Tag: preventing varicose veins

5 Do-Anywhere Workouts for Veins

Are there workouts for veins that can prevent vein disease? Well, there are so many reasons why you develop varicose and spider veins. In fact, your genes may be upping your risk!  Even so, you can be proactive about prevention. And part of those changes include exercising more.

Now, even a few simple lifestyle changes go a long way towards preventing these veins from developing. Whether you are starting to see the early signs of varicose or spider veins, or you hope to prevent them altogether, certain workouts can promote healthy veins. Why not make these last weeks of 2021 your time to sweat some vein-preventing workouts (and show off those healthy legs with pride!) We’ve even tapped a top fitness trainer for work-out-at-home safety tips, in case you’re too busy to get to the gym!

Walking workouts for veins

Taking a walk or hike is one of the best ways to give your legs a workout and improve circulation in your legs. Walking is a great low-impact exercise that can strengthen your calf muscles and minimize spider or varicose veins.

Try talking a stroll through your neighborhood, find a nearby greenway to walk on, or plan a hike. If you’re wanting a more rigorous workout, a run will also improve circulation and get more blood returning to your heart, which can help prevent varicose veins.

Ride your bike to smoother legs

workouts to prevent veins

Riding a bike is another exercise that works out your legs and promotes healthy veins. Bonus? It doesn’t put too much stress on your joints, and as you pedal, your calf muscles flex, giving your veins a rest and helping circulate blood back to the heart.

You can ride a stationary bike or a regular bike. Don’t have access to either? No problem! You can still mimic this exercise motion, while lying on your back on the floor, a bed or any flat surface. To get all the same benefits as biking, just raise your legs and pretend that you are pedaling. This will still stimulate blood circulation in your legs and help protect your veins.

Try Swimming or Water Workouts for Veins

The buoyancy of water means that swimming and water aerobics don’t put stress on your joints while still providing cardiovascular benefits. The water resistance will also help workout your leg muscles even more and improve circulation.

If you have a pool, try swimming lap. Or seek out a secluded lake or beach where you can take a socially responsible dip in the water.

Squats and Calf Raises

Squats and calf raises both strengthen your leg and thigh muscles. Now, that’s important. Because strong leg muscle produce strong contractions. And strong contractions help get blood out of your legs and back up to your heart. Which means no blood pooling, and a lower risk of varicose veins.

Of course, position is important with these exercises. See out in-depth guide to calf raises here. Then, think about these elements when squatting. Keep weight in your heels. Push your glutes back instead of down, and try to keep your head and chest lifted as you lower your body. In fact, since doing squats improperly can cause pain, it’s best to check your form with a trainer or even your doctor to prevent injury.

Preventing Varicose Veins

Risk factors that increase your chance of suffering from vein disease include:

  • If your family has a history of vein disease
  • If you are over 45
  • If you are a woman
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you are overweight
  • If you sit for the majority of the day or stand for the majority of the day

If any of these apply, you’ll want to get started on a vein-healthy workout routine. Make sure to discuss any changes in your activity routine with a doctor before starting a new exercise program! And check out these safety tips for working out at home!

Safely Transitioning to a Home Workout

With so much time on our hands, but very few gym spaces available, we’re taking workouts to our living rooms, back yards and neighborhood streets. And this is all great, as long as you stay safe. To help protect your health, certified personal trainer Anita Slaughter, owner of A | TRAIN FITNESS, shares her top safety tips for at-home workouts! And feel free to reach out and train with Anita from home. She offers virtual training and Zoom fitness!

Staying safe with in-home exercise

1.       While exercise has numerous health benefits, if you weren’t exercising regularly before the stay at home mandate, you should ease into a fitness program and slowly increase the frequency, duration and intensity.

2.       It is important to add variety to the fitness program you choose.  Working the same muscle groups, the same way, day after day can lead to overuse/repetitive injuries, so mix it up.  Participate in lower body strength training one day, upper body the next and core the following. Throw cardio exercise in the mix, with walks or runs outside for the added Vitamin D benefit.

3.      Without the normal day to day movement we’re getting, even from our homes to our cars, we are far more sedentary right now than we even realize.  So if you don’t have a 45-60 minute block of time, break it up into two to three 15-30 minute segments each day.

4.      If you have underlying health issues (like vein disease) or you’re concerned about safety, consult a professional.  Telehealth is now available if you need to get clearance from a physician or vein specialist.  There are numerous web options for exercise programs so find one that fits your needs and investigate to ensure they’re provided by a professional who is certified by a Nationally Accredited organization.

