Varicose veins are unattractive and sometimes even uncomfortable. While the problem is a common one for adults in the middle to later years of life, there are steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of developing them. Check out these four tips from Carolina Vein Associates to lower your risk for varicose veins and keep your legs in top condition at any stage of life.
Give Your Calves a Workout
Your calf muscles are responsible for helping the veins in the lower leg pump blood back up the body to the heart. Flexing those muscles regularly will keep the blood pumping well. Walking, swimming and biking are all low-impact exercises that will give your calves a good workout. Wearing lower heels most days of the will also make the calves work harder when you move. Even simple calf raises done regularly will help keep those calves in good shape.
Give Your Legs a Rest
At the end of the day, give those hard-working veins a break by putting your feet up for a period of time. Putting your legs in a horizontal position takes the pressure off your cardiovascular system so the vessels in your lower legs don’t have to work as hard to push blood against the force of gravity. To get the greatest benefit, make sure your legs are higher than your heart during your rest periods.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Extra pounds can place additional pressure on the lower legs, increasing your odds of developing varicose veins. The same exercises that keep your calves in shape, walking, biking and swimming, will also keep the excess fat from accumulating. If you are already overweight, now is the time to find a weight loss program that will help you shed the excess pounds.
Consider Compression Stockings
If you know you are at higher risk for varicose veins, due to a family history or previous vein issues, consider using compression stockings to maintain a healthy blood flow. These medical-grade socks feature graduated compression that is tighter at the foot and loosens as it moves up the leg. Compression helps the veins push the blood back up the leg, reducing the risk of varicose vein formation.
While these steps may help lessen the likelihood of developing varicose veins, there is no way to prevent varicose veins completely. The good news is that if they do occur, minimally-invasive treatments are now available to eliminate those swollen veins and the uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany them. To learn more about your options in varicose vein treatment, contact Carolina Vein Associates at 704-684-4511.