Imagine being able to stretch out on the beach with the legs of a goddess — even when you’re older. Varicose veins, or visible veins, unfortunately, keep many women from feeling confident about their legs’ appearance as they age.
Research shows that around one in five adults will develop varicose veins during their lives. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent these cosmetically unappealing veins from taking over your legs.
Here’s a rundown of the top seven tips to prevent varicose veins.
Let’s get started!
Why Visible Veins Appear
We’ve all seen people with varicose veins. You know, those purple lumpy veins that appear on their inner legs or on their calves.
What exactly causes these veins?
To understand how these veins appear, we need to go back to health class for a minute. Arteries in your circulatory system carry oxygen-filled blood to your extremities. Meanwhile, veins return deoxygenated blood to your lungs and heart.
Valves in the veins allow blood to move in the right direction. However, if these valves fail, blood in the area will pool.
This might cause your veins to stretch. Then, they’ll leak blood and end up protruding through your skin.
The result? You guessed it: varicose veins.
Women are more likely to suffer from visible veins because female hormones and pregnancy can both weaken the veins. Also, some people are genetically susceptible to these veins.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something — or, really, a few things — to keep them from showing up unannounced.
1. Don’t Stand or Sit Too Long
This is one of the most important things you can do to keep visible veins from appearing.
We know this is tough if you have a job that keeps you on your feet all day, or if you sit in an office chair all day. But the reality is that sitting or standing in a single position for lengthy periods makes it more challenging for the blood in your legs’ veins to travel against gravity.
As a result, your veins’ pressure will increase, which may eventually lead to pooling blood in your ankle area. This will ultimately make your calves and feet feel achy and swollen.
So, it’s critical that you move around to boost your circulation. If you’re stuck behind a desk all day, something as simple as stretching each ankle can make a huge difference. So can peddling the feet or bending the knees as though you’re about to go marching.
In addition, try to keep your legs elevated a minimum of three times per day, 15 minutes each time. Why? Because this helps to break the circle of gravity.
Translation: It improves your circulation and leads to less swelling in the ankle.
Research also shows that decent posture can improve your circulation as well. In addition, avoid sitting with your legs crossed to promote the proper flow of blood in your legs.
2. Get Healthy
Varicose veins may develop due to risk factors you cannot influence. That’s why making healthy choices is critical to avoid damaging your veins further.
One of the biggest factors contributing to varicose veins is obesity. For this reason, you should try to eat healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and plenty of protein.
In addition, don’t eat food that contains a lot of salt. And incorporate foods into your diet that feature high potassium and fiber.
On top of this, drink plenty of water as you go about your day. The more hydrated you are, the better your blood can flow.
Although your diet can certainly help to keep visible veins at bay, exercise is also an important weapon in the fight against these bumpy veins.
The most important exercise you can do is walking. But swimming and cycling can also keep you moving in the right direction in your varicose-vein war.
Yoga is another excellent option, as many yoga poses allow you to bring the feet above the heart. These poses, called inversions, include the following:
- A pose where your legs go up a wall
- Shoulder stand
Yoga can additionally tone and stretch your hamstrings’ and calves’ deepest muscles. For instance, you can try these poses:
- Downward-facing dog position
- Sun salutation
- Forward-bend pose
Keeping your deep hamstring and calf muscles healthy may help your vein valves to work correctly, thus preventing varicose veins long term.
3. Watch How You Sleep When Pregnant
As we mentioned earlier, being pregnant is a major cause of visible veins.
However, if you sleep on your left side, this may prevent visible veins from appearing. It may also help to ease existing visible veins’ symptoms.
Why exactly is this? Because lying on your left reduces the pressure placed on your pelvic area’s big vein as a result of your growing uterus. This large vein can be found on your body’s middle-right side.
4. Use Compression Hosiery
Another way to prevent varicose veins is to use compression stockings and socks. These items keep the valves in your veins in the proper position.
The result? Your veins function exactly how they’re supposed to. And that means no annoying pooling, pain, and swelling.
In fact, you may find yourself not experiencing as many cramps at night when you wear compression stockings or socks during the daytime. A wide range of options are available for these items, ranging from mild ones to extra-firm ones depending on your particular situation.
5. Avoid Tight Clothes
Another smart move for preventing varicose veins? Stay away from clothes that are too tight around your legs and waist, as this decreases your blood circulation. Instead, spring for loose-fitting and soft apparel.
In addition, get rid of the heels and choose flat shoes or low-heeled shoes instead. Trust us: Both your feet and your legs will thank you one day.
6. Watch Your Birth Control Pill Intake
Birth control pills that are high in estrogen are certainly handy if you don’t want an unplanned Junior or Susie coming along. But unfortunately, if you use these long-term, you boost your risk of having visible veins.
Hormone replacement therapy might have the same effect on you. Ask your doctor about alternatives to both of these to avoid increasing your chances of developing varicose veins.
7. Say No to Smoking and Excess Sun
You probably know by now that smoking isn’t good for your health. So it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that smoking-related high blood pressure can lead to visible veins.
Too much sun is another culprit in varicose vein development. This is especially true for those who are fair complexioned.
How We Can Help
We offer high-quality circulation and vein health support products. So, you can consider us your partner in your war against varicose veins.
Contact us to find out more about how our unique products can help you to both look and feel great now and in the years ahead.