Can Exercise Help or Hurt Varicose Veins?
- Posted on: Jun 30 2016
If you struggle with the appearance of spider veins or varicose veins, the last thing you want is for them to worsen as a result of your activities. At the same time, exercise is an important aspect of taking good care of yourself. You may wonder if there are certain types of exercise that you should gravitate toward, or any that you should avoid. We can help. Let’s take a look at some of the common questions surrounding exercise and vein disease.
Athletes and Varicose Veins
We have visited with patients who are confounded by the appearance of spider veins, or the discomfort of bulging varicose veins. “But I’m active!” they say. “I play soccer several days a week!” You can insert any number of sports into this exclamation. The bottom line is that athletic people are just as vulnerable to vein disease. In fact, there may even be some forms of exercise that increase risk.
How to Exercise for Health Veins
Most cases of vein disease have links to genetics or to a sedentary lifestyle. Individuals who stand for long periods may also be a higher risk, as may pregnant women. However, exercise is crucial to healthy veins. So what types of exercise might be better for the health of your veins, and the appearance of your legs?
- Walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. This is because it gives the calf pump a good workout without high-impact. A 30-minute walk each day is ideal.
- If walking is good, then running is better. We can just hear the athlete-at-heart saying this. The truth is, running can be good for vein health. However, experts say that the magic is in the shoes. If your running shoes do not offer adequate support, there is a chance that veins in the legs can swell.
- Elliptical and bike. Both pieces of equipment are beneficial for individuals who want to avoid or manage existing vein disease. Like walking, the elliptical and the stationary bike offer a good, low-impact workout for the calf muscle, which supports blood flow back toward the heart.
Strenuous activities that put strain on blood flow through the veins of the lower extremities carry a risk for vein disease. These include
- Weight training
- Sit ups and crunches
If spider veins or varicose veins are causing you physical or emotional pain, you have good reason to seek care at The Vein Clinic. Contact our Columbia office, call (803) 253-8667.