Sources: NYU Langone Health, Anita Slaughter, CPT

8 Moves that Help Spider Veins

If you need help for spider veins, you’re not alone: they’re a very common condition, especially among women who are or have been pregnant or are over the age of 50. Just because they’re common, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be treated! In our Texas Endovascular practice, we offer several different treatment plans for your spider or varicose veins, all of them being minimally invasive and performed as outpatient procedures! And, while you’re discussing with your doctor what treatment option is best for you, here are 8 tips to follow that can keep your condition from getting worse!

Hacks to Help with Spider Veins

There are many different lifestyle changes you can make to help spider veins. These are just a beginning point. And if you already have vein health concerns, you’ll need to explore treatment options.

walking can help spider veins
Frequent exercise, like taking walks, can help improve the appearance of spider veins
  1. Stay Active!

    Regular exercise can improve blood circulation in your legs, while also lowering your blood pressure (another factor that could improve varicose veins.) Not sure where to start? Check out our weekly Move it Monday blog posts for exercise inspiration!

  2. Rock Your Socks

    Tight (compression) socks or stockings apply pressure to your lower legs, potentially helping to improve blood flow to the area. Not sure how or when to wear these babies? This guide to putting on compression socks can help.

  3. But…Skip the Stilettos.

    High heels keep your calf muscles engaged, reducing the amount of blood that flows into the veins of your foot and calf. It also reduces the amount of force going to push blood into those veins, meaning blood can begin to pool and form new or worsen existing spider veins. So, while high heels don’t technically cause vein problems, they certainly won’t help spider veins.

  4. Skip the Salt, too.

    Salty foods can cause your body to retain water and swell up; while you’re swelling, those bulging varicose veins may worsen.

  5. Up Your Fiber Intake to Help Spider Veins.

    Fiber is good for your heart health, and improved heart health equals better blood flow throughout the body. For that reason, this diet to boost circulation could keep unsightly veins at bay.

  6. Embrace Massage.

    Gently massaging your legs can help stimulate blood flow to the area, but don’t apply direct pressure to bulging veins as the delicate tissue may be damaged.

  7. Take a Stand.

    Sitting for extended periods of time, whether at home, at work, or on a plane, allows blood to pool in your legs. Take frequent walking breaks to avoid this issue.

  8. Drop a Few:

    Extra pounds on your frame puts extra pressure on your legs. That’s because extra fat in your abdomen makes it tough for your blood to beat gravity and flow out of your legs, back to your heart. Instead, it pools in your legs, stretching your veins and leading to spider veins. So maintaining a healthy weight can help spider veins you already have. Or even keep new ones from forming!

Need more help managing your vein health concerns? That’s what we’re here for! Just reach out today and request an immediate appointment with our Houston area vein specialists!

 

Sources: mayoclinic.org, medicalnewstoday.com

Over 50 Vein Care? Makes THESE 5 Changes Right Now!

Over 50 vein care looks different because of your increased risk for vein disease. And, since Varicose veins are a symptom of vein disease, you’ll want to prevent or treat this symptom. Here’s what to look for:

Varicose veins bulge, twist and show up in dark colors because they are filled with pooling blood. When the blood pools, it’s because the valves in your vessels aren’t working properly, which makes it tougher to deliver blood back to your heart from your legs.

As you get older, your risk of developing varicose veins increases. In fact, by the time you reach 50, about 40% of women and 20% of men will be dealing with varicose veins. Still, celebrating another birthday doesn’t have to mean that varicose veins are your next inevitable milestone. Instead, try making these important lifestyle changes. They can help prevent new varicose veins from developing, and may help reduce the risk of existing ones.

Lifestyle Changes to Protect Against Varicose Veins

If you want to reduce your vein disease risk, try these five steps:

1.       Work your legs.

Increasing your physical activity level, especially with moves like daily walks, strengthens the muscles in your calves. And when those muscles are stronger, they contract harder, helping to get pooled blood up and out of your legs.

2.       Know your ‘don’ts.’

Avoid sitting for extended periods of time—set a reminder, if necessary, to get up and walk around every 30 minutes. When you are sitting, try not to cross your legs. And, when choosing your OOTD (outfit of the day), steer clear of clothes that cling tightly to your waist, thighs or upper legs (take note of the exception in our next step.)

