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The right exercise can be beneficial for people who have varicose and spider veins. It is important to get your blood pumping because good circulation is critical when you suffer from vein disease. But you don’t want to engage in any physical activity that could actually worsen your condition, or even endanger your health. When adopting an exercise program, you should take it slow, know the risks and talk with your doctor first to make sure what you are planning is safe and appropriate.

Vein disease is most commonly seen in patients whose careers require being on their feet consistently or being seated for long periods of time. Pregnancy and hereditary scenarios are other big causes of vein problems. If you are at risk or currently suffer from vein disease, exercise can be very helpful in keeping you healthy and preventing further vein damage. But you must be aware that some exercises are actually counterproductive and could place you at health risk.

Exercise Dos & Don’ts

When we exercise, the calf muscle and veins in the arch of our foot pump blood back to our heart. Cultivating a strong calf muscle promotes a healthy blood flow and works to minimize vein disease. Sometimes, you may need to alter how or where you do a type of exercise.

Gentle and moderate exercising of the legs increases blood circulation. As a result, the appearance of varicose veins can be improved, and new ones can be prevented from forming. If you experience pain or discomfort, you should cease doing the exercise.

Walking is the best! When done at a low-impact level, walking stretches and strengthens the calf, leading to improved circulation. Walking at least 30 minutes, five times a week is very beneficial. Also try incorporating more passive walking into your lifestyle such as parking farther away than need be and walking a short distance to a shop or restaurant.

Running and jogging can be great aerobic exercise for calves and feet. But the downside is these activities may have an adverse effect on joints. Switching to a softer surface such as grass or an indoor track can help to minimize the adverse impacts.

Elliptical and stationary bike use are low-impact activities that are great at strengthening the calf muscle, without putting undue stress on joints and bones.

Swimming is a beneficial and non-weight bearing exercise that can strengthen the legs.

Weight training can place strain on the venous circulation system as blood flows through the abdomen and it can impede blood flow back to the heart, resulting in blood to pool in the legs, increasing pressure on the veins.

Avoid strenuous activities that can make venous reflux worse. These include exercises like sit-ups, crunches, squats, lunges and prolonged abdominal posturing, as sometimes done in yoga.

You should always talk to your medical practitioner before beginning an exercise routine. This advice is particularly important if you are older or have a history of heart disease. If you have varicose veins, it is imperative that you consult with a physician first, before starting an exercise program. When you are a patient at Abella Health, we listen to you and engage with you. We want you to be healthy, energetic, and in great shape for a long life!

Abella Health is a unique practice which provides primary care, with a specialization on cardiac and vein care. Dr. Manuel Abella is an Interventional Cardiologist and Vein Specialist who has been practicing in the Miami area for over 23 years. We offer personalized medicine featuring physician and nurse practitioner accessibility 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you suffer from varicose veins or spider veins, we can help. The professional staff provides the most comprehensive range of treatments and diagnostic testing in the area. Contact us to learn how we can meet your specific medical needs.