Varicose veins, or spider veins, are a problem which thousands of people in the UK have to deal with every year. It’s a painful condition where your veins swell up, putting pressure on already weakened vein walls and valves. While some people think that this problem is something which only women can suffer from, it affects both men and women, and there are certain things such as weight lifting which can make your symptoms even worse. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this problem, from following the right diet to making sure you breathe during your workouts. If you’re noticing varicose veins you can even get them removed with a minimally invasive surgery called EVLA (also known as EVLT).
Knowing what causes varicose veins is key to stopping them in their tracks. There are several things which lead to this problem, including gender (women are more likely to suffer from varicose veins than men), age, family history and medical history. Broken leg bones in particular can lead to varicose veins as the blood vessels sustain damage during the injury. While you can’t do anything about a family history of varicose veins, and you can’t un-break a bone, you can keep an eye on your weight, diet and choice of exercise.
Starting with weight, if you are overweight you’re naturally putting more pressure on your veins. This weakens your blood vessels and their valves, meaning that you’re more likely to suffer from varicose veins. By eating healthy, low fat foods which reduce your blood pressure and taking supplements and vitamins which help rebuild your vein walls you can stop further damage to your blood vessels.
The next thing you can do is specific to your exercise routine. Your leg muscles are responsible for pumping blood up to your heart. Have you ever tried to push water uphill? It’s not easy beating gravity, which is exactly what your leg muscles are doing by pumping blood up to your heart. This means that during any workout you’re using your leg muscles. Start with a light 10 minutes of cardio to get your blood moving and then stretch your legs and hips. Even if you’re only working on your arms, light cardio and stretching your legs will help reduce the chances of vein engorgement.
As far as weight lifting goes, this rule is incredibly important. Do not, under any circumstances, hold your breath when lifting. Weight lifting puts a lot of pressure on your body – by exhaling as you lift, you reduce the pressure put on your abdomen and your blood vessels in turn. If you hold your breath you don’t get to release the pressure, which weakens your veins and their valves, leading very quickly to varicose veins. Breathe, get oxygen to your muscles, and keep your blood pressure down all at the same time.
Finally we have the cool down – stretching your legs after your workout is just as important as your biceps, back and shoulders. You should also raise your legs above your heart while wearing compression socks after working out; this will stop blood from pooling in your legs, helping relieve some of the pressure. If you’re already noticing varicose veins, it’s important you give lifting a break or you could do more harm than good to your body. At times like this it’s important to seek medical help from a professional clinic such as The Whitely Clinic.
The Whitely Clinic is a world-renowned private medical facility specialising in minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. The Whitely Clinic introducing EVLA (EVLT) to the UK in 1999.