January can inspire us to turn over a new leaf when it comes to our health. For many, this involves taking better care of our bodies through frequent exercise. As the vein specialists in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, we love to see patients adding physical activity into their schedule! But are athletes more prone to developing vein problems, especially varicose veins? Let’s take a deeper look.
Early Varicose Vein Symptoms
How can you tell if you might be developing varicose veins? These are formed when vein valves in the leg become damaged or weakened, causing blood to pool in the vein. If this happens, you may feel as though your legs are heavy, itchy, or restless. The veins may also appear to be bulging, dark, and visible under the skin.
Exercise and Vein Health
One of the best benefits of regular exercise is improved circulation. However, if your New Year’s resolution involves high-impact exercises such as weightlifting and hiking, this can have the opposite effect on your circulation. While these activities do have their own benefits, they put a lot of strain on your legs. The veins in your leg can struggle under the extra pressure and swell, preventing blood from circulating properly.
Not all exercises put strain on your veins. To improve circulation, try low-impact activities like walking, jogging, or cycling. These help to strengthen your legs and improve your circulation without being detrimental to your vein health. If you prefer high-impact exercises to walking, there’s no need to completely remove something you enjoy from your schedule! Instead, there are ways you can maintain your vein health both during and after your workout.
Managing Symptoms During Exercise
As you work out more frequently, you realize that the more pressure you put on your body, the more you need to monitor it for signs that something may be “off.” If you’re noticing early signs of varicose veins, such as itchiness or leg swelling, there are a couple things you can do to help manage those symptoms.
Compression stockings can be effective for promoting circulation when they’re worn during and after your workout. However, keep in mind that compression stockings aren’t one-size-fits-all — there’s more to compression stockings than just size. After sitting down with a professional, you can make a safe, educated decision about what’s right for you.
After your workout, spend some time elevating your legs above your hips. This encourages blood to drain from your lower legs instead of allowing it to pool and further irritate your veins.
If You Have Varicose Veins
If you’re already concerned about your vein health, a trip to a specialist is best before diving into your resolution. They’ll listen to your concerns, assess your vein health, and recommend the best course of treatment. For some, the best treatment is to simply wear compression stockings during workouts, or perhaps you may need a procedure such as our Endovenous Laser Treatment. Don’t worry — modern vein treatment is quick and minimally invasive with short downtimes.
Have more questions about your current vein health? We’d love to see you at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center. Our team of vein specialists in Orlando have dedicated themselves to vein care so that they can deliver the best care possible. Schedule a consultation today by calling 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547.