April –Walking and Varicose Veins
Walking can help prevent varicose veins for people who are at risk; e.g. those with positive family history, female gender, multiple pregnancies, standing profession, overweight, under exercising, prior trauma to legs and prior surgeries.
Walking can be very beneficial, as it the helps varicose veins by increasing blood flow and reducing the amount of blood that pools. The reduced blood pooling can lower blood pressure, reduce swelling in the veins, and prevent further weakening of the vein tissue. However, you should only walk until you begin to experience leg pain, at which time you should sit down and elevate your legs. Once varicose veins have developed, walking can exacerbate the condition. So, elevating your legs after exercise and/or protective compression stockings are recommended. Combining compression stockings with moderate walking is a very effective treatment for varicose veins. While the exercise increases blood flow, the compression stockings will help keep the veins from further dilation, which could make the condition worse.
Walking is generally not a cause of varicose veins, because is commands more blood flow to the muscles of our legs. As a vein widens on its own, blood can pool inside it and cause further dilation. That's why you see the purple and blue color normally associated with the disease. With varicose veins, moderate walking is always a good exercise to keep blood flowing, it will do nothing to increase or decrease the size of the veins. But again, walking and other exercises can exacerbate the condition, so specific measures are recommended during and post work out; e.g. elevation of legs, compression stockings, etc.