How exercise can help with varicose veins

How exercise can help with varicose veins

April 2019

Walking

Many of those suffer from varicose veins feel they are limited in their exercise options due to discomfort, pain, and a concern it might make them worse. Yet removing exercise from a daily routine will actually cause more harm than good. Not only does exercise benefit general health and wellbeing, it also improves the health of veins.

Interestingly, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest contributing factors to varicose veins, especially if you sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.

Exercise can therefore help improve circulation throughout your body, thereby improving symptoms of varicose veins and even helping with prevention. However, it is important to note that there are a number of factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins including genetics and pregnancy.

Here are a few simple exercises to help those with varicose veins:

  1. Walking – walking is an easy low-impact exercise that will help strengthen your muscles, therefore improving your circulation. Aim to walk at least 30 minutes five days a week. Try to speed it up when possible, and even add on some hills.
  2. Push bike – whether you’re out on the road, or on a bike at the gym, cycling is a great form of exercise for those who suffer from varicose veins. Similar to walking, this low-impact exercise will help build muscle in your legs, which will help with blood flow.
  3. Floor exercises – these ones are easy and can be done in the comfort of your home, or at the gym. They involve lying in a comfortable position on the floor, and completing a series of exercises such as: bicycle legs (lying on your back, raise legs in the air and bend at 90-degrees, slowly kick one leg out at a time parallel to the ground, repeat with the other leg); side leg lifts (lying on one side of your body with your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift one leg up in the air, hold, and bring back down; and finally calf raises (standing position, raise up on your tip-toes and slowly back down again). For each of these exercises, try to do 30 repetitions, three times over.

There are some exercises we recommend you refrain from doing depending on how severe your veins are. These exercises include running and weightlifting. If you’re interested in doing these exercises, run it past your doctor first.