Everyone wants healthier veins and great-looking legs. But not everyone wants to spend tons of time getting to that point! Fall into that category? Don’t worry! As it turns out, all you need to do is walk for 30 minutes, every day, and you’ll score healthy veins, great looking legs, and a whole slew of other benefits!
Walking for healthier veins
Varicose veins are a common problem, with the risk increasing every year that goes by. Thankfully, this simple, daily walking routine can help prevent varicose veins from developing on your legs.
Why? Your venous system is composed of the muscles, veins, and valves in your calf and foot. All those components work together to push blood from your legs, up to the heart. In order to get there, you need strong muscles, since their contractions can help blood flow against gravity with fast, strong pushes.
When you walk, you strengthen the muscles in your calves, helping push your blood out of the legs and preventing the type of pooling that can cause veins to bulge in an unsightly manner. And, if you already have varicose veins, these 30 minutes of walking can help ease some of the swelling and pain that’s often associated with the condition.
5 More Benefits of Daily Walking
- Lose Weight
Even though it’s low-impact, walking still helps you burn off excess calories. Do it every day, and you just may notice a drop on the scale—or some extra room in your waist band!
- Fight off Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, daily walking packs a double punch: it lowers your blood sugar levels and decreases your overall risk of developing diabetes.
- Improve Digestion
When you walk, you engage your core muscles to hold you up and move you forward. And stronger core muscles can help get things moving in your digestive tract, making it easier to regulate your bowel movements without dietary additions or supplements.
- Protect your joints
Unlike running, daily walks are great for your joints. Why? The movement increases blood flow to your legs, and it helps strengthen the muscles that protect and support your joints. That’s why studies show that just 10 minutes of daily walking can help fight arthritis…now imagine what happens when you triple that number!
- Improve your sleep
Regular daily workouts boost your body’s response to and production of melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone. That means your workouts will help you sleep better—so long as you avoid physical activity an hour or two before bed time, as this may rile you up and make it more difficult to fall asleep at your chosen bed time.
Running, Biking and Vein Health
While walking promotes healthier veins, the same isn’t always true of running. As it turns out, when you work your leg veins too hard, with strenuous exercise, problems can develop. For that reason, marathon runners and competitive cyclists often struggle with venous insufficiency. (That’s when the valves in your leg veins don’t work well. Making it harder for blood to get out of your legs and back up to your heart.)
How can exercise lead to vein problems? After all, we’ve all been told that regular exercise leads to healthier veins! Well, the answer lies in how hard you work your legs. Because repeatedly putting intense pressure on your leg veins can wear them down. Meaning, even if you run once in a while, you should switch up your daily workouts. And try to get in some daily walking sessions to give your veins a boost. (And a break!)
Already dealing with vein health challenges? Don’t worry, we can help! Schedule a consultation today with our Houston vein specialists. Together, we’ll review the lifestyle changes and medical interventions you need to enjoy healthier veins!
Sources: Runner’s Tribe17, Prevention Magazine