Varicose Veins And Exercise: What You Should Know

Varicose veins cause leg fatigue, cramps, aches, and a feeling of heaviness in your legs. If you have varicose veins, exercise can be beneficial as long as you are doing the right kind of exercises and making some modifications. Varicose veins and exercise: what you should know.

Why We Get Varicose VeinsSenior man at gym working exercise and stretching on floor to prevent varicose veins

Varicose veins develop from a defect in your one-way valves when they don’t close properly as blood moves toward the heart. This causes the pooling of blood in the ankles and legs and may result in swollen protruding veins, swollen legs, and cramping.

One might think that exercise would create more problems and pain, but keep reading to discover the facts.

Benefits Of Exercise With Varicose Veins

Certain types of exercise are actually beneficial if you already have varicose veins. Exercise helps vein health as well as cardiovascular health. Since one of the main causes of varicose veins is sitting or standing for too long, it makes sense that exercise can help relieve discomfort if you have varicose veins or may help to prevent them.

Exercise helps muscles contract pushing on the veins and helping to move the blood back to the heart improving circulation. Strengthening calf muscles is especially beneficial.

Additional benefits of exercise with varicose veins include the following:

  • Helpful to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can worsen vein issues.
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduces the risk of developing more varicose veins
  • Reduces the perception of pain
  • Improved muscle tone

Best Exercises And What To Avoid

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Do it for 30 minutes a day, every day. It is a low impact exercise which boosts your immune system, your circulation, improves sleep and your blood glucose levels. It also strengthens calf muscles without straining.

Biking and swimming are two other excellent exercises if you have varicose veins.

Running is acceptable, but with some modifications. Only run or jog on soft surfaces, wear compression stockings, and be sure to warm up and stretch. Talk with your vein specialist if you are new to running, and seek advice and recommendations.

Be sure to include a cool down after any workout. Prop up your legs as an additional way to lessen any strain.

Avoid the following: 

  • Weightlifting
  • Crunches
  • Sit ups
  • Squats
  • Certain yoga poses

You can still enjoy exercise even with varicose veins.

Contact Vein Center of Binton Lake at (610) 579-3516 to learn more about treatment for varicose veins and other helpful tips.