Exercise increases blood circulation and gets the blood pumping! Whilst it’s not going to cure varicose veins the right kind of exercise can help prevent further deterioration and reduce pain and discomfort.
We said the RIGHT kind of exercise and this is really important. We cannot stress enough that exercise should be moderate, not too strenuous and, most importantly, low impact. If it results in any pain or discomfort then it should be stopped right away of course.
So what is the best exercise for varicose veins and which ones should be avoided?
Best Exercise For Varicose Veins
Below we’ll list some of the best exercise for varicose veins and highlight those to be wary of.
Whilst not really an exercise you should avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time so, take the pressure off, keep moving regularly and keep the blood pumping.
Walking is probably the best exercise for varicose veins. You can take it at your own pace, take a scenic route, accompany it with a practical chore or even utilise the treadmill at the gym. It’s low impact, stretches the calf muscles and strengthens the pump in the legs veins to optimise the bloods return journey back to the heart. The end result is improved blood flow – and this can only be good.
Keep it regular – aim for around half an hour every day if you can but missing the odd day won’t be an issue.
Cycling With Varicose Viens
This is another form of exercise that can really help. But, in order to eliminate a high impact risk, we suggest that a stationary exercise bike may be easier to control and hence prove more beneficial. These days they’re pretty compact and inexpensive so consider investing in a basic exercise bike that you can use at home for short regular bursts at your convenience.
Running – Be Careful
This is one to be wary of. Sure, it will really get the feet, calf muscles and legs going but pounding the roads and concrete can result in impact that could actually have an adverse effect and result in the condition worsening.
If this is the exercise for you keep it smooth and run on softer, flat surfaces to keep the stress to a minimum – the treadmill perhaps?
Leg Exercise – Stick To The Right Ones
Five of the best leg exercises for varicose veins:
- Leg Lifts
- Calf Raises
- Side Leg Lifts
- Bicycling / Bicycle Legs
- Rocking on your feet
All good for vein health and circulation so go for it. Avoid other exercise that may increase the pressure on legs and abdomen – exercises like squats, sit-ups, crunches and lunges.
Swimming – A Great Exercise In Many Ways
A really good all round exercise and another good one when it come to varicose veins. There’s no risk of impact damage when it comes to splashing around in the water! Focus on strokes like breast stroke which utilises the legs to greater extent.
Weight Lifting And Varicose Veins – Be Very Careful
Believe it or not this is a really risky exercise when you suffer from varicose veins. It’s one of the most strenuous exercises that can put a huge stress on veins and circulation. It will increase abdominal pressure which can actually make it harder to pump the blood back to the heart – exactly what you don’t want! Proceed with caution and take advice from your trainer as it really can worsen the condition.
Yoga – Avoid Prolonged Posturing
The trick is to get the calves pumping. Yoga can help however you should avoid any prolonged abdominal posturing so it’s probably another one to avoid.
Aerobics Type Exercise – Avoid The Impact Moves
Aerobics and dance type exercise can often be high impact … especially if it involves lots of jumping around. Just be careful of this one too as high impact exercise can do further damage to varicose veins
Best Exercise For Varicose Veins – Conclusion
As we said earlier, exercise is not going to cure varicose veins. However, the right exercise can really help improve the symptoms or at least stop them getting worse. Make sure you stay well clear of any form of high impact exercise which can have a detrimental effect on varicose veins which can result in a worsening of the condition.
If in doubt seek medical or professional advice before setting off on a new exercise regime and always stop immediately if the veins or legs start to hurt or feel uncomfortable.