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Varicose Veins and Exercise – What You Need to Know

Posted on September 17, 2021

Will my varicose veins get better or worse with exercise? That is a popular question we hear from patients who come into our clinic. The answer is always it depends… on the exercise. Planning an exercise routine while having varicose veins takes a little more thought than usual. That’s why we’re here with some guidelines to help you choose the best exercise for your condition.

Generally, low-impact exercises that strengthen your legs and encourage circulation help with varicose veins. Think of low-impact exercises such as walking and cycling—simple movements that help your calves get stronger. Swimming is also another soothing, low-impact exercise that doesn’t hurt your legs and improves your blood flow. Make sure you are keeping these exercise routines moderate or they might become too intense to be healthy for a varicose vein condition. Hours upon hours of walking uphill or intensive cycling may put strain on your legs instead of simply strengthening them.

If you have varicose veins, it’s best to stay away from high-impact exercises. High-impact exercises like running can put too much of a strain on your legs and even cause varicose veins to worsen. After all, pounding the ground again and again is not a gentle exercise. Weightlifting is another exercise people love that may strain your body. Sit ups, squats, lunges, and the whole menu of exercises with weights should be done with caution or at least modified by using very light weights. 

What about another favorite activity, yoga? This one is a mixed bag. There are quite a few poses in yoga (mountain pose!) that can help strengthen your legs and improve circulation. These poses may also reduce the pain and swelling in your legs, but other poses that may encourage intense abdominal pressure are not recommended for people who have varicose veins.

Exercise is just one way you can plan to help your varicose veins improve. With the help of the team at Varicosity Vein Clinic, you can make your exercise routine safer and more beneficial to your health. Consult our experienced vein specialists today to learn more about varicose veins and exercise as well as other treatment options for your condition.

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