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Fall is in the air, which means temperatures will soon get cooler and stay that way for several months. After a summer of wondering whether the heat and sun can affect your veins, it’s time to decide whether cooler temps and the upcoming seasons will affect them as well. The short answer is yes, the changing seasons do affect your veins, and the ways may surprise you. Some are negative, and some are positive. Let’s take a look.

1. The Weather
When your body is exposed to cold, it can cause your blood vessels to restrict. In turn, this can slow down blood flow and put extra stress on your circulatory system. Not only that, but cold weather, particularly in places that see snow, brings a change in the atmospheric pressure. This can make your body feel heavier, even if you haven’t actually gained weight. Just like any other type of pressure, this can negatively impact your veins.

2. Inactivity
It’s not hard to motivate yourself to go outside to walk, run, hike, swim, or bike during the gorgeous spring and summer months, but during the fall and winter, you may feel like staying inside and ignoring the cold damp weather. Many people see a decline in their overall physical activity levels at this time. Unfortunately, your cardiovascular system needs at least 30 minutes a day of exercise that gets your heart pumping to stay healthy. Not only can this lead to poorer circulation, but inactivity is often associated with weight gain, which adds pressure on your veins.

3. Holiday Eating
Speaking of weight gain, we are entering the time of year when people have the most trouble following a healthy diet. Fall festival food, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas cookies, and other seasonal treats become a normal part of the diet. Again, the more you weigh, the more likely you are to have varicose veins and other vein problems.

4. Clothing
Even the way you dress during this time of year can impact your veins. As it grows colder, we tend to switch out those loose shorts, skirts, and sandals for jeans, pantyhose, and boots. Tighter clothing can restrict blood flow to your legs, which puts pressure on your veins. Try to stick to looser items when possible, even when choosing accessories and undergarments. Compression stockings used in place of socks and pantyhose can also help prevent circulation issues.

5. Vein Treatments
On a positive note, if you do suffer from varicose veins, winter is the best time to treat them. Not only does it give you plenty of time to recover so that you can show off your sexy new legs in your summer shorts and bathing suits, but you are more likely to avoid harmful UV rays. Some treatments require you to stay out of the sun for up to a month. If you are wearing pants and long dresses and skirts, there’s no need to take extra precautions. Finally, you may need to wear compression stockings after your treatment, and they can be hot and uncomfortable during the warmer months of the year.