Exercise and Varicose Veins : When varicose veins appear, several symptoms can arise that make regular physical activity a challenge. The bulging purple or blue-ish twisted veins that show up beneath the skin’s surface at not only a cosmetic problem for nearly one-third of the population who experiences them.
This is because varicose veins take place due in part to broken vein walls. When this occurs, blood flow is not as healthy or as efficient as it used to be, leading to uncomfortable results. Many adults who live with varicose veins feel heaviness in the lower body, often combined with pain, achiness, and swelling, all which can be an ongoing concern.
Fortunately, exercise does not have to be taken off the daily agenda for those who live with varicose veins. Working out on a regular basis can still be done, but specific considerations should be taken into account before starting or continuing an exercise routine when varicose veins are present. Here are the things you should know when exercising with varicose veins, including the do’s, the don’ts, and other reduction methods to ease varicose vein symptoms.
Exercises to Do
According to specialists at a leading varicose veins clinic in the UK, consistent physical activity is one of the ways to maintain healthy veins throughout one’s lifetime. Even though the cause of varicose veins differs from one patient to the next, failing to live an active lifestyle can aid in the discomfort that comes with broken veins. Working out is a viable path toward improving these symptoms, but with the following exercise in mind.
- Walking – adults with varicose veins can help boost circulation in the legs by taking time to walk each day. This simple exercise may mean taking a lap or two around the office midday or spending time on a treadmill each morning or evening. Walking is a low-impact activity that not only increases the heart rate but also encourages the healthy flow of blood throughout the body.
- Biking or elliptical training – both cycling and using the elliptical machine can be helpful for those with varicose veins. Similar to walking, the movements are low-impact, which allows for improved circulation without added pressure on the legs.
- Swimming – another exercise for varicose veins is swimming. The elevation of the legs above the heart while in the water can work wonders on improving circulation while alleviating the pain and discomfort that comes with vein issues. There is no pressure placed on the body when swimming, so varicose veins are not negatively impacted during this activity.
- Light aerobics, stretching, and yoga – those with varicose veins may also consider less strenuous activities like aerobics, leg stretching, and yoga to improve symptoms. These are low-impact, often slower exercises that promote circulation without raising the heart rate or putting undue pressure on the body.
What to Avoid
Several exercises are safe to perform even when varicose veins are an issue. However, there are a handful of more strenuous activities that should be avoided. These including heavy weight lifting at the top of the list. Lifting heavy weights can put extreme pressure on the legs and the rest of the body, creating more discomfort and pain for those who already have varicose veins. It is important to note that heavy weight lifting does not cause varicose veins, but it can exacerbate current vein issues.
Additionally, running or jogging on hard surfaces like the road can be harmful to adults with varicose veins. The jarring impact of feet to pavement puts more strain on the legs, especially when done over the course of several months consistently. For those who are avid runners, doing so on softer, more giving surfaces is a better choice.
Other Methods of Reducing Varicose Vein Issues
Regardless of the type of physical activity adults with varicose veins perform each day, there are several alternative methods that can be used to reduce pain and discomfort. Many vein specialists recommend wearing compression stockings before, during, or after a workout to keep blood flow moving in the right way. Taking this small step can decrease pain and swelling after physical activity.
Also, stretching and leg elevation are beneficial in minimising varicose vein pain. Again, these activities are meant to promote circulation in the healthy veins of the legs, taking some of the pressure off broken vein walls. A combination of stretching, elevation, and compression can be incredibly helpful in keeping varicose vein discomfort to a minimum.
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