One of the biggest risk factors for varicose veins is being too sedentary. In other words, if you spend most of your life standing or sitting, there’s a good chance you’ll develop the condition. Why? Remaining in the same place for long periods of time limits blood flow, which harms veins. Genetics and weight also can play a role in the development of varicose veins. So, while this is no sure way to prevent this painful condition, you may be able to alleviate the discomfort of it with low-impact exercise.
While you should avoid movements that could exacerbate vein pain, it’s important to cultivate a lifestyle of regular activity. Staying fit can improve and reduce pain from varicose veins and may even, in some cases, prevent the condition.
Why Walking Is a Great Place to Start
Unlike intense workouts that can overtax and even harm parts of the body, low-impact exercise encourages better circulation without putting excessive pressure on veins. One excellent example is walking. A good way to burn calories, walking also is an accessible, versatile way to get the blood moving without overstressing your veins. Depending on your circumstances, jogging on a soft surface such as grass may also be acceptable. Shoot for 30 minutes, five times a week, for the best results.
Biking Is Beneficial
Whether you bike around the neighborhood or use a stationary bike or elliptical machine at the gym, this exercise is a great way to increase your heart rate, work your muscles and improve circulation without putting too much pressure on your legs. Or you can cycle your legs in the air while laying on your back for many of the same benefits. Cycle several times a week for 30 minutes each time and you can strengthen your calves while boosting circulation.
Swimming Offers Full-Body Support
Doing daily laps in the pool is more than a fun recreational activity. For people with varicose veins, it’s also an ideal way to get in a good workout without too much strain. When you swim, your body is supported by water, taking pressure off your muscles and veins.
You Can Do Calf Flexors Anywhere
Looking for a way to work out wherever you are? Whether you’re out of town in a hotel or on a lunch break from work, you can practice calf flexors at your convenience. Stand up straight with both feet planted firmly on the floor, then slowly raise and lower your heels. Repeat as many times as you’re able, and achieve stronger legs and better circulation in the process.
As the above examples demonstrate, there are lots of ways to exercise, even with varicose veins on your legs — and you definitely should do it! Not only will regular exercise help alleviate pain from varicose veins, but it also can minimize them. Getting fit also may help you lose weight, which can further reduce the pressure on your veins. Learn more about the best exercises for varicose veins and the biggest mistakes to avoid in the attached resource.North Shore Vascular
Author bio: Dr. John Golan is Lead Vascular Surgeon at North Shore Vascular, a vascular surgery specialty practice in Northfield, Illinois. Dr. Golan has 30 years of experience treating veins and arteries, and became the first physician in the Chicago area to provide laser treatment for varicose veins (EVLT). He is responsible for leading diagnosis and providing the best treatment for patients.