This is the second in a series on strategies to help raise a vein. Last time I talked about the importance of keeping warm when trying to find a vein, this time I’d like to talk about exercise and diet. In my opinion not enough needle programme (NSP) workers or people who inject even consider diet issues something to talk about.
Exercise is a great was to increase the size of a vein in the short term, when you exercise the body’s nervous system and brain send out messages that will cause all the veins in a body to contract (vasoconstriction). But the process of exercising also makes the muscles release chemicals that prevent this happening there. The result is that during and just after exercising veins in or near muscle carry more blood and so will be bigger (vasodilatation). Working out in some way will also increase your heart rate getting blood pumping better around your body.
But keeping fit can also help keep veins more visible, as your muscle density increases surface veins are pushed up more towards the surface. But how can someone on very limited resources afford to keep fit and exercise? Here are some tips:
Recently someone asked me about the issue of liability when suggesting to people they exercise because they had been told not to recommend it in case someone injures themselves. Personally I think we should trust in peoples own ability to look after themselves.
When I was thinking of writing this article it was just going to be on exercise, but something made me wonder about the effect diet can have, here’s what I’ve found so far:
Of course, having a good diet and keeping fit is important for everyone for long term health, this is something that I think should be talked about more with injectors.