It’s a new year and a lot of you may have made some New Year’s resolutions.  Have you noticed varicose or spider veins in your legs? If you have, you most likely have questions about exercise and varicose veins, like if it’s safe to exercise if you have varicose or spider veins? If so, what exercises are best for slowing the progression of venous reflux – the underlying cause of your vein disease? Or, you are wondering how could you possibly have vein disease when you are an athlete?

 running with dog

Today, we will answer these questions and provide helpful tips about exercising and varicose veins that promote ‘healthy veins for life.’ Plus, we will discuss other solutions if you have a difficult time exercising for various reasons.


Athletes, Exercise And Venous Disease:

One example may be: a young woman in great shape, a life-long basketball player and a runner with symptomatic vein disease. The truth is, even athletes and healthy people can have varicose and spider veins. In fact, some exercises can increase your risks of having varicose veins or other vein diseases.


Exercise And Varicose Veins

Diseased veins are most commonly associated with prolonged sitting or standing careers, hereditary factors, and pregnancy. However, even if you are at high risk for vein disease, there are principles you can follow to help maintain healthy veins.


Exercise is the #1 healthy vein principle, but certain exercises are better for your veins than others. As you exercise, blood is pumped back to the heart from the calf muscle and veins in the arch of the foot – a strong calf muscle promotes healthy blood circulation and minimizes vein disease.


Set a goal to exercise 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. If you do not exercise now, start slow and build up from there. Your veins will thank you for it!

Top Exercises For Varicose & Spider Veins

  • Walking
  • Bike
  • Elliptical
  • Swimming
  • Yoga – non-strenuous


What to Avoid

  • Running
  • Weightlifting
  • Jump rope

Other Strenuous Activities With Minimal Aerobics

Other activities can worsen venous reflux. We encourage avoiding these activities or performing them in very short segments combined with aerobic activity.

  • Sit ups
  • Crunches
  • Lunges


When Exercise Isn’t An Option

We understand that there are circumstances that make frequent exercise impossible. There are other measures, which promote healthy veins for life.


Pump your calf while sitting – While sitting or standing, rock your feet back and forth on the ground from heel to toe activating the calf pump.

Wear graduated compression hose especially while traveling, sitting or standing for an extended period, and during pregnancy.

Avoid high heels except for special occasions.


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with exercise and good nutrition is important for healthy veins. Schedule a healthy legs free screeningor call us at 717-412-7226 if you would like to discuss your vein health.