Get Your Blood Pumping – Exercise Can Benefit Varicose Veins
Recent research suggests that there is an estimated 40 million Americans who have varicose veins. One of the best ways to help improve overall vein health is regular exercise, due to increased blood flow that helps keeps veins healthy and functional.
For people with varicose veins you need to consider carefully what types of exercise to do, as you may make your condition much worse or bring considerable pain and suffering to yourself. As well as careful consideration of the form of exercise you should undertake, you could also consider protecting areas of the body affected by varicose veins. An effective way to exercise and add additional protection is to consider using the very latest in compression sports aids that can provide medical grade protection for conditions like varicose veins. They are designed to provide a consistent pressure in the legs that helps the blood flow back to your heart.
What are varicose veins and how do they limit your exercise
When the veins just below the surface of the skin become damaged and swell up which causes them to fill with blood, these are known as varicose veins. They are often painful and cause swelling in the feet and ankles due to the restricted blood flow. Due to them protruding through the skin, they are vulnerable to being knocked and damaged. Therefore, it is important to take care when choosing what exercise to do. The right type of exercise is considered a good personal therapy treatment to reduce the symptoms of varicose veins. Low impact exercise that increases blood flow to your veins are the best options.
Excellent exercise to consider
Running or brisk walking can deliver positive results. You should aim for around 30 minutes each day for at least 5 days a week. If you are running it is best to do this on grass or a synthetic surface to reduce impact to your joints.
Cycling improves strength and stamina as well as improving blood flow to the lower half of your body. If you do not have access to a bicycle you can try bicycle leg exercise that involves lying on your back and pedal your legs as if riding an imaginary bicycle.
Lying flat on your back raise both legs and complete a leg rotation, first with your right leg then your left leg. Alternate each leg clockwise and anti-clockwise and aim to do 20 rotations per leg. Try to find a soft surface to lie on or consider a yoga mat that provides support for your back.
Compressions aids have become popular within sports and exercise as they protect muscles and tendons during exercise. A recent study confirmed that wearing a compression sleeve during exercise helped to reduce aches and pains caused by varicose veins when compared to wearing ordinary sports socks.
Exercises that you should try to avoid
Not all exercise is good for you if you have varicose veins. Exercise that involves high impact can cause severe pain and worsen the condition. There are certain weight resistance exercises that can increase abdominal pressure that leads to subsequent pressure to the veins in your legs.
Exercises like squats, abdominal crunches, sit-ups and certain yoga positions can all lead to excessive abdominal pressure. Other short impact sports and activities that can exacerbate the condition are skiing, soccer, tennis and martial arts.
There are several medical conditions that make exercise a challenge, and varicose veins is one of these. But, the right exercise, in the right environment can prove beneficial to the condition. Having varicose veins does not mean you cannot do any exercise whatsoever.
Author: Jennifer Dawson