet can help you keep to a healthy weight and prevent varicose veins from occurring or the condition worsening. Similarly, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables boosts the antioxidants in the body, and by doing so, makes the veins stronger.

An alteration in atmospheric pressure

Extremely cold weather leads to temporary changes in the atmosphere, which can have a negative impact on the body. The alteration in the atmospheric pressure can make the body feel heavier and, as a result, reduce the efficiency of the blood circulation. Poor blood circulation is implicated with the occurring of varicose veins.

To maintain good vein health and, by doing so, help prevent varicose veins and other vascular conditions occur on the skin or worsen, it is important to exercise regularly and have a good diet all year round, particularly during the winter.

If you are concerned about varicose veins or other conditions affecting the veins and would like to speak to an expert in vascular health, get in contact with Daryll Baker at the Vascular Consultancy, a leading UK specialist in providing advice, diagnosis and treatment options for conditions affecting the veins.


The New Year is traditionally a time when we take stock of our lives and aim to make improvements to our health. The vascular system – the heart, veins, arteries and circulation – is an element of our health that should never be overlooked. Maintaining good vascular health is essential for keeping the body working properly and staving off disease.

If this year comes with aspirations to improve your health, making the effort to keep the vascular system working well would be a good place to start. Take a look at the following ways to improve your vascular health in 2018.

Give up smoking

Smoking is one of the leading preventable cause of premature death in the U.K. Tobacco smokers are at a higher risk of developing vascular problems that can lead to chronic diseases. Smoking causes fatty build-ups to clog the arteries, which can lead to several types of cancer, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

If you smoke, one of the best ways to improve your vascular health in 2018 is to give up the habit.

Improve your blood circulation

A healthy vascular system relies on a healthy flow of blood around the body. One of the most effective ways to get the blood flowing freely is to carry out regular exercise. Whether it’s joining a gym, taking the dog for a walk, or going on jogs, regular exercise will improve blood circulation, promote the growth of new blood vessels and help improve and maintain good vascular health.

Eat a low cholesterol diet

Eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol will reduce the risk of plaque building up in the arteries. A plaque build-up in the arteries prevents the blood flowing to and from the vessels and can cause a disease known as atherosclerosis.

Lose weight

As Allina Health notes, for every pound of fat, the heart has to pump blood through what equates to an extra mile’s worth of blood vessels. If you are overweight, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight through a sensible diet and regular exercise, will help keep the vascular system in a good working condition.

Keep an eye on your blood pressure

High blood pressure can lead to arterial damage, putting you at risk of heart failure, kidney damage, a heart attack and a stroke. Blood pressure should be no higher than 140/90. Carrying out regular exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a good weight, will help keep your blood pressure at a normal rate.

If you need more advice about vascular health and treatment for certain vascular conditions, get in touch with the vascular experts at The Vascular Consultancy.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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