We do a lot of work with our legs…standing, walking, climbing stairs, and squatting, so we definitely want to keep them healthy. If you want to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins, or want to relieve the symptoms, here are some great tips that can keep your legs healthy and happy.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
You have an increased risk of developing varicose vein increases when you are carrying too much weight. The excess weight can put pressure on the valves of the blood veins. If the blood is unable to circulate properly, it can lead to varicose veins. Additionally, extra weight can add strain to the joints, especially those in the hips and knees.
Consume a Healthy Diet
When you eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, grains, and lean protein, it will help power the leg muscles, as well as improve circulation. You should also reduce your intake of saturated fats and salt to decrease the risk of heart disease, which can lower the risks of developing varicose veins.
Exercise will strengthen not only the muscles of your legs, but will also improve your blood circulation. If you are new to exercise, check with your physician first. Engage in an exercise program that you enjoy so you will stay with it. The ideal program will include a combination of weight/resistance training and cardiovascular activities.
Smoking causes the blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to poor circulation in your legs. Make it a goal to quit as soon as possible.
If you sit for long periods of time, make it a point to get up regularly and move around to get the blood moving and to exercise your legs and get the blood moving. If you stand at work for long periods, make sure you take frequent breaks to sit with your legs elevated. Take the stairs, not the elevator. If you take the bus, take an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way.
Your risk of developing blood clots, which are potentially deadly, can increase if you sit on an airplane for extended periods. When flying, keep that blood circulating by contracting your calf muscles. Just point your toes, roll your ankles, and lift your heels up and down. If possible, walk around the cabin. Also, wearing compression stockings can also encourage good blood flow in the legs.
Get Medical Attention
Talk to a vein specialist such as Dr. Thomas Wright of the Laser Lipo and Vein Center if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Swelling of the veins
• Skin discoloration
• Change in skin temperatures
• Numbness, pain or weak pulse in the ankle or feet
Your specialist can determine if these symptoms are caused by a serious medical condition, and can help provide treatments to improve leg health.