If you’re suffering from spider or varicose veins, your doctor probably told you to exercise regularly. Although working out helps you to stay at a healthy weight, which may relieve symptoms caused by swollen veins, some types of physical activity can be your worst enemy. For example, weightlifting impedes blood flow between the legs and heart, causing the blood to pool and damage the veins. Even though varicose veins cannot be permanently cured without medical treatment, regular exercise can prevent the progression of this disturbing condition.
We at Bright Side came up with this collection of simple and effective exercises that don’t require any special equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere. And don’t forget to check out the bonus section at the end of the article.
1. Bicycle kicks
Bicycling stimulates the calf muscles and keeps the blood flowing in the right direction. And even if you don’t have a bike or it’s a rainy day, you can do this simple exercise in the comfort of your own home.
- Lie down on your back and raise your legs in the air to make a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly kick your right leg out while keeping your left leg bent.
- Return your right leg to the starting position, switch, and repeat.
2. Leg lifts
This simple exercise doesn’t require any special equipment. When done regularly, it can improve blood circulation in the veins.
- Lie flat on your back.
- Lift one leg at a time.
- Hold your leg in the air for a few seconds.
Change legs and repeat.
When you do lunges, you’re exercising your leg muscles which increases the amount of blood flow to the heart. As a result, your heart works harder and it helps to keep your veins in good shape.
- Stand up straight with your arms held down at your sides.
- Take a big step forward with your left foot.
- Begin to bend your left knee while keeping your back straight, your eyes looking forward, and your arms at your sides.
- Bend your left knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds and then return to a standing position.
4. Calf raises
This exercise builds the strength of your calf muscles and improves your body’s blood circulation. Calf raises don’t require much effort and can be performed even by people who haven’t worked out for a long time.
- Stand up straight with your legs parallel.
- Slowly raise your toes, stretching your calf muscles.
- Lower your toes to the floor and raise your heels, repeating as many times as you feel comfortable.
Rocking is similar to calf raises. With one additional step, this exercise can also help your balance.
- Stand up straight with your heels together, toes pointed out.
- Rise up on your tiptoes.
- Slowly lower back down.
- Rock back to your heels, toes off the ground.
6. Toe flexes
The toe flex is an easy exercise you can do when while on a break at work, traveling, or even waiting in a long line. At home, lie on the mat or on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Stretch out your toes forward as far as you can, then back.
- Repeat this rhythmically for 20 times per leg.
7. Elevating your legs
If you’re suffering from spider or varicose veins, doctors recommend raising your legs at or above heart level when possible. It helps relieve swollen or achy legs and improves blood flow to the rest of your body.
- Lie on your back on the floor or on your bed.
- Raise your legs straight up in the air or prop them against the wall.
- Hold this position for a few minutes and then lower your legs to the ground.
Bonus: Wash your legs with cold water
Cold showers improve blood circulation and make blood less likely to pool in your veins. A daily cold shower can help to reduce spider and varicose veins, since pooling blood causes your veins to bulge and become visible beneath your skin. Improved blood flow also benefits your overall cardiovascular health.
Have you tried any of these exercises? Do you know any other workouts that help to fight spider and varicose veins?