Varicose veins can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most well-known causes is long periods of standing or sitting.
When you sit or stand for too long, you put significant stress and pressure on your veins, which can result in varicose veins, particularly for those who are already prone to the condition.
Since exercise improves your body’s circulation, it can also help you manage your varicose veins. Even exercise as simple as a walk can be quite beneficial, and here’s why.
Exercising and Varicose Veins
Exercise is one of the best ways you can manage varicose veins. Exercise plays an important role in the health of your circulatory system, cardiovascular system, and overall health.
When you exercise, blood flow increases in your body because your heart starts pumping blood faster. Some studies have even shown that your body grows more blood vessels in response to regular exercise.
Varicose veins form when your blood vessels are weak and unable to push blood through adequately. The pooling blood causes swelling, resulting in the twisted, painful condition of varicose veins.
Since varicose veins can cause pain, however, some individuals find it difficult to exercise with varicose veins. If you fall into this category, don’t be discouraged. Here are some helpful suggestions for exercises you can do with varicose veins.
How to Exercise with Varicose Veins
Note that exercise does not get rid of varicose veins, but it can help manage pain and minimize their appearance. If you do not have varicose veins but are genetically predisposed to them, exercise can help prevent them from forming in the first place.
Walking is a workout accessible to most people with varicose veins. Walking is beneficial because it is low-impact, which means there are no pounding or jarring motions that could hurt your legs.
Walking is also an opportunity to strengthen your calves, which aid in the circulation of blood through your legs.
To start a walking routine to manage varicose veins, try beginning with a 30-minute walk at least five days a week. While a leisurely stroll is better than nothing, a brisker pace will help kick your cardiovascular system into gear, which is great for your health.
Stationary bikes are also a great way to exercise with varicose veins. Like walking, biking is a low-impact activity that strengthens your leg muscles while increasing your heart rate.
If walking causes pain, you can try biking instead. Or add both to your routine to mix things up. You can alternate your walking and biking days, or you can stick to biking 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
Another low-impact exercise is the elliptical machine. If walking doesn’t bother you, but you want to change things up, or you want to get faster with more support, the elliptical is a great tool to use.
Like biking and walking, the elliptical increases muscle strength while elevating your heart rate, which makes it an efficient and low-impact way to improve blood flow.
There are plenty of other exercises that may be accessible to you if you have varicose veins. Some additional low-impact exercises include yoga and pilates, which can challenge you while protecting your joints and keeping stress at a minimum.
In general, unless otherwise indicated by your provider, you should try to avoid exercises that put a lot of strain on your legs, since this can worsen your vein issues.
High-impact activities increase blood flow at a more sudden and rapid rate than low-impact movements. This can stress your leg veins and cause damage to the delicate valves already struggling to regulate your body’s blood flow.
Exercises like running and weightlifting can be good for you in that they boost your metabolism, increase muscle tone, and help with your cardiovascular and nervous systems. However, these exercises also tend to be higher-impact, which could result in complications for those suffering from varicose veins.
Before adding high-impact exercises into your routine, you should talk to a qualified vein specialist.
Starting an Exercise Routine
To learn more about safe exercises you can perform with varicose veins and to start your exercise routine, contact Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center.