Welcome to the first of a two-part series on Exercise & Varicose Veins.
There’s no mistaking that general malaise that envelops legs when they are kept stagnant for too long – either from sitting, standing, or lying horizontal. For varicose vein sufferers, lack of movement takes that malaise a step further, leaving legs feeling tired, achy, heavy and even painful.
Exercise can help nip that discomfort in the bud. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to improve circulation, ease the discomfort and diminish their appearance – a trifecta of good news for vein sufferers.
When muscles are activated, the blood gets pumping which is a huge help in legs where there’s backward flow and pooling happening due to a breakdown of valves and vein walls — a defining condition in cases of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI).
Our two-part Exercise Series breaks down four ways to improve your overall vein health and get those legs looking and feeling better quickly through movement, flexibility, breathing and elevation exercises.
Today we take a look at Moving & Flexing.
MOVE. Two of the most flawless forms of exercise for varicose vein sufferers have to be walking and swimming. Walking requires no special athletic ability and just a decent pair of comfortable shoes while swimming is 100% non-impact and an amazing cardio and strength builder. Biking is a very close third.
The basic rule of thumb for continued management of varicose pain is to exercise at a moderate level for 30 minutes, 4x/week. And if your job, lifestyle or health status requires you to sit, stand or lie horizontal for extended periods, take intermittent mini-exercise breaks – like a quick walk – it’ll do wonders for your legs!
If you are going to be doing anything that’s more strenuous like running or biking in a race or covering a greater distance, wearing athletic compression socks can help keep the legs energized and feeling good for longer. They’re also beneficial post-exercise to speed recovery and keep any swelling to a minimum.
FLEX & STRETCH.The calf muscles are the key masters when it comes to making varicose veins feel better. When leg muscles are squeezed they push blood back to the heart against the flow of gravity. Flex exercises help strengthen this all-important muscle group.
FLEX EX. 1: Knee Bend with Ankle Flex
Lie on back and slowly pull one knee to your chest.
Holding leg behind your knee, point and flex foot several times, making sure to squeeze calf and ankle muscles while doing so. Repeat with opposite leg.
FLEX EX. 2: Stair Flex
On a stair or other steady, elevated surface (i.e. curb), stabilize yourself by holding on to a wall, tree, banister then drop heels below height of step and raise up again. Perform 40 repetitions.
FLEX EX. 3: Tip Toe Walk
Stretch and tone your calves by alternating between walking on toes and then regular heel toe.
FLEX EX. 4: Yoga
Yoga does wonders for the circulatory system by stretching, constricting and releasing muscles and internal organs. It’s relaxation and deep breathing techniques also offer added benefit by flooding the blood stream with fresh doses of oxygen. Nothing like standing on your head for a nice drain of the legs!
In part two we will take a look at breathing and elevation exercises that can help your legs feel better.
from → Compression Therapy, Exercise for Varicose Veins, Varicose Veins, Vein Health, Venous Reflux
by Hamilton Vein Team