5 Exercises to Help Prevent Varicose Veins

5 Exercises to Prevent Varicose Veins

One of the key factors in the development of varicose veins is an inactive lifestyle. Not getting enough exercise slows circulation and allows blood to pool in the lower limbs. Incorporating a little more activity into your lifestyle is a great way to combat varicose veins.

Many people live relatively sedentary lifestyles. Between the commute to work, sitting down all day, the commute home from work, then ending the night on the sofa after a long day, a lot of people struggle to fit some time for exercise into their busy day.

Varicose veins are caused by blood pooling in the lower limbs and damaging the valves in these veins. Exercise can improve circulation and increase your body’s ability to pump blood up to the leg back toward the heart. Even if you already have varicose veins, exercise can keep them from getting worse and also help reduce pain and discomfort.

So what exercises should you focus on to prevent the development of varicose veins?

1. Walking

It may seem simple, but walking is critical for preventing varicose veins. Walking causes the calf muscles to contract and relax, helping to push blood up from the legs. If you work at an office or a desk job, make a special effort to get up and walk more – try to schedule small walks throughout the day (even if it’s just 15 minutes) or take the stairs when you can. Walking is especially beneficial for people who currently suffer from varicose veins since it’s a low-impact activity.

2. Leg Lifts

Leg lifts involve the movement of your legs being raised above your heart, helping the blood to drain from your lower legs and boosting overall circulation. Simply lay on your back while sticking your feet straight out. Lift one leg up at a time, holding it in the air. Slowly lower it down and repeat with the other leg.

3. Biking or Elliptical

Riding a bike or stationary bike are excellent exercises for increasing circulation and blood flow. If you don’t have access to a bike, you can try bicycle kicks: while lying on your back, put your legs in the air, bending them at the knee. Pedal them slowly as if you’re bicycling. You can try both legs at once or alternate one at a time.

4. Calf Flexors

Building the strength of your calf muscles aids a great deal in improving your body’s blood circulation, and calf raises are a great way to do that. These are also a really easy exercise to do while sitting down, especially helpful for people who work in an office. Starting with your feet flat on the floor, gently raise your toes so that your calf muscle stretches, and then lower your toes to the floor and raise your heels. Repeat this motion for a few minutes or as often as you can.

5. Yoga

Yoga helps to stretch out the muscles, which is great if your legs feel stiff from sitting all day. Yoga can seem a bit intimidating, but the poses can easily be adapted to different fitness levels. Faster moving forms of yoga can really get the blood moving and boost overall circulation. For the most part, the yoga poses that are most beneficial to your vein health are those that involve elevating your legs, helping your body in draining the blood back to your heart.

Contact Summit Skin & Vein Care at (816) 533-4398 today for more information or schedule an appointment to start treatment for varicose veins!

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