3.       Try compression stockings.

If your vein specialists agrees, compression stockings can help improve your circulation; they place gentle pressure on your legs, keeping blood moving and helping to reduce any existing swelling. You can wear your compression socks all day long. (Or even during short naps.) And doing so will boost your circulation. But when you get into bed at night, give yourself a break and take off those compression garments. Because, unless you have venous leg ulcers, sleeping in compression socks isn’t necessary. In fact, it could cause other problems. So take a break at night, and…

4.       Take a break during the day, too.

When you are sitting down, get those feet up. Ideally, you’ll elevate them above the level of your heart. Why does this work so well? Aside from feeling a little indulgent, elevating your feet will get gravity on your side to help prevent blood from pooling in your legs.

5.       Lose some weight.

This is, of course, one of the hardest changes to make. But this is the time of year where people commit to taking better care of their bodies. So, if you’re carrying some extra weight right now, consider a New Year’s resolution to eat better and move more (see step 1.) You’ll be helping your veins, your heart, and your over-all wellbeing!

6. See Your Houston Vein Specialists

Remember, over 50 vein care has two parts: prevention and treatment. So, if you’ve already noticed spider veins, don’t wait until they become a bigger issue. Instead, make an appointment at one of our Houston-area clinics right away. After a diagnostic ultrasound, we can help you decide the next best steps towards protecting your vein health for the next 50 years!

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Senior News

5 Reasons to Rock Compression Socks

For many people, the words “compression socks” bring to mind images of your grandmother’s awful stockings. It may make you want to run for your fashion life, directly in the opposite direction. But here’s the thing: compression stockings are very useful medical tools when it comes to managing your vein health. So it’s important to wear them when your doctors suggests it. So, in case you need a little extra push toward the compression stocking aisle, here are three great reasons to wear these most useful articles of clothing!

5 Compelling Reasons to Wear Compression Socks

Especially in the hot summer months, we know compression socks may seem unpleasant. But they have important jobs to do, so just give them a chance. Need more convincing? Here are the reasons why wearing compression socks is so important!

Choosing The Right Compression Therapy
Compression stockings don’t have to look like this anymore…there are many patterns and colors to choose from!
  1. They could save your life.

    Compression stockings put pressure on your leg, and that pressure pushes blood from the bottom of your legs into the deep venous system, helping blood return to your heart. Because of this, compression stockings are great tools for managing many types of vein disease. They can reduce or even eliminate edemas (swelling of the leg, ankles or feet) and can help reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis, a potentially deadly condition that often develops without any warning signs.)

  2. They can keep varicose veins from getting worse.

    Varicose veins emerge when valves in your veins fail, allowing blood to pool. This pooling blood can cause your veins to bulge or darken in color, which is the point at which they become visible through your skin. Because compression stockings promote the return of blood from your legs to your heart, they can help prevent blood pooling and prevent new varicose veins from developing, or existing ones from getting worse.

  3. Compression Socks speed up blood flow.

    Even if you don’t have vein disease, boosting blood flow is beneficial. These socks do their job by mimicking the natural movement your body makes when pump blood from your legs into the upper parts of your body. With this help, your body can work more efficiently. Which may translate to more energy in your body…and that’s always a good thing!

  4. Get help for all day standing and sitting.

    What’s one common complaint among people who spend all day on their feet? Swollen legs (edema.) And compression socks can help with this area as well. How? If you need to stand or sit for hours at a time, fluid can build up in your legs. And that’s when you may notice swelling.  At first, this may not seem like a big problem. But if you don’t address fluid buildup, the extra pressure could burst your veins, leaving you with open sores (ulcers) or infection. If that sounds scary, well…good. It is! Thankfully, however, wearing compression socks will minimize your risk by pushing fluid out of your legs while they work on your blood flow.

  5. These days, compression stockings are so cute!

    Back in your grandmother’s day, compression stockings were, admittedly, unattractive. In 2019, however, compression stockings come in an array of colors, sizes and prints. Basically, there’s a pair to fit every person’s individual style AND medical needs. So, basically, using the “ugly” excuse to avid compression stockings is no longer an option.

Vein disease can make your legs less attractive, but compression stockings can manage your symptoms AND help you look cute while doing so! Looking for a recommendation on a great pair of stockings? We’ve got so many options in our Houston area offices. Stop on by and check them out!

 

Sources: Web MD, Rite Aid, Explosion

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