You’re trying on new shoes and as you look at your legs in the mirror, you spot a bulging vein. Or, you’re suddenly distracted by a deep, aching feeling that won’t go away. Maybe you wake up at night because of unpleasant muscle cramps affecting your entire leg. Does any of this sound familiar?
These are all typical experiences of a person with vein problems, but don’t be scared.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty common ailment. Nearly one in four Americans develop some form of vein disorder in their life. There really is no sure-fire way to completely avoid it. Our genes often predispose us to varicosis, and our occupations (the ones involving prolonged sitting or standing) exacerbate the problem.
Vein symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, but this discomfort shouldn’t prevent you from physical activity. Moving your aching legs may sound like a bad idea, but that’s what can make your condition better.
Here’s what you should do.
The simplest exercise of all, walking is a great way to promote blood circulation. Make it a habit of skipping the elevator and taking the stairs instead. Even a short walk daily can make a difference in your symptoms.
Lie flat on your back with your hands resting at your sides. If you feel some strain in your lower back, you can put your hands under your buttocks for more comfort. Lift your legs off the floor and start pedaling, as if you were on a bike. The more you raise your legs, the better you can boost your circulation. Keep cycling until you can feel the blood flowing in your legs and the pain starting to subside.
Start in the same floor position as in the previous exercise. Raise your right leg and hold it perpendicular to the floor. Make sure your butt is pressed down and your lower back remains imprinted on the floor. Hold until you feel the blood flowing back into your feet, calves, and thighs. Repeat the exercise for your left leg. You can also raise both legs up to the ceiling, resting against the wall. Another option is rotating your ankles while your legs are still up high.
While lying on your back, bring one knee into your chest, holding on behind your knee. Alternate between pointing and flexing your foot in this position. Pay attention to the form and don’t rush through the exercise. You want to make sure that the muscles on your calves and the tendons around your ankles tighten. Let go, and switch legs.
These four exercises will help you relieve discomfort and pain while boosting your blood circulation. Along with proper weight management and a healthy diet low in sodium and high in fiber, it’s a wonderful way to reduce symptoms. For best results, avoid high heels and tight-fitting clothes, don’t cross your legs when seated and alternate your sitting or standing position often.