Fall is in the air, which means it’s time for festivals, football games, hiking and camping, trips to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard, and a whole assortment of fun family activities. However, if you suffer from varicose veins and other forms of leg pain, it can put a damper on this magical time of year. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help prevent and alleviate that leg pain so you don’t have a miss a minute of fall fun.

1. Lose a few pounds.
Sure, it’s easier said than done, but the results can help you dramatically. Added weight on your body means added pressure on your legs, which forces your veins and blood vessels to work harder. Even just losing 5 to 10 pounds can make a difference.

2. Exercise.
Not only will exercise help you lose those pounds, but it will also get your blood flowing. Stick to low impact cardio workouts like water aerobics, biking, and walking for maximum results. You’ll need to exercise for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week to see an improvement in your circulation and cardiovascular health.

3. Uncross your legs.
People, women especially, tend to sit with their legs crossed. While the jury is still out on whether or not sitting this way can contribute to poor circulation in the legs, many doctors believe it does make a difference. So try a new position next time you sit…it can’t hurt!

4. Dress comfortably.
Do you like tight jeans and pantyhose? If so, you could be cutting off your circulation and causing more problems with your veins than you realize. Tight clothing, undergarments, and accessories can interfere with circulation, putting your lower body at risk for vein problems. Try wearing looser garments. Another good switch to make is trading in those heels for flats. Flat shoes work your calf muscles more, which is another way to get your blood flowing properly

5. Wear compression stockings.
Once upon a time, compression stockings were just something your grandmother got in the hospital, but these days more and more people are wearing them in order to enjoy better circulatory health. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and even styles, ranging from thigh-highs and tights to socks and pantyhose.

6. Kick up your feet.
Propping your feet up higher than your heart can help get your blood flowing and reduce the pain and swelling that often comes with varicose veins. At least 30 minutes a day should be sufficient. Many people opt to use a stack of pillows in bed or on the sofa at the end of the day while watching a favorite sitcom.

7. Stop smoking.
Smoking is bad for your lungs, but did you know it can affect your veins, too? Even secondhand smoke is terrible for your circulatory system, which puts you at a greater risk for vein complications.

8. Seek treatment.
If your varicose veins are so bad that they are keeping your from spending time with your loved ones, it may be time to talk to a doctor about treating them. There are several options available, many of which are outpatient procedures that require very little downtime. Fall and winter just happen to be the best time of year for these types of treatments. Call your vein specialist today to learn more.

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