One of the best ways to prevent or combat vein problems is to get plenty of exercise. Exercise improves your circulation and helps your veins carry blood to your heart. Exercise can also help you deal with some of the aches and pains associated with varicose veins. However, some workouts are better than others.
The Best Exercises for Healthy Veins
Walking – Most people assume you have to hit the gym for a great workout, but when it comes to healthy veins, going for a brisk walk is even better. At least of 30 minutes of walking a day will improve your circulation, strengthen and stretch your leg muscles, and improve your overall health.
Swimming and Water Aerobics – When you are in the water, your body feels weightless, which means less pressure on your legs and veins. This is great for anyone who suffers from vein problems. Whether you swim laps or take a water aerobics class, you are also engaging almost every muscle in your body.
Yoga – Yoga does not replace cardiovascular exercise, but it is a great choice for your veins. Not only does the stretching and movement of the muscles promote circulation, but it can also reduce your stress levels. Less stress means lower blood pressure and better health in general.
Biking – Whether you are out mountain biking on your favorite trail or riding the stationary bike at the gym, getting in 30 minutes a day is an excellent way to work out, especially if you have vein problems. It also strengthens your leg muscles, and strong muscles mean better circulation.
Calf Raises – Another great way to strengthen your leg muscles is to perform a set of calf raises. To do this, simply stand with your legs together and slowly shift to your tiptoes. Hold the pose for two seconds. Start with a repetition of eight and work your way up.
Leg Lifts – If you are unable to do calf raises, try left lifts instead. Start by laying flat on the floor, preferably on a soft mat or carpet. Raise one leg as high as you can and hold it in place for 10 seconds. Lower it and repeat the movement on the other side. Again, start with a repetition of eight on each side and work your way up.
The Worst Exercises for Your Veins
While most exercise is good for you, there are some that may aggravate vein problems. They include:
Running – While running can improve your circulation and strengthen your calf muscles, it also puts a strain on your legs and joints. If you do run, try to find a soft surface, such as a grassy area or a synthetic track.
Weightlifting – Weightlifting can also strain your veins, but there are some ways to make it safer. For example, try lifting lighter weights for more repetitions instead of lifting heavy weights. Also, use proper lifting techniques, and consider wearing compression stockings while you lift. Finally, go for a walk, swim, or bike ride immediately afterwards to get your blood flowing again.
Sit-ups and Crunches – These types of exercises place pressure on your stomach, which can impede the flow of blood from your legs to your heart. Like with weightlifting, if you do sit-ups and crunches, do some cardiovascular exercise right after you finish.