Types of Exercise to Prevent Varicose Veins

23 September, 2020
There are ways to exercise to prevent varicose veins. However, you must be aware that exercising alone won't cure your varicose veins, it mainly contributes to their relief. Continue reading to learn about some interesting options to do so.

Exercise can prevent varicose veins so it’s a recommended complement to any other treatment prescribed by your doctor. Note that you can’t just follow any technique or intensity. In fact, there are specific routines for this purpose.

Above all, exercising helps improve blood circulation when you do it regularly. In addition, it can relieve the feeling of heaviness and swelling. These are three of the symptoms that usually lead to discomfort.

Exercising every day won’t make your varicose veins go away completely, though. However, it can definitely go a long way in relieving and preventing discomfort. Of course, you can’t achieve it through a sedentary lifestyle.

What are varicose veins?

This is one of the most common conditions when it comes to poor blood circulation, especially among women. However, men aren’t exempt from them. In fact, Paul V Tisi, a professional at Bedford Hospital in the UK wrote that varicose veins affect 40% of adults in an article in BMJ Clinical Evidence.

Varicose veins occur when the one-way valves stop working properly and the vein walls lose elasticity. As a result, blood accumulates within the veins and they become enlarged. Factors such as being in the same position for a long time, maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight or pregnant are associated with this problem.

However, there are several treatment options currently available, including changes in lifestyle, the use of compression stockings, endovenous laser, injection sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, among others.

A person showing their varicose veins.
The choice between one treatment against varicose veins or another depends on the needs of every patient. Thus, it’s important to consult a professional.

Types of exercise to prevent varicose veins

Exercise is a good complementary treatment for this condition when done properly. Regular moderate physical activity can help decrease inflammation and circulatory difficulties. However, overheating or overexertion could be detrimental.

Thus, the Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) recommends choosing low-impact activities such as the ones we’re about to discuss.

Read: Six Exercises You Can Do at Home to Improve Your Health

Walking is one of a good exercise to prevent varicose veins

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main factors that leads to the appearance of varicose veins. Spending a long time sitting without moving your legs can cause circulation problems.

As you can see, walking is one of the best activities you can do for this purpose. Firstly, because it helps you stretch, strengthens your calf muscles, and stimulates your blood flow. Secondly, because it contributes to maintaining an optimal weight and doesn’t strongly impact your joints.

All you have to do is spend 30 minutes every day, five days a week, to reap all the benefits of walking. Just take a stroll by the park, leave the car at home when you go shopping, or take the dog around your neighborhood.

A person walking to prevent the appearance of varicose veins.
A 30-minute daily walk can help improve your blood circulation and help you lose weight. Thus, it’s a good activity to prevent varicose veins.

Lunges

Specialists at the Vein Treatment Clinic advise doing lunges as part of your exercise routine. This exercise helps you work the muscles of the lower part of your body, specifically your feet and calves. This is because it promotes circulation.

To do them, stand upright with your legs apart. Then take a step forward and bend the knee. It should be aligned with your ankle. Now straighten the leg and return it to your starting position. Finally, do the same with the opposite leg. Do 10-12 reps per leg.

Turn

One of the latest exercises recommended for varicose veins is about doing circular movements while your legs are up. To do it, lay on your back and lift one of your legs at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.

Then, rotate the leg, making circular movements in a clockwise direction. After about 20 or 25 repetitions do the same with the other leg.

Spinning

This is also an interesting option. Obviously, you can do this exercise on any kind of bicycle. But you can also do it while you lie on the floor and raise your legs.

For this, you could just go for a ride. Though there’s also the option of doing a spinning routine. To do the latter just lie down with your back straight on the floor and raise your legs about 45 degrees. Then, move your legs as if you were pedaling a bicycle.

A person bicycling.
Riding a bike or spinning can help strengthen your calf muscles, this is great for preventing varicose veins.

Don’t forget to read: Four benefits of riding a bike

Exercise to prevent varicose veins contributes to your relief and well-being

Exercising as a prevention method is a good treatment for this problem. However, it’s not enough by itself. You must also improve your lifestyle habits and consult your doctor. They can tell you more about the treatments currently out there. As you can see, physical activity must be constant for its effect to be significant.

  • Tisi PV. Varicose veins. BMJ Clin Evid. 2011;2011:0212. Published 2011 Jan 5.
  • Center for Vein Restoration. (April 16, 2019). Which Exercises Are Safest for Varicose Veins?. Available in https://www.centerforvein.com/blog/exercises-safest-varicose-veins
  • Vein Treatment Clinic. (June 22, 2019). Best exercise for varicose veins and effective treatment options.
    Available in https://www.veintreatmentclinic.com/exercise-for-varicose-veins
  • Azura Vascular Care. (Nov 29, 2018). Do These Six Exercises to Help with Varicose Veins Prevention. Available in https://www.azuravascularcare.com/infoveins/six-exercises-to-help-with-varicose-veins-prevention/