Varicose veins are just one of the many aesthetic and cosmetic concerns you may experience as you get older. Caused by a lack of proper circulation, varicose veins are characterized by a pressure that causes the veins to bulge.
This makes them appear boldly blue, cord-like, and dramatic and can cause the person varying degrees of discomfort and pain.
They are most commonly visible on the arms and legs, where circulation can be weakest.
Fortunately, there are many simple self-care treatments that can be done to alleviate or reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
These five exercises improve circulation in the arms and legs, stimulate the blood flow, and build strength.
1) Low-Impact Cardiovascular Exercise
Walking and bicycling several times a week are great low-impact cardio options for those suffering from varicose veins.
Those who are feeling up for medium-to-high impact cardio can discuss options with their physician before beginning a more intense fitness regimen.
2) Leg Lifts
These are a strength training option that can be done one leg at a time (single) or both (double). Sit or lie on the floor, or a supportive mat with the legs extended straight out.
Slowly lift one or both legs at a time, holding the leg in the air and letting the blood circulate before returning it to the floor.
Those with back and neck problems can also do this exercise from a seated position on a chair.
3) Calf Raises
Stand with the legs hip-width apart. Slowly rise on to the tiptoes before lowering back down. This is great for challenging balance, as well.
4) Bicycle Legs
While lying on the back, bring the knees into the air at a 90-degree angle. Slowly alternate the legs, extending and bending as if pedaling a bicycle.
5) Side Lunges
Stand with the legs hip-width apart. Alternate stepping out to the side, bending the knee at 90 degrees before slowly straightening and returning to standing.
These exercises are an easy, effective, and completely free way to improve the appearance of varicose veins, in addition to regulating blood pressure and feeling in the appendages.
However, if your varicose veins are painful, you may want to consider medical treatment for them. Most procedures are non-invasive and have a quick recovery period, so don’t worry about it having a huge impact on your daily activities.