1. Talk to your doctor – Before starting a new exercise program, talk to your doctor to make sure you can exercise safely.
2. Listen to your body – Always listen to your body. If you have pain during exercise or it makes your veins worse, you should stop and talk to your doctor.
3. Warm-up – Begin any training session with a warm-up to get your muscles ready for activity.
4. Take a walk – Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. Go outside on nice days and get some fresh air. In the middle of winter, you can wander inside a shopping mall. The treadmill is perfect if you have access to a fitness center. When you walk, the muscles in your legs help push blood through your veins, which reduces the pressure on your varicose veins.
5. Pedal the bike – Cycle or use a stationary bike at your gym. Cycling uses your leg muscles, which helps push blood out of your legs.
6. Go swimming – Swimming offers many benefits for varicose veins. Swimming not only pushes you through the water, it also pushes blood out of your legs. When swimming, your legs will be above the level of your heart at times because you are horizontal, which increases blood flow through your leg veins.
7. Work your calves – Your calves play a very important role in keeping the blood moving in your legs. Even if you can’t take long walks, you can work your calf muscles. Using a chair for support, stand up, slowly getting up on your toes and then back down. Repeat this 10-15 times, then take a short break and repeat 10-15 times.
8. Work your upper leg – Your thigh muscles help drive blood from your upper legs back to your body. Sit up in a chair. Do 10 to 15 reps, take a break, and then do 10 to 15 reps.
9. Slow down and relax – Before you finish your workout, slow down for a few minutes and then relax by gently stretching your legs.
10. Don’t hold your breath – Any strenuous exercise increases the pressure on the veins in your abdomen. Be sure to take slow breaths, because holding your breath puts pressure on your abdomen and can prevent your leg veins from draining.
11. Don’t lift heavy weights – Lifting heavy weights increases the amount of pressure in your veins. Talk to your doctor to see if you need to lift weights and how much weight is safe for you.
12. Don’t “just exercise” to take care of your veins. Remember, exercise is only part of an overall program for taking care of your veins. A healthy diet is also important.