Varicose veins are caused by weak valves in the veins that return blood back to your heart. These valves keep blood moving in the correct direction toward the heart; however, when they become weak, the blood pools in the veins. As a result, veins stretch, sag and protrude causing a bulging line on the leg.
Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. If you have varicose veins, your legs may feel heavy, tired, restless, or achy. In some instances, they can lead to more serious conditions such as sores, bleeding and blood clots.
Dr. Taras Kucher, Vascular Surgeon at The Vascular Experts, says “Blood is pumped in the arteries by the heart, but returns in the veins passively against gravity. When we walk, the calf muscle acts as the main leg vein pump, returning blood to the heart. To support healthy blood flow, the cornerstone of conservative therapy are measures that alleviate pressure: leg elevation and compression”.
If you suffer from varicose veins, or are at high risk, there are a number of natural remedies and lifestyle choices that can help. A program of preventative care will keep your legs healthy, making you less susceptible to varicose veins.
Here are 7 tips that will minimize your risk of developing varicose veins:
Exercising regularly keeps leg muscles fit, improves vein strength and increases circulation. Focus on activities that work your legs, such as running, biking and the elliptical machine. Move at a pace that gets your blood pumping. Hate the gym? Meet up with a friend and go for a brisk walk.
Monitor Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces pressure on your legs and veins. Exercise and eating healthy meals can help you stay on track. If you’re looking for inspiration in the kitchen, Pinterest has some great meal ideas.
Eat a High-Fiber, Low-Salt Diet
Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which contributes to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Additionally, reducing sodium intake lessens the swelling and discomfort that comes with varicose veins.
Avoid High Heels
Believe it or not, wearing low-heeled shoes actually helps tone your calf muscles, promoting better circulation in your legs. While many women feel the need to wear high heels in a professional setting, opt for a low-to-medium sized heel instead.
Elevate Your Legs
At the end of the day, prop your legs up higher than your heart for 15 – 20 minutes. Elevate while you watch your favorite TV show, or scroll through your iPad, and any blood that pooled in your legs can safely drain.
Change Your Sitting or Standing Position Regularly
Try not to sit or stand for long periods of time. If you must stand, make sure to frequently shift your weight from leg to leg. If you must sit for long periods of time, be sure to get up and walk around every 30 minutes. Can’t leave your desk? Stand up at your desk and stretch to get the blood moving.
Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks provide a number of health benefits. They increase circulation, decrease swelling and muscle soreness, and reduce the risk of blood clots. You can wear them when you’re sitting, standing or working out.
Not a fan of those unsightly off-white compression socks? Soxxy features a line of stylish compression socks that bridge the gap between fashion and function. Check out the stylish Energy or Kittyhawk designs. With Soxxy socks, you can look great, and feel great, from day to night.
What are some of your favorite exercises to strengthen your legs? Please share with us @SoxxySocks.