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How to Exercise When You Have Varicose Veins

How to Exercise When You Have Varicose Veins

Like up to 35% of the population in the United States, you’ve developed varicose veins. While these bulging blood vessels may be unsightly, they can also make exercise uncomfortable. Yet exercise is one of the best ways to manage (and potentially prevent) varicose veins.

At The Vein Institute at Upper East Cardiology, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and our team offer highly effective treatments for eliminating varicose veins, but there are steps you can take on your own that help in the battle. And, we mean actual steps, as exercise is a great approach for better managing existing varicose veins, not to mention preventing more from developing.

Exercising with uncomfortable varicose veins

You know you need to exercise, but that morning run is becoming increasingly uncomfortable because of throbbing varicose veins. If this sounds familiar, there are a few tips that can help you get the exercise you need while keeping the discomfort at bay.

First, high impact activities that involve running or jumping can increase the blood pressure in your legs, which can lead to discomfort in your varicose veins. To avoid this elevation in blood pressure, you might want to try activities that rely less on your legs while still giving you the workout you desire.

As examples, activities like rowing, cycling, and swimming are all great forms of exercise that don’t require that high impact on your legs. You can also try more stationary activities like yoga or pilates.

Walking is more low impact and shouldn’t pose any problems when it comes to varicose veins. In fact, we strongly recommend walking as it encourages good circulation in your legs, and it can also build your calf muscles, which can help your blood vessels return blood to your heart more easily.

Strength training in a gym shouldn’t pose any problems, and we urge you to focus on exercises that can beef up the muscles in your legs, such as calf raises.

Another great tip is that when you’re finished with your exercise, you can elevate your legs for a little bit to encourage blood flow upward. Making this effort even better, you can practice some ankle rotations, which keep the connective tissues loose and the blood flowing.

Exercise to help prevent varicose veins?

Exercise of any kind is a great way to promote better circulation and prevent blood from pooling in your lower limbs. That said, varicose veins develop for any number of reasons, many of which are outside your control, such as pregnancy and family history.

Our point here is that, even with the best exercise regimen, you can still develop varicose veins. Still, exercise can delay the onset of varicose veins, and it can also prevent these veins from becoming worse, and even potentially painful.

Treating varicose veins

If, despite your active lifestyle, you develop varicose veins or your existing veins worsen, we offer a wide range of treatment options that eliminate these blood vessels. 

These treatments include:

If you would like to schedule a vein treatment or find out more about the role that exercise can play in managing varicose veins, contact our office on the Upper East Side of New York City to schedule an appointment.

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