One effective way to help alleviate symptoms of varicose veins, or help prevent them deteriorating, is through exercise. In our opinion, the best exercises for varicose vein symptoms are:
- Climbing stairs
Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help improve your circulation and reduce the symptoms of varicose veins. It’s important to note that exercise alone can’t cure varicose veins, but it’s a great way to alleviate symptoms.
Best Exercises for Varicose Vein Symptoms
This is our number one choice. Swimming is highly effective as exercise for everyone, and ideal for alleviating varicose vein symptoms. Being low impact, it puts minimal stress on your joints and veins. And being a full-body sport, it promotes good circulation.
Some of the main benefits of swimming are these:
- Your horizontal position reduces pressure on your legs, which allows blood to flow back toward your heart more easily.
- The buoyancy of the water reduces strain on your legs.
- You strengthen the muscles that support proper blood flow.
- You improve your cardiovascular health overall, which can help to promote better circulation throughout your body.
This activity comes in second. The continuous movement of your legs improves blood flow while minimizing the impact on your joints.
Cycling is not only one of the best exercises for varicose vein symptoms, but can also be an excellent way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. Perfect for Colorado summers.
But In the colder months – or if you’re not a fan of the outdoors – you can cycle on a stationary bike right in your living room!
Make it fun by challenging yourself: Increase the distance or intensity of your rides gradually, and track your progress using a fitness app.
Walking is our third choice among the best exercises for varicose vein symptoms – although we acknowledge your choice may be limited for personal reasons.
But, those aside, this is an easy exercise to incorporate into your daily routine and can be done almost anywhere – in a park, on a treadmill, or even around your living room. It definitely beats sitting at a desk or standing for long periods, which is harmful to vein health.
Benefits of walking for varicose veins include
- improved circulation,
- strengthened calf muscles to help pump blood back to your heart,
- reduced varicose vein symptoms,
- help in maintaining a healthy weight for you,
- reduced risk of chronic diseases (such as heart disease and diabetes), and
- improvements in your overall mood and mental health.
What’s not good about that? Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes a day to get the most benefit from walking. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and stay hydrated!
4 Climbing Stairs
Climbing stairs is another great exercise because it works the muscles in your legs and helps improve blood circulation. By contracting your calf muscles as you climb stairs, you are helping to reduce blood trying to pool in your lower limbs, which can reduce the pressure on your vein valves.
Climb stairs at home if you have them, and avoid elevators whenever possible!
Stretching is lower down our list simply because it’s more of a complementary exercise to the best exercises for varicose vein symptoms.
However, engaging in regular stretching exercises offers multiple benefits, such as:
- enhanced flexibility,
- reduced muscle tension,
- better blood flow to your muscles so they work better to support your veins,
- alleviating pressure on your veins, and
- minimizing cramping and discomfort in your legs.
Some recommended stretching exercises that support leg vein health are:
- calf stretches
- hamstring stretches
- ankle circles
Yoga is last on our list.
But it is definitely a beneficial practice for those already suffering from varicose veins. Practicing specific yoga poses can help improve blood circulation and reduce the symptoms of varicose veins, such as irritation, itching, aching, and cramping.
Engaging in specific yoga poses that target the legs helps to improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and alleviate some of your discomfort.
Effective yoga poses for varicose veins include:
- Legs Up the Wall – which allows blood to flow back down to the heart, reducing swelling and pressure in your legs.
- Supported Shoulder Stand – which helps to stimulate the thyroid gland, which can help to regulate metabolism and improve blood flow.
- Reclining Bound Angle pose – which helps to open up the hips and stretch the inner thighs, improving circulation in your legs.
Avoid poses that involve standing for extended periods of time or putting excessive pressure on your legs. These are obviously counterproductive for vein health!
Striking the Right Exercise Balance for Varicose Vein Symptoms
Exercising with varicose veins can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can help prevent varicose veins and improve their symptoms. On the other hand, it can worsen them if it puts excessive pressure on your legs.
Being mindful of the types of exercises you engage in can make a significant difference in managing varicose veins effectively. These are the exercises to avoid:
- High-impact exercises like running or jogging on a hard surface can cause veins to stretch and become more visible. This also applies to high-impact aerobics, or exercises that involve jumping.
- Weightlifting can increase pressure on your veins and cause them to become more visible.
Exercise Alone Can’t Cure or Prevent Varicose Veins!
You might be diligently doing the best exercises for varicose vein symptoms. But exercise is not a cure or a sure preventative. And varicose veins (not always visible) do not go away on their own!
You should see a healthcare professional for treatment of varicose veins if:
- You experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, skin changes, or ulcers.
- You have a family history of varicose veins or are at increased risk due to age, obesity, or pregnancy.
Try Implementing the Best Exercises for Varicose Vein Symptoms This Summer!
At Denver Vein Center, we want you to step outside with confidence – every day – as you exercise to benefit your vein health!
So – incorporate some of our best exercises for varicose vein symptoms into your daily routine, but also pop in to consult us for personalized guidance and treatment options to ensure optimal vein health.
Don’t let varicose veins hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest! Contact us today for an appointment – we’re here to help you!