7 great exercises for varicose veins

exercises for varicose veins

Varicose veins can cause many other problems than just appear like rashes, tired itchy legs, swelling, etc. Exercises for varicose veins can help you counter those effects. Varicose veins are large or swollen veins that can be seen with naked eyes as they run right under the skin, usually, they can be seen on legs and feet.

Varicose veins are formed when the valves of the veins get weakened or damaged or blood pools in the leg. Vein returns blood from the body to the heart for veins in the leg to bring blood back to the heart they have to work against gravity.

Muscle contraction in the leg acts as the pump and the elastic veins wall helps bring blood back to the heart. Tiny valves in our veins open up for blood to flow towards the heart and then close so the blood doesn’t flow backward. If those valves are weakened or damaged blood can flow back and pool in the veins causing them to stretch or twist. (1)

Since varicose veins are formed due to a lack of physical activities over a long period of time, this condition affects around 25% of women and 15% of men. Regular physical activities can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. Exercising can help you reduce the risk of varicose veins and if you’re someone who is already suffering from varicose veins just exercise alone won’t cure you but it might stop your condition from progressing. Also, who knows that exercising can make a good difference in your condition.

If you’re obese or elderly you might be at high risk of varicose veins so these exercises for varicose veins are a must for you. Sometimes varicose veins can be hereditary or can be caused after an injury. It’s most common in women with pregnancy so being physically active in your day-to-day life can help improve blood circulation and improve overall vein health.

How can exercise prevent varicose veins?

There is no clear-cut guided way to prevent varicose veins but regular physical activities can reduce the chances of your suffering from them. Simple changes in your routine like your sitting and standing up position can help improve blood circulation that in turn can help reduce the amount of blood pooling in your veins.

Exercise can help improve your body’s ability to pump blood from leg to heart and all the way back. Exercising also helps you burn calories and lose weight which helps in decreasing the chances of varicose veins. Activities like running, swimming, cycling, and walking are all these low-impact exercises that can be helpful. These low-impact exercises will also help improve your lower body health.

Getting rid of the already existing varicose vein can be tough in some cases treatment can be as serious as removing veins. To avoid such serious action exercising can be helpful and slow down the progression of existing veins.

Exercises that prevent varicose veins

Improving blood flow and muscle health might reduce your risk. Many health professionals recommend doing at least 30 mins of physical activities during the day (2). Changing your lifestyle from not being physically active to physically active can be tough and it might cause you pain or discomfort if you’re suffering from this vein problem so to overcome that hurdle start easy like low-impact exercises and gradually work your way up.

  1. Walking

Walking is the safest and the easiest low-impact exercise that can be done by people of any fitness level. The Health benefits that a simple walk can offer us are huge such as increased cardiovascular, and lung health, Helping you manage various health diseases such as blood pressure, and diabetes, improving your cholesterol level, Stronger and better bones, Increase in stamina and muscle level, and burning calories and reducing fat. Also, you can choose from various different types of walking such as brisk walk, causal stroll, power walking, etc.

2. Swimming

Oh, that sounds refreshing, swimming is a great way for a person with bad knees to exercise. It will have a very low impact on your body with also being versatile also swimming is better than running. In swimming, you will be working out all of the major muscles in your body like the pecs, glutes, and core. Freestyle swimming is the best and also the fastest form of swimming just doing freestyle swimming for 20 minutes will help you burn around 200 calories or even more.

In beginning, you can start by just kicking your legs in the pool, and later on as you progress you can start doing full strokes and then gradually increase your time or number of laps.

3. Cycling

Cycling is a great form of cardio and easy to do, doesn’t matter if you prefer exercise bike or riding a cycle outside both will burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health and also improve your knee health, flexibility, and strength. In beginning, you should avoid terrains like mountains or unstable roads riding on these terrains will create an impact on your knees and might cause your leg pain.

4. Lunges

Muscle contraction in the leg acts as a pump so veins can send blood back to the heart. When these muscles in the leg are strong and healthy they can improve blood circulation in the leg. To do lunges, place your feet shoulder-width apart, step forward slowly by bending your knee and make sure to keep your knee directly above the ankle hold that position and now straighten your leg and return to the starting position. Make sure that your knee doesn’t go past your foot.

Increase in movement you use extra energy which in turn elevates your heart rate so lunges will also improve your cardiovascular health. In lunges, it’s quite hard to go heavy and do it with good form due to that as you do lunges with lightweight you will be able to do more reps which in turn will increase your muscle endurance.

5. Leg lifts

Leg lifts are so easy and easy to do that they can be done without any equipment. To do leg lifts, start by lying straight on your back and your legs must be fully extended now lift one leg up. It should be straight towards the ceiling hold it for a few seconds and slowly bring it back. Repeat the same with the other leg try to do at least 6 to 8 reps for each leg. Many people like to do leg lifts while standing, all you have to do is hold onto a stable object and lift your leg but lying on the ground variation would be easy and it will also stretch muscles in your leg.

6. Elevating your legs

Backed-up blood flow can cause swelling and ache in your legs and elevating your legs can get rid of that problem. Just start by lying on your back and elevating both of your legs and if you need support you can press them against the wall. It will allow you to hold that position for a longer duration. Hold this position for at least a few minutes then lower your legs and if you want you can repeat the procedure but don’t overdo it.

7. Calf raises

Doing calf raises can have a great impact on the blood circulation of the legs. To do calf raises, You need to have an access to an elevated surface. Now stand on the edge of that elevated surface with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Make sure you have an object or a wall to hold onto that will help you balance yourself while you’re standing on the edge. Now lower your heels they should be below the elevated surface. You will feel a stretch in your calf muscles now lift yourself up from your toes that’s one repetition. Try to do at least 10 to 15 reps in 3 sets.

Final words

Exercises for varicose veins can be helpful when dealing with this problem but they can be help full only to some extent. Sometimes you might need treatment and to check your condition you should get in touch with a doctor. While it is a good thing that you’re becoming active but keep in mind that sometimes high-impact training can have a negative impact on varicose veins. If your pain gets worse after trying these exercises you should immediately get in touch with a doctor.