EXERCISE & LIFESTYLE
Self-care measures that may decrease discomfort of symptoms and severity of venous disease may include the following:
Exercise: Keep your legs moving. Walking regularly is ideal. Walking activates the calf muscle, the pump that moves blood more vigorously through the veins, and reduces pooling of blood in the legs.
Watch your weight and diet: Eat a diet appropriate for your caloric needs. Don’t over eat. Losing excess pounds reduces unnecessary pressure on your veins. Consume a diet higher in fiber and reduce salt intake.
Avoid extended periods of standing or sitting: Change your position frequently to encourage unrestricted circulation. If traveling, make it a point to stretch, stand up, shake out and move.
Elevate your legs: Take opportunities to elevate your legs at the end of the day to relieve swelling and other symptoms.
Check your clothing: Avoid items that are too tight or restrict blood flow around your waist, groin or legs. Refrain from wearing high heels. Low-heeled shoes are beneficial in activating the calf muscles and are better for your veins. Consider wearing graduated compression stockings, which improve circulation in your legs. Our staff at the Laser Vein Center can assist you in finding a good fit in a style you like.
Don’t sit with your legs crossed: Crossing your legs can slow the circulation to and from your lower legs, increasing circulation problems.
Leg Exercises For Varicose Veins
Calf Raises: While standing on the floor or on a step, allowing your heels to hang off, raise your body onto your toes and lower back down. You may wish to grasp the railing or back of a chair to aid in balance. Repeat this action 30 times each day. This strengthens the calf muscle, which is the workhorse for pumping blood out of your lower legs and back toward the heart. Light hand weights will enhance the intensity of this exercise.
High Knees: Standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart, raise your left knee as high as you can and step forward. Repeat with the right leg. Continue alternating back and forth. Do 2 sets of 20 lifts.
Leg Raises: Lying on your back on a mat or carpet, gradually lift one leg from the floor. Slowly lower the leg and repeat on the other side. You may also choose to bring the lifted leg into the chest before lowering it again to the floor. Continue the lifts for 3 sets of 12 lifts.
Torso Raises: Lie with your back on the carpet and your feet and lower legs on a chair. With your arms resting on the floor, raise your torso until your body and thighs are in a straight line, hold for 30 seconds and release. Do 2 series of 20 repetitions. When finished, remain in position with your legs elevated on the chair. Relax and rest momentarily. This reduces the pooling of blood in the lower legs.