September 23, 2021
We all know how important exercise is for our physical and mental health. And for those of us who are at risk of vein disease, keeping active every day is all the more important - but this is at times more easily said than done.
But along with its many challenges, the past year has come with a few blessings in disguise, one of these being the unrivalled convenience of the at-home workout. After a year of lockdown, there is more video content freely available than ever before for those who wish to get active from the comfort of their living rooms, covering all levels and specific requirements.
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, you don’t have to immediately renew your gym membership or sign up for classes. If the convenience and flexibility of working out in your living room have meant that you’ve actually kept up a daily exercise routine for the first time in your life, there’s no reason to stop!
For many, though, life can be so full-on that even a home workout can feel like too much of a time commitment. If you find yourself busy for most of the day and too exhausted to move in the evenings, these simple, low-impact exercises may be just what you need. In this article, we’ll show you how to lead a more active lifestyle - and improve your vein health - without making any major changes to your daily routine.
Any Chance To Walk Counts
If you’re older, pregnant, or have been shielding due to being more vulnerable, there are a number of simple exercises you can try without leaving home.
Walking around your house or garden - or even up and down the stairs - are all low-impact activities that are great for getting the blood pumping. By incorporating these into your daily routine you can easily meet doctors’ recommendations of exercising for 30 minutes per day.
Small Changes That Make A Difference
If you have reduced mobility due to pregnancy or older age, yoga is another beneficial low-impact exercise to treat the symptoms of vein disease. The continuous movement encourages blood to flow around your body, while controlled breathing decreases your blood pressure. You can try practising yoga shortly before going to bed - this may have a positive impact not only on your vein health, but also on the quality of your sleep.
As a fun alternative, it’s been proven that dancing not only decreases tension in your body but also dilates your blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate through your body with greater ease.
Have you discovered any new favourite songs lately? If so, make a playlist, block off at least 20 minutes, and dance to your heart’s content! You’ll never tire of this fun medium-impact exercise, and your veins will thank you.
If You Literally Don’t Have Time...
If your busy schedule prevents you from managing a stable work-life balance, or you suffer from a more debilitating condition, you can still easily reduce the negative effects of varicose veins right from your desk.
During a video meeting, rock back and forth on your feet by gently alternating between lifting the heels and balls of your feet. Other options include flexing your toes and calves or lifting yourself onto your tiptoes to engage your calf muscles and force blood towards your heart. Your colleagues won’t notice these subtle movements and your pain will diminish!
If All Else Fails...
When you can’t bring yourself to exercise and need to rest after a long day, you can alleviate leg pain by lying down with your legs elevated. Hold your legs in the air for a few minutes or prop them up on some cushions at the same level as your heart.
Healthy Habits To Keep In Mind
Aside from exercise, there are a few other things you can do to keep your veins as healthy as possible.
Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, as hydration is essential for optimal blood flow. Eating a healthy diet rich in omega-3, potassium, magnesium and fibre will also complement your exercise regime by introducing more antioxidants into your blood.
If you’re in any pain, you can gently massage the surrounding area to help relieve further discomfort, while avoiding direct pressure to your veins.
The Best Way Forward
Ultimately, increased physical activity can have a huge impact on easing your varicose vein symptoms by helping blood get to the heart. The additional benefit of losing excess weight through continuous exercise is that it will also reduce added pressure on your veins and in turn help to alleviate pain.
The best exercises to combat the symptoms of varicose veins are low-impact, so it’s important to go gently if you suffer from vein disease. But bear in mind that the only way to truly stop varicose veins is through professional consultation and treatment, after which you’ll be granted a new lease of life!