Exercising With Varicose Veins


Do you want to care for your body with regular workouts but feel limited because of leg
discomfort? Patients with varicose veins will often avoid exercising because it can aggravate
their pain. The good news is you have options. There are many low-impact exercises that can not only improve your circulation, but also relieve some of the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

Here are a few of the most effective workouts for people with vein problems:

1. Walking
Perhaps the most common way to exercise, walking is also one of the best and safest
workouts for people who have varicose veins. All you need to do to realize health
benefits is to spend 30 minutes walking briskly five days a week. Whether you walk
around the neighborhood, a track or the local shopping mall, you can improve
circulation, increase your heart rate and burn calories with this low-impact activity.
Other potential benefits from walking include better sleep, stronger bones, more
mental alertness, a happier mood and increased immunity.

2. Swimming
Because the water supports your body weight when you swim, it’s an ideal exercise for
those with varicose veins or anyone who prefers a low-impact exercise that offers
significant health benefits. Depending on how far and fast you go, daily swims will help
you build muscle, burn off calories and improve your cardiovascular health.

3. Cycling
If you’re looking for a piece of gym equipment you can use to safely exercise without
harming your veins, choose the elliptical machine or a stationary bike. Both activities get
the blood moving, strengthen your calves and don’t put unnecessary strain on varicose
veins. Because it focuses on leg movement, cycling boosts blood flow through the lower
half of the body, which directly benefits any vein issues you may have. Bonus tip: if you
don’t have a stationary bike available, mimic the movements by doing bicycle legs at
home. While lying on your back, extend your legs in the air and cycle them as if on a

4. Yoga or Pilates
They’re hip and trendy, and not without good reason. Both yoga and Pilates can be
great ways to reduce soreness and swelling, boost circulation, stretch and strengthen
muscles, and reduce stress. For patients with varicose veins, yoga poses that elevate the
legs are great exercise options that won’t increase pressure within your veins.

Too many people who deal with varicose veins think that workouts are out, but that’s not true! You simply need to find the right exercises that will alleviate, not aggravate, your symptoms. Cutting out workouts is not only bad for your overall health, but it’s also harmful for your veins. In fact, one of the leading causes of varicose veins is living a sedentary lifestyle that includes sitting or standing for too long. When you aren’t exercising, the lack of activity can make vein problems worse.

For more good workout suggestions for those with varicose veins, take a look at the attached resource. It describes eight of the best exercises to try, as well as practices to avoid, to achieve the best possible vein health.

Courtesy of North Shore Vascular