Varicose veins affect millions of men and women in the U.S., causing symptoms like painful cramps, leg fatigue, and itching, not to mention their ugly appearance. Anyone can wind up developing varicose veins, but studies show they become a lot more common as we get older. They’re also more common among people who have a family history of varicose veins and other vein diseases, as well as those who are overweight. Fortunately, today’s varicose vein treatment options can help eliminate those ugly veins and their symptoms without a prolonged or painful recovery. But what if you want to reduce your need for varicose vein treatment right from the start? Exercise could play a key role.
The Best Exercises for Preventing Varicose Veins
Varicose veins form when the tiny valves inside your veins stop working properly, allowing blood to “reflux” or flow backward. As your blood slows and “pools” inside your veins, the vein walls weaken and bulge, creating that purplish, “ropy” appearance that’s the hallmark of varicose veins. Since varicose veins and circulation problems go hand-in-hand, it just makes sense to focus on exercises that can improve your circulation and help relieve pressure on those tiny valves. Here are three exercises to focus on for better vein health.
Of all the exercises you can do to reduce your risks of developing these ugly veins, walking tops the list. First, walking is accessible to just about anyone. You don’t need any special skills or equipment, and you can do it just about anywhere. You can even work in extra walking to your daily routine: take a walk during your lunch break or park as far as possible from a store entrance next time you’re at the mall. Plus, the American Heart Association says all it takes is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking five days a week to reap the heart-healthy benefits. Regular walking can help reduce excess pounds, which in turn helps reduce pressure on the valves inside your leg veins. Bonus: Walking also helps improve your mood.
Did you know your calf muscles play an important role in healthy leg circulation? They do, and toe lifts are a great way to keep your calves in the best possible shape. Toe lifts are as simple as they sound: Just raise your feet up so you’re standing on your tiptoes and hold it for a few seconds. Repeat these exercises throughout the day. For even greater results, stand on the edge of a step with your toes on the step edge and your heels hanging off the step. Let your heels “drop” toward the step to stretch your calf muscles, then flex your feet to raise up on your toes. Repeat a few times throughout the day if you can.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a pool – or a lake or the ocean – swimming can be a great, low-impact aerobic activity that can help improve your circulation without taking a toll on your joints. Plus, since swimming keeps your body close to horizontal, your heart and lower limbs are on a more “equal” level, which can help keep your blood flowing in the right direction.
Keep your veins healthy.
Exercise is an important part of maintaining good vein health. Having your veins evaluated is another, especially if you have a personal or family history of vein disease or heart disease. At the Kimmel Institute, we help men and women throughout the Boca Raton, Florida, region keep their veins healthy with routine screenings and state-of-the-art vein treatment options. To learn more about what you can do to keep your veins healthy, call the Kimmel Institute at 561-948-5560 and schedule an evaluation today.