Varicose veins occur when the tiny valves in your veins stop working the way they’re supposed to, interfering with normal circulation. Since exercise can help improve circulation, it makes sense that exercise – at least some types – can be beneficial for improving your vein health. In fact, being physically active can play an important role in varicose vein treatment and prevention.
The thing is, not all exercises are created equal – and not all exercises are good for varicose veins. Some exercises, like weightlifting, can actually increase the pressure inside your veins. That means the pressure on the tiny valves inside your veins can also increase, which means it’s more likely they’ll become damaged and begin to malfunction. In short, these exercises may even increase your risk of developing varicose veins.
As it turns out, walking is one of the best exercises for varicose veins, and for your overall health too. That’s really good news because walking is also very accessible: Most people are able to increase the amount of time they spend walking, and aside from a decent pair of shoes, you don’t need any special equipment. Plus, walking is a low-impact aerobic activity, which means it doesn’t stress the joints like running or jumping.
Walking benefits your vascular health in several important ways:
First, it keeps your blood moving, and that helps prevent your blood from “backing up” and putting excess pressure on the tiny valves inside your veins.
As a low-impact aerobic activity, it also helps lower cholesterol, which means you’re less likely to develop other vascular problems.
Walking is really good for your heart. Just a half hour or so five times a week is all it takes to improve heart health.
Walking improves your calf muscles, which play an important role in circulation in your legs. Healthy calf muscles help pump blood from your lower legs and feet back to your heart, reducing the strain on your vein valves.
Finally, walking helps you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can reduce pressure on your legs.
Regular walking typically is safe for just about anyone. But because varicose veins can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying disease, if you have varicose veins, it’s a good idea to schedule a vein evaluation before beginning any type of exercise program, especially if you’ve been leading a pretty inactive lifestyle.
As a top provider of Cincinnati vein treatment and varicose vein surgery, Vascular Interventional Associates Vein Center Can help you improve your vein health with state-of-the-art treatments and lifestyle changes tuned to your unique needs. To learn more about the treatment options we offer, visit our site to see before & after photos or call us at 859-286-7333 to schedule your vein evaluation today.