Varicose veins are common and relatively harmless condition that can be caused by different factors, such as obesity, pregnancy, hormone replacement, increasing age and they can be hereditary. The last one is the most probable cause for athletes. You can be fit and in the best shape there is, but when genes come into the picture, you’re quite powerless. That is not totally true, though. You can put up quite a fight, by constantly improving your blood circulation with proper physical activity. Though genes may dictate your predisposition for varicose veins, exercising in the right way can help minimize further development of the condition and relieve the existing one. Read on to find out what are the adequate exercises for people suffering from bulging veins.
Vein diseases are caused by lack of blood circulation in veins. This further causes pressure in the veins and they look cord-like and bulge. Because exercising improves circulation in legs, builds strength and stimulates blood flow it can help to improve varicose veins condition, by reducing discomfort and relieving the pain. Some exercises are, of course, better than others. The most productive are the ones strengthening calf muscle and thus promoting healthy blood circulation.
Walking: This low-impact activity is perfect for developing strong calf muscle. To improve your blood flow, it’s recommendable to walk at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week. To translate: Anyplace you can go on foot – go on foot.
Running: This activity gets the calf muscles and feet moving. Just make sure you’re running on a grassy surface or synthetic track, to avoid pressure on the joints.
Stationary bike and elliptical: These exercises improve your blood circulation and calf strength, without stressing your joints and bones.
Swimming: The external pressure of the water is relieving the discomfort of varicose veins and the fact that the muscles are exercising while legs are horizontal makes it an excellent and harmless activity.
Exercises to Avoid
Some exercises can have a negative impact on the bulging veins symptoms. Those are usually the ones that request sudden moves (jumping, kicking) or put a strain on blood circulation and the ones that demand too much effort of the leg muscles or keep the legs in a very rigid position.
Weightlifting: This is not a good exercise for people suffering from varicose veins, because it burdens them and sends blood, instead of back to the heart, into the veins.
Sit ups, crunches, lunges and prolonged abdominal posturing (as done in yoga): These activities are worsening the venous reflux. If you must practice them, do it in short sessions combined with aerobics.
What if there is No Time for Exercising or the Pain is Overwhelming?
Sometimes, there is simply no time to go jogging or swimming, or the pain in the legs due to vein condition is too much to cope with physical activities. There are some activities that can be done, which require minimum of your time and are not painful. Undergoing a vein treatment to relieve the pain and improve the appearance is also an option. Helpful activities:
Rotating the ankles and rocking the feet back and forward on the floor.
Wearing compression stockings to reduce blood pooling in calf veins.
Wearing comfortable shoes.
Just a few simple changes to your routine will be enough to improve the varicose veins condition. There is a need for compromises if a part of your previous routine was made of non-adequate exercise which can have negative impact on blood circulation, but you can still continue with the lifestyle you are used to.