Are you looking for an easy but effective exercise for varicose veins? Take a walk!
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your health. As Harvard Health points out, walking can help manage your weight and energize your immune system. Because it’s a low-impact workout, walking is much easier on the joints, making it a great exercise choice for people with arthritis and varicose veins.
A daily stroll can reduce varicose vein symptoms such as swelling and pain and prevent new varicose veins from forming. Adding a brisk 30-minute walk into your routine can lower blood pressure and keep blood sugar levels in check, which benefits your veins. Let's look closer at why walking is good for varicose veins.
Why walking is good for varicose veins
Each vein in your legs is lined with tiny valves that push blood up to the heart. The valves don’t work alone — they also need the help of your calf muscles to push blood through the vein. Walking engages your calf muscles, which assist the valves in pumping blood.
However, due to risk factors such as heredity, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and even gender, those valves may weaken and allow blood to pool in the vein. Over time, the buildup of blood causes the vein to swell, which leads to a visible varicose vein.
If you have varicose veins, your veins will require even more assistance to pump blood. Walking can achieve that by improving circulation in the veins. You’ll likely soon experience reduced leg pain, swelling, and cramping. Walking can also help you shed pounds, which decreases the pressure on the veins and promotes efficient blood flow.
Another perk of walking is it doesn’t require any expensive equipment or a pricey gym membership. All you need is a comfortable, supportive pair of walking shoes. And with so many beautiful parks and nature preserves in Alaska, you’re sure to find a nearby hiking trail to explore.
To get the most out of your walk, follow these tips:
Maintain good posture. Straighten your spine and push your shoulders back and down. Maintaining good posture will lessen the strain on your shoulder, neck, and upper back muscles.
Walk properly. Get into a rhythm when you walk. Step with your heel first and then roll your foot to your toe.
Use your arms. Although you use your legs when you walk, you can exercise your arms, too. As you walk, swing your arms to increase your heart rate.
Wear compression stockings. Want to give your veins an extra boost? Put on a pair of compression stockings to gently compress the veins and keep blood flowing.
Do more for your varicose veins
While walking will certainly alleviate varicose vein symptoms, it’s not a cure-all. To eliminate the pain and swelling of varicose veins, consult a certified vein specialist at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) to discuss minimally invasive surgeries. Here are a few of your options:
Sclerotherapy. Your doctor will inject a safe, saline-based sclerosant into the vein, which will eventually collapse and disappear.
Thermal ablation. The heat from either a laser or radiofrequency waves destroys the vein. As with sclerotherapy, the treated vein is absorbed into the body as blood diverts to nearby healthy veins.
Ambulatory phlebectomy. The varicose vein is removed via two tiny incisions that need only a Band-Aid afterward. Stitches are not required in this procedure.
VenaSeal. VenaSeal is a newer innovation in vein care. Using a proprietary medical adhesive, the doctor will seal the diseased vein.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking. It’s an easy but effective exercise for varicose veins, but it won’t eliminate varicose veins. Instead, talk to your doctor to explore the above treatments, which are all minimally invasive and completed within a brief office visit.
Get your veins treated in Alaska
Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) operates two full-service Alaska vein care offices in Fairbanks and Anchorage. A board-certified professional with years of experience treating varicose veins using surgical and conservative methods leads each vein clinic. Our physicians will tailor a treatment plan to your needs and preferences.
Peter Liao, MD, Ph.D., has spent more than two decades helping patients live without the discomfort of varicose veins. A leader in the field of vascular disease, Dr. Liao teaches other vein physicians.
Richard Hamilton, MD, FACOG, is an experienced board-certified physician, surgeon, and medical educator. He uses his advanced skills in ultrasound technology and minimally invasive procedures to treat chronic venous insufficiency (vein disease) and associated symptoms.
Cynthia "CJ" Smith, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant. She educates her patients about chronic venous insufficiency, applying her advanced education and training to help her patients overcome the distressing symptoms of vein disease.
Contact their offices today for a consultation or to speak to a representative. You may also schedule online at your convenience.
Find a CVR facility near you if you don't live in Alaska.
2550 Denali Street, Suite 1307
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
1626 30th Avenue, Suite 203
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701