While varicose veins are not necessarily always dangerous, they can be unsightly if you enjoy wearing skirts, shorts, and bathing suits. Even worse, they can cause your legs to ache and swell after a long day. While there is no surefire way to avoid getting them, especially if you have a family history of varicose veins, some changes in your lifestyle may help you prevent them or, at least, keep them at bay for a longer period of time. Here are three things you can start doing today to decrease your chances:
Exercise is the key to practically all aspects of your health, and your vein health is no different. It keeps your heart strong and your blood pumping through your veins at a healthy rate. It can also help you keep extra weight off — if you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to develop varicose veins. In addition, you might prefer laser vein centers to put your vein in good hands.
Are all exercises created equally? Not exactly. Low-impact cardiovascular exercises that take some of the pressure off your legs and joints, but also work your calf muscles, are best for your veins. Biking and swimming are typically recommended. Simply going for a 30-minute walk each day can also be beneficial.
Avoid Sitting and Standing for Long Periods of Time
Sometimes your job may interfere with your veins. People who stand all day, such as medical professionals, restaurant servers, and cosmologists, as well as those who sit at a desk or computer or drive a truck all day, are at a greater risk for developing them than people who are moving around. While you can’t exactly quit your job, there are some things you can do to keep your veins healthy.
- Do calf raises while you sit. Working the calf muscles increases blood flow.
- Take a break each hour and walk around for at least 5 minutes if you sit all day.
- Consider investing in a standing desk or a treadmill desk to alternate with your regular desk.
- If you stand all day, take a 5-minute break each hour to sit down.
- If you stand all day, take turns alternating standing on one leg and then the other for a few minutes each hour.
- Whether you sit or stand all day, prop your legs up so that they are higher than your heart for at least 30 minutes at night.
Make Some Changes to Your Wardrobe
It may sound crazy, but the clothing, shoes, and accessories you wear could be increasing your chances of developing varicose veins. Ladies, start by ditching those uncomfortable high heels for flats or shoes with a lower heel. They work your calf muscles more and put less strain on your lower body, which means better blood flow.
Another way to increase the blood flow in the lower half of your body is to stop wearing tight clothing, especially pants, shorts, skirts, pantyhose, tights, and underwear. These garments can all decrease circulation when they are too tight in the waist, groin, and legs. When it comes to accessories, avoid socks and belts that are too tight, as well. You may even opt to wear support or compression stockings and compression leggings.