Staying in good physical shape is important for your overall health, there’s no doubt about that. People who are completely healthy can afford to do almost anything they want in the gym, and even very strenuous activities will not hurt them. But what do you do when you’re not in perfect health and as you’re growing older you realize that particular physical workout is draining you rather than boosting your energy? And what if you suffer from some vein related problems?
Varicose veins are a pretty common condition these days – 20-25 million Americans have varicose veins which makes problems with veins one of the most common chronic conditions in North America. Varicose veins typically develop in your legs when vein valves are not functioning properly. If the valves are damaged or the vein wall is too weak, the blood pools in your legs – all of which results in the formation of varicose veins or their enlargement.
It is becoming a myth that only old people suffer from varicose veins, statistics show that the age of people with vein problems has been decreasing. Blame it on our lifestyle of sitting, driving and standing rather than walking and moving around or the skyrocketing obesity, most people at the age of 40 have experienced at least some minor chronic venous insufficiency. Tired and heavy legs, cramps, swollen ankles – all of these are early symptoms of developing varicose veins. Fortunately, physical workout is a #1 activity to help prevent varicose veins, and a lot of physical activities are beneficial – walking, biking, swimming, stretching, light jogging, yoga, etc. But is there any physical exercise that your veins will definitely not be thankful for?
Physical exercise that will do more damage than good to your veins is basically anything that creates short impacts on the legs. These impacts can block the blood flow and increase the pressure on your veins. I’m sorry to say that but that rules out sports such as tennis, football, boxing, skiing, water skiing, squash, karate, etc. Weightlifting is not ideal either as it amplifies the abdominal pressure, so if you like to pump iron, do it with extra care or avoid the activity entirely. It might seem like a no big deal right now, but those varicose veins will show up down the road. Same goes for lunges, crunches and sit ups – not an ideal workout for your vein valves.
Staying fit is vital to prevent varicose veins, but be mindful about what you’re doing to your body and whether the activity could have adverse effects a few years from now. Of course you want to be strong and flexible, but you also need to nurture your body with proper workout to stay healthy as long as possible!