Walking and Varicose Veins: The Benefits of a Low-Impact Routine

graphic of a couple walking to illustrate walking and varicose veins
February 15, 2024 0 Comments

Up to 35% of people in the United States are affected by varicose veins, and finding non-invasive relief is often a priority. You may be wondering, for example, about walking and varicose veins – does walking help avoid them? Will a low-impact walking routine stop them getting worse?

So – in this post we’ll look at:

  • What low-impact walking is
  • The link between walking and varicose veins
  • Walking routine preparation tips
  • Can walking worsen varicose veins?
  • Does walking help after varicose vein treatment?

What is Considered Low-Impact Walking?

Low-impact walking is a form of exercise where at least one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times, significantly reducing stress on your joints and, crucially, your veins.

This gentle yet effective activity is an especially beneficial exercise for varicose veins, as it strengthens your leg muscles without putting excessive pressure on your veins.

The key is to maintain a brisk pace to elevate your heart rate, yet allow for comfortable conversation. Typically, this pace falls around 2-3 mph. Walking at this pace ensures that you’re getting cardiovascular benefits without overexerting yourself, which provides an ideal balance for improving your vascular health.

Is Walking Considered Good for Varicose Veins?

If youre suffering from varicose veins, then yes, regular, low-impact walking can offer you many benefits. Let’s review just a few of them here:

Improved Blood Circulation and Stronger Vein Walls

When we’re looking for benefits of walking and varicose veins problems, we find significant improvements in vascular health. That’s because walking activates your calf muscles, which act as a pump that pushes blood upwards towards the heart.

This helps counter the effects of gravity, preventing blood from pooling in your lower legs and reducing pressure on your veins. So, if you incorporate walking and varicose veins management into your daily routine, you enhance vein resilience and decrease the risk of varicose veins progressing to more serious stages.

Alleviation of Symptoms

If you’re already experiencing the discomfort associated with varicose veins, low-impact walking can offer you much-needed relief. The movement helps to reduce swelling and alleviates the pain. Another bonus is the endorphins released during exercise that can naturally lower pain perception and boost your mood!

Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Beyond the direct impact on varicose veins, the relationship between walking and varicose veins extends to general cardiovascular health.

A study found that participants who walked regularly had reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or early death from CVD. A low-impact walking routine not only manages varicose veins but also promotes long-term heart health.

Weight Management and Muscle Health

As you probably know from previous posts, excess weight increases pressure on your veins, worsening symptoms and causing progression of vein problems. So another benefit of low-impact walking is that it helps in weight control, reduces this strain, and strengthens your leg muscles, particularly your calves. This combined benefit offers a straightforward and effective approach to the idea of combining walking and varicose veins management.

Accessibility and Adaptability

Regardless of fitness level or age, almost anyone can start a walking routine tailored to their abilities and needs. This makes walking an incredibly versatile tool for managing your varicose veins – allowing for pace, distance, and frequency adjustments as needed.

Preparing for Your Low-Impact Walking Routine

If you’re going to combine walking and varicose veins management, proper preparation can significantly enhance the experience and benefits of your walks.

Heres how to ensure youre well prepared:

Choosing the Right Gear

Selecting the proper footwear is important for a comfortable and effective walking routine. Look for shoes specifically designed for walking, with adequate arch support, cushioning, and a flexible sole to mimic the foot’s natural movement.

Choose moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable, regardless of the weather. In cooler weather, layering your clothing can help manage body temperature as you warm up or cool down. Wearing compression hose during walks can also support your veins, improving blood flow and reducing discomfort. We have a range available in the office, but if you buy online, make sure they’re medical grade to promote best vein health.

Planning Your Route

Decide on your walking path in advance. Choosing a safe and enjoyable route can make a significant difference to whether you continue with your low-impact walking routine. Go with your instincts: a scenic route through a nearby park, a quiet neighborhood sidewalk, or a treadmill at home. Make it enjoyable for you.

Hydration and Nutrition

Staying hydrated is key, especially when walking in warm weather or for longer distances. Carry a water bottle and plan routes where you can refill if needed. If you’re walking for over an hour, consider bringing a small snack like a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts to maintain energy levels.

Incorporating Technology

Use technology to enhance your low-impact walking experience. It’s also more fun! Fitness trackers can monitor your steps, distance, and heart rate, providing valuable feedback on your progress. Walking apps can offer route suggestions, pacing guides, and even walking meditation or music playlists to keep you motivated.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Begin each walking session with a five-minute slow walk to warm up your muscles. End your walk with a cool-down period, gradually reducing your pace, followed by gentle stretching. This helps prevent muscle soreness and improves your flexibility.

Can Walking Make Varicose Veins Worse?

A common concern is whether this kind of walking can worsen varicose veins. When done correctly, walking is unlikely to worsen your varicose veins. But it’s important to listen to your body. If you feel pain while walking, it might be a sign to slow down or take a break. But if you also wear compression stockings during your walks, as mentioned above, you offer additional support to your veins.

Can I Exercise After Varicose Vein Treatment?

Post-treatment care is crucial for recovery and maintaining the benefits of the treatment. Gentle exercise, like low-impact walking, is often recommended shortly after varicose vein treatment. It’s important, however, to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. They can guide you on when to resume exercise and which activities are safe, to ensure the best outcomes for your vascular health.

Walking Towards Healthier Veins at Denver Vein Center

At Denver Vein, we believe that low-impact walking is not just a simple activity; it’s a step towards improved vascular health and varicose veins relief. Why not embrace this low-impact routine as part of your daily life, and experience the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle?

If you’d like to discuss walking and varicose veins a little more, drop in and see Dr. Norton or another of our experts. We’ll do everything in our power to help you step outside with confidence and start your low-impact walking routine. Contact us today!

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Walking and Varicose Veins: The Benefits of a Low-Impact Routine
Wondering about the wisdom of walking and varicose veins? Step out towards improved vein health with a beneficial low-impact walking routine.