You’ve probably seen varicose veins even if you don’t have them. Typically found on the legs, these bulging, troublesome veins can be unsightly and even painful. They are more commonly experienced by women than men.
Varicose veins may be caused by a variety of factors, including heredity. In fact, if you’re reading this, you may have family members who suffer from the health condition – and you may consequently be interested in learning how to prevent varicose veins from manifesting. Other factors can also lead to their occurrence, including pregnancy, aging, obesity, menopause, abdominal strain, injury to the leg, and even standing for prolonged periods of time. By exploring some of the most common causes, you can also discover ways to prevent the veins from becoming a problem for you.
Exercise is Key
One of the top ways to avoid getting varicose veins is to exercise regularly. Since obesity is one of the leading causes of the condition, avoiding the onset of obesity is an excellent strategy for anyone who wants to know how to prevent varicose veins. Regular exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle, and it helps to combat weight gain. By setting up a consistent schedule of exercise for yourself, you could stop the veins from forming.
The kind of exercise you engage in is also an important detail to consider. Because the veins may occur if you already experience poor circulation, you might want to start with some exercise to increase blood circulation. Additionally, working your leg muscles could also be helpful. Exercises that get your blood flowing and give your legs a workout include walking, running, swimming, and bicycling. Even playing with a jump rope and skiing are activities that could help you to ward off varicose veins – so don’t hesitate to have some fun in the process! Dancing can also aid in avoiding varicose veins – you might want to enroll in a dance class, or you could even just dance around in the privacy of your own home every day.
Watch Your Diet
Another way to avoid getting varicose veins is to watch – and possibly change – your diet. This will help you to keep your weight at a healthy level. If you abstain from eating high-sodium foods, you may also prevent water retention – which can help to prevent or reduce swelling. You might be surprised to discover how much sodium you actually consume in a day. There are many free apps online that you can download that will help you keep track of your daily sodium intake.
Try to eat plenty of foods that are high in fiber, in order to keep everything moving properly through your digestive system. Such foods may include beans and other legumes, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Remember to drink a sufficient amount of water, too – at least four to six glasses per day.
Stand Up and Move
Sitting or standing for long periods of time can lead to the onset of varicose veins. If you want to know how to prevent varicose veins, the answer could be as simple as changing a habit or two. If you sit at a desk for many hours per day, try setting a timer to go off every 20 to 30 minutes – then stand up for at least five minutes before you sit down again. If must stand for long stretches of time, try shifting your weight from one leg to the other periodically. If you are able to do so, walk around for a few minutes after each 20 to 30-minute length of time.
Alter Your Resting Position
When you are sitting, looking at how you are sitting is another factor worth considering. If you have a tendency to cross your legs when you sit, resolve to change this habit. You can actually injure your leg if you cross it for long periods of time. Such an injury could result in a case of varicose veins.
You may also increase the circulation in your legs by keeping them elevated when you’re not standing. If you generally watch TV on a sofa or in bed, put a pillow or cushion underneath your feet and calves. You can also do this if you sit in a reclining chair. You should try to elevate your legs anytime you are resting or sleeping – whether you’re lying down or sitting. Whenever you can, try to raise your legs to a level that is higher than the level of your heart.
Change Your Clothing
Whenever possible, don’t wear tight clothing because it can inhibit proper circulation. This includes tight stockings. Instead, wear clothing that enables you to move freely at all times. If you must wear stockings, you might ask your doctor about whether compression stockings are right for you. Elastic support stockings will give your legs the added support they need. This type of hosiery was once considered rather unattractive, but compression socks and stockings have been so modernized that they are no longer obvious.
Wear Different Shoes
If you wear high heels on a regular basis, you could find yourself with varicose veins at some point. High heels aren’t conducive to proper balance or good blood circulation, and wearing them can even result in an injury (which could also cause varicose veins). Instead, wear shoes with a lower heel. They will help you to keep your calf muscles toned, and this will lead to better circulation in your legs.
The shoes you wear should also offer plenty of support; if they don’t you can have them fitted for orthotic insoles that will provide the support you need. You will likely find that wearing shoes with the right kind of support will also be better for your back and feet, in general. In addition to preventing varicose veins, you could minimize back pain and avoid getting bunions and blisters on your feet.
If you’ve been wondering how to prevent varicose veins, remember that you can do many things to accomplish this goal:
- Get plenty of exercises that move your legs and improves circulation.
- Eat an adequate supply of foods that are high in fiber.
- Limit your sodium intake.
- Drink enough water.
- Stand up periodically when you’re sitting for a long time, and move around when you’re standing for long periods of time.
- Avoid crossing your legs, and elevate them whenever you’re resting.
- Don’t wear tight clothing, and wear compression hosiery if your doctor recommends it.
- Don’t wear high heels, and wear lower heels that offer a lot of support.
If varicose veins are a genetic trait in your family, you may benefit from doing all that you can to prevent this health condition for yourself. In fact, the steps that you might take to avoid varicose veins may be beneficial to your health in other ways, too. By replacing a few habits with healthier ones, you could prevent the onset of varicose veins – and perhaps a few other health issues, as well.