You may have heard that lack of exercise or obesity can put you at risk for varicose veins. You may have also heard that exercising can increase your risk for varicose veins.
This seems like conflicting and contradictory advice. Here are the facts.
In general, being more fit is great for your veins. Naturally, greater fitness, especially greater cardiovascular health, improves your circulation.
Exercises like running are great for your heart, and therefore your circulation, and most likely reduce your risk for varicose veins.
However, high impact exercises can cause a lot of tension in the body. These can reduce circulation — leading to acute events that can damage the valves in your veins.
Hence, these specific exercises can put you at higher risk for varicose veins and venous issues in general.
What can you do about it?
The first line of defense for circulation in your legs is compression stockings. The increased pressure helps improve circulation.
Next, elevating your legs can help your blood fight against gravity and return to your heart.
Both of these are effective home remedies for improving circulation and preventing varicose veins.
However, if neither of these are sufficing, and if you’re suffering from issues due to a possible deeper venous insufficiency, it’s time to see a doctor.
This includes restless legs, achy legs, or swelling in the legs. If you feel any of these signs of discomfort, it might be time to see a doctor and have a checkup on your general circulatory health.
Being an athlete is great–but your first step is to take care of your body. That way you can hit the weights harder next time.
For additional information on developing varicose veins and the treatment of leg veins in general, please call the Vein Center of Maryland to schedule an appointment.