If you wore long pants and dresses all summer because you’re embarrassed by the blue lines that cover your legs, you’re not alone. Bulging blue/purple veins – known as varicose veins – can be an unsightly matter, and you may feel embarrassed to show off your legs for this reason.
But aside from cosmetic reasons, varicose veins also contribute to a higher risk of health complications such as dangerous deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot that may travel to other areas of the body if released, leading to bigger complications.
Those living with varicose veins may experience swelling, heaviness, and pain in the legs. Symptoms may worsen if a person stands or sits for prolonged periods of time. This is because varicose veins are largely a circulatory issue, and the best way to promote circulation is through exercise.
The best type of exercise for varicose veins is low-impact aerobics, which strengthens the legs. These exercises include walking, cycling, and using the elliptical machine. The frequency in which you exercise is also important in improving circulation with varicose veins. Aiming for at least five days a week is ideal if you get 30 minutes a day, preferably combining different exercises together.
Although lifting weights and yoga are great workouts as well, they aren’t very ideal for a person with varicose veins. This is because these exercises require plenty of core stabilization, which can impede the return of blood to the heart from the legs. If you want to lift weights, then perform circuit training, which utilizes lighter weights in greater repetitions. Furthermore, follow-up any weight lifting or yoga class with some aerobic exercises to promote circulation once again.
When you aren’t exercising, it’s important that you avoid being in a single position for prolonged periods of time. This means getting up if you are sitting or moving around if you are standing. Changing up your positions helps reduce blood pooling in the legs along with promoting circulation. There are many inconspicuous exercises you can perform in your chair or even while standing which is just enough to promote circulation.
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