Exercise Guide for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often painful and hard to manage, particularly if you like to regularly exercise. The unique strain these veins put on your body can make some exercises out of bounds for you. However, other activities may help manage your pain. The following exercise guide will provide you with the important information you need to exercise with varicose veins safely.

EXERCISES TO PERFORM FOR VARICOSE VEINS

Doctors typically ask that patients with varicose veins perform at least a handful of the following routines to provide the most relief and help for your recovery:

A woman swimming in a lake to help get some low-impact exercise and prevent pain from varicose veins

Swimming

Swimming and aquatic therapy can provide low-impact cardiovascular exercise that will help improve your circulation. Swimming also won’t place excessive stress on your veins or cause excessive blood pressure.

A woman in a white blouse walking on the beach to get some daily exercise and reduce the effects of varicose veins

Walking

Walking regularly is a highly beneficial habit. If you get no other form of exercise, start by incorporating a 10-15 minute walk into your day. Walking is a low-impact exercise that also helps improve circulation. Additionally, when you walk daily, you may also experience overall improved moods, maintain a healthier weight, and less overall pain.

Related: Why You Should Exercise Outside in the Winter

A woman in a yellow coat, cycling in the city as a form of exercise and self care to help stave off pain from varicose veins and venous insufficiency

Bike Riding

Another fun and low-impact exercise that many people enjoy is biking. Biking, or cycling, on an easy road or low-impact trail, can stimulate blood flow in your legs, strengthen your calf muscles, and reduce chronic pain from venous insufficiency.

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Yoga

Yoga is an overall customizable, low-impact, and highly beneficial type of exercise for your health. Don’t let the stereotypes of yoga gurus get in your way of experiencing the many benefits that yoga can offer, whether you’re young or young at heart. Establishing a routine yoga practice will help you improve your circulation, statically strengthen your muscles, improve your self-awareness, reduce pain from vein conditions, and much more.

Don’t Over Do It

Feel free to adjust your exercise routine to include these simple exercises and tweak their intensity to ensure that you do not experience excessive strain. The moment that you feel sharp pains during a workout, contact your doctor right away, as this may mean something else is wrong with your veins.

EXERCISES TO AVOID WITH VARICOSE VEINS

Some of the most commonly asked questions about exercise for varicose veins:

  • Can exercise worse varicose veins?
  • Can anything help varicose veins?
  • Do squats help varicose veins?
  • Does exercise give you varicose veins?

While many exercises will help with varicose veins, other exercises are more problematic and may make the situation worse. In particular, high-impact movements and routines can exacerbate the veins in your legs and worsen their pain. Here are a few exercises you should stay away from if you have varicose veins:

Running and Jogging

If you were an active runner before you developed varicose veins, you should cut back on these activities. Both are often too high-impact for most varicose veins, but you may jog on softer surfaces to minimize this problem.

Weightlifting

While lifting weights may focus mostly on your chest and arms, the added pressure to your body can spread to your legs. That strain will often reduce the flow of blood out of your legs and may cause blood pooling. This issue could cause vein dilation or even trigger damage to your valves.

Some light resistance training may be beneficial, but you should be careful to maintain proper form and breathing patterns to avoid placing undue strain on your veins.

Leg-Focused Exercises

Any exercises that put excessive pressure on your legs and your abs may worsen your varicose veins. For example, crunches, squats, and sit-ups can create too much stress in your veins. You should also avoid doing planks or other postures that strain your abdominal muscles.

Some Types of Yoga

While some styles of yoga help manage varicose vein damage, other types may worsen your pain. For example, prolonged abdominal postures may decrease blood flow to your legs and worsen your varicose vein pain.

Protect Your Self from Worsening Your Vein Pain

If you want to perform these exercises in spite of your doctor’s warning, a pair of compression socks may minimize any pain. These socks will press against your skin and help blood flow more efficiently through your varicose veins. Make sure to wear these stockings if your pain worsens during any type of exercise.

VASCULAR SURGERY MAY BE YOUR ANSWER 

As you can see, exercise is a complex process in varicose vein management. So if you find that you cannot perform any exercise due to your varicose veins, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Vein Centre right away to get the help that you need. Our vascular surgery professionals will assess your situation and come up with a treatment method — including surgery — that can help you recover. We look forward to your call.

By |2022-02-09T18:46:02+00:00February 9th, 2022|
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