Patients often ask our vascular doctor if it’s possible to exercise without getting more varicose veins. If you have varicose veins, or if they run in your family, you can’t eliminate varicose veins from your life completely. However, maintaining good circulatory health, through exercise, is an excellent way to encourage proper blood flow and help you avoid future serious vein problems. High impact exercise, like running, puts pressure on the legs and can cause varicose veins, especially in people who already have a history. To stay healthy and control your weight, plan your exercise routine around low impact options. This does not mean you should never run or do higher impact exercise. If you love running or playing basketball, for example, there’s no need to give it up completely. Just avoid getting most of your exercise that way. Concentrate on low impact cardiovascular exercise.
Low Impact Exercises Recommended by our Las Vegas Vascular SurgeonTo avoid new varicose veins, emphasize lower impact exercise. You could:
- Walk: Walking is excellent exercise if you’re concerned about varicose veins. Walking is simple and easy to fit into your day. Even if your schedule is packed, and especially if you work at a desk all day, make a point of taking short breaks and walking. Every bit helps, and you’ll lower your stress level too. No matter what type of other exercise you do (or don’t do), work in some walking for vein health.
- Swim: Swimming gets your circulation going, and the pressure of water around you can even soothe varicose vein leg discomfort. Swimming also puts your body into a straight and stretched position, for healthy, unrestricted blood flow. Exercising while you’re off your feet helps you avoid ankle swelling and other symptoms of vein problems as well.
- Bike: Whether you take a spin class, ride with a friend in your neighborhood, or use a stationary bike at home, you’ll get great cardio and circulatory benefits without excessive leg pressure. Try a recumbent bike for even better unobstructed blood flow.
- Elliptical: Another low impact favorite is the elliptical. The elliptical, perhaps even more than the bike, can engage and strengthen calf muscles, while improving blood flow. Calf and leg muscles are important to help your blood flow properly upward, against gravity, from your legs back to your heart and lungs.