Exercise and varicose veins
There is a myth that doing physical exercises could make the problem of varicose veins much worse. However, this really only applies to high impact exercises like running or weight training which can increase pressure on veins.
Low impact exercises can actually improve circulation in your legs, stimulate blood flow and help keep your veins and legs strong. Something as simple as walking is an ideal form of exercise to tone your legs to help prevent varicose veins or keep them from getting worse. Any exercises involving legs are good to for preventing and treating spider veins but ones involving the lower calf muscles are the most efficient.
Walking to increase overall fitness and to get your legs moving. Short bursts of exercise, like walking around the block, can greatly improve the symptoms of varicose veins.
- Tip-toe and heel walking challenges your legs, improves circulation and works your calves.
- Other low impact exercises including swimming, light jogging and cycling can be incorporated into your routine to improve your overall health and fitness, thus reducing the stress on your veins.
You don’t need to be standing up to do leg exercises. Exercises such as flexing and circling your ankles whilst sitting can easily be fitted into your routine.
Herbal help to tone down veins
Varicose veins are more troublesome during warmer weather, if you stand a lot, during pregnancy, if you have gained excess weight or if you are suffering from constipation. A course of Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) can help prevent or ease the distressing symptoms. It is traditionally used to help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins, weary or heavy legs, aching and painful legs.
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) seed extract can be found in Venagel. Research by Pittler et al (2012) reviewed the efficacy and safety of oral horse chestnut seed extract, (HCSE) versus placebo. Leg pain was assessed in seven placebo-controlled trials. Six reported a significant reduction of leg pain in the HCSE groups compared with the placebo groups.
Why is Venagel important?
1. It has the ability to improve the tone of veins, reducing leakage into the surrounding tissue. Horse chestnut extracts in gels have a soothing effect on the legs.
2. Acts as a handy topical treatment which provides cooling relief to legs that feel weary, painful and uncomfortable – fantastic after a night out or a day’s shopping.
3. It is also useful for travelling, to use in hot weather or in on long journeys (especially by plane) and can be used during pregnancy.
Easy to Apply
Massage a small amount of the gel onto the skin 2 to 3 times a day, using an upwards motion. Pay special attention to the ankles and the areas that feel most uncomfortable. Keep legs raised for 20 minutes.
Remember to eat well
Reduce white sugars, highly processed foods, dairy products, red meats and meat products, highly sweetened carbonated drinks, alcohol and smoking.
Increase fruit and vegetables. Bioflavonoids, found in the skin of fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, oranges, pears or beetroot, help activate the healing properties of varicose veins and protect against free radical damage. Smoothies are a great way to increase your intake of vein friendly fruits and veg, such as a delicious Strawberry and Pear Smoothie, which not only tastes great but can help towards the healing process.
Citrus bioflavonoids possess antioxidant properties and have been shown to positively impact normal capillary integrity. Okwu. D. E. (2006) evaluated phytonutrients and vitamins content of citrus fruits, and the medicinal effects on a range of health conditions. Findings showed that nutrients found in the skin of fruits and vegetables, help activate the healing properties of varicose veins.
References: Pittler MH, Ernst E. Horse chestnut seed extract for chronic venous insufficiency. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD003230. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003230.pub4.
DE Okwu. Evaluation of the phytonutrients and vitamins content of citrus fruits, , IN Emenike – Int. J. Mol. Med. Adv. Sci, 2006 – docsdrive.com