If you have varicose veins, you know how frustrating the symptoms can be: those itchy, painful, visible veins don’t help motivate many to put on a pair of comfortable, cool shorts and take a stroll around the neighborhood. However, this is exactly what you need to improve your venous health. The vein specialists in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center advise that you resist the urge to stay inside this summer. If you’re stuck at a desk all day, it’s even more important to keep moving. Small lifestyle changes can work wonders on varicose veins, and walking is an ideal choice for making those veins less visible and less painful. Varicose veins are caused by a vein’s inability to properly pump blood upwards through your body. As a result, the blood pools in the lower leg, which causes the veins to swell and ache. Veins require proper muscle contraction to keep the blood flowing upwards against the pressure of gravity. This is why walking is a perfect lifestyle choice for great venous health, as it creates the pressure needed for proper blood flow. A daily, brisk walk contracts the muscles that help your veins circulate blood so that it doesn’t sit uncomfortably in the lower leg.
Venous Health Requires Circulation
Great venous health requires great circulation. Exercise improves overall circulation, but you don’t need a gym membership to improve your varicose veins. Put on your walking shoes and walk to the store instead of driving if it’s close enough. This calming exercise also raises your body’s heart rate, which helps your overall circulation.
What Are The Benefits of Improved Circulation?
Prevention of more varicose veins. When you improve your body’s circulation, you lessen the chances of forming varicose veins. Keep this in mind after undergoing a varicose vein treatment procedure, such as endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). A walk can keep you in fantastic venous health afterward.
Is Walking Good For Varicose Veins?
Yes! Walking does more than benefit your veins and circulatory system — it also helps your heart. Your venous health relies on your heart’s ability to continue circulating blood through your body. Fortunately, regular and brisk walks help strengthen your heart, which further benefits your circulation. As a result, you can enjoy less painful symptoms from varicose veins. There are other benefits to a strong heart as well. Not only is strengthening your heart imperative for fending off varicose veins, but working toward a healthy heart also prevents heart disease.
While walking is good for varicose veins, it should be noted that running is not.
Contributing Factors Beyond Circulation
While circulation is the primary reason walking prevents varicose veins, this exercise is beneficial in other ways. Consider the following ways walking can aid in your varicose veins and overall health:
- Easy on the joints: Walking is a low-impact exercise that builds muscle to take the stress off joints. You can improve your joint function and reduce joint pain through regular walking.
- Improves mood: Chronic conditions like varicose veins are emotionally stressful and physically exhausting. This can cause individuals significant anxiety or depression. Walking can improve symptoms of these conditions, including low self-esteem, loneliness and psychological stress.
- Lowers blood pressure: As circulation improves, so does your blood pressure. The vessel stiffness is reduced, and blood begins to flow more easily.
- Prevents and manages chronic conditions: Staying active can help more than prevent varicose veins — it can work against other chronic conditions like heart disease and type two diabetes.
Best Walking Shoes for Varicose Veins
Committing to regular walking will require a good walking shoe for added support. Seek out a shoe that has a low heel with plenty of arch support inside. If buying a new pair of shoes is not possible right away, consider looking into orthotic insoles to provide the right fit and support in shoes you already own.
Exercising Safely With Varicose Veins
While exercise is important to maintain circulation for varicose vein reduction, it is best to start slow. Walking is the best place to start with an exercise regimen, increasing your activity as you feel comfortable. Jumping to higher-impact exercises like running can cause high blood pressure in your legs, so begin carefully and ease up to it. In addition to walking, the following exercises are safer options for individuals with varicose veins.
Riding a bike outside or hopping on a stationary bike in the gym is helpful for circulation. Biking improves muscle strength in the calves and is a low-impact activity that is not load-bearing. Be sure to keep a close eye on how long you are cycling because long sessions can reduce blood flow to your legs. If you do not own a bike or have access to a stationary one, try out the bicycle leg exercise. To complete this exercise, lay on your back and raise your bent legs. Pedal in the air as you would when biking.
Swimming can push your legs up and prevent blood from pooling in them. Like walking and biking, it is low-impact cardio without bearing weight on joints and bones. Starting with 30 seconds of activity and 30 seconds of rest can help you get more comfortable with the exercise. You can even focus on different parts of the body, such as kicking with a kickboard or swimming with a pull buoy. Try increases in small intervals — don’t overdo it.
If you aren’t feeling up to too much movement yet, try out some yoga poses. These can elevate your legs above your heart and promote circulation. Involving stretches and breathing focus can keep you moving while staying calm and relaxed. Yoga has several difficulty levels, making it easy to start simple and get more challenging.
Get an Individual Treatment Plan
Make sure to stop by Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center to see the vein specialists of Orlando. Our team is dedicated to creating a treatment plan that will work best for making your legs beautiful and pain-free. After you see us, keep taking those daily walks! Your veins will thank you.