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The Dos and Don’ts of Working Out with Varicose Veins

varicose vein exercise - hiking

Varicose veins are predominantly a byproduct of your genetic heritage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to prevent existing varicose veins from getting worse and forestall new ones from forming.

In a nutshell, a varicose vein is a weak venous structure, which then inhibits blood from traveling up to the heart. The heart has to work harder both to get blood all the way down to the legs and then to bring it back up, which causes higher blood pressure and makes blood pool in the veins – creating the purplish effect.

Good news: exercise is the number one way to strengthen your veins, but there are some dos and don’ts associated with it.

The Dos of Working Out with Varicose Veins

First and foremost, do exercise. Even if you’re nervous about applying pressure to your veins, know that exercise is the No. 1 thing you can do to improve their strength and function. It’s especially important to work the calves and thighs, because these are the areas where varicose veins most commonly develop. Strengthening them will in turn strengthen the veins within, and make it less likely that they will weaken.

Opt for low-impact activity wherever possible, such as walking, stationary bike, hiking, and swimming. These repetitive exercises strengthen you without causing the straining that can make veins worse.

The Don’ts of Working Out with Varicose Veins

The reason straining causes varicose veins is because it blocks vein access. When you lift a heavy weight and stop breathing, for instance, the blood in the veins of your legs gets stopped in your abdominal cavity, leaving it with nowhere to go. That’s when it pools and distends veins. Avoid weight lifting if possible, or lift smaller amounts that don’t cause you to strain and hold your breath. Again, repetitive, low-impact activity is ideal.

Professional Help with Varicose Veins

It’s also a good idea to consider varicose vein removal. At the Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center, we perform simple, outpatient vein closure procedures that shut off diseased veins, allowing healthy veins to take over. This process systematically eliminates veins that are too weak or aren’t functioning properly, preventing further breakdown of that vein. In conjunction with exercise, this keeps your circulatory system healthy.

If you would like to learn more about varicose vein removal or smart lifestyle approaches if you suffer from diseased veins, then we invite you to get in touch by calling us at 914-205-6399. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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