Lifestyle changes to reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins

Although lifestyle changes won’t reverse the effects of varicose veins once they have developed, changes can help to prevent varicose veins from developing in the first instance. These include: exercise and movement, clothing and weight. In this article, we will define varicose veins, the 3 key lifestyle changes you can make as well as what to do if you think you already have them.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged or swollen blood vessels that appear on the surface of our skin, most commonly on our legs and feet. They can look twisted and bulging, and are usually blue/purple in colour. Symptoms include: heaviness, throbbing and itching. Varicose veins occur when the walls in our veins lose their elasticity, causing the one-way valves that push blood up to our heart to stop working properly. As a result, blood pools and pressure builds, which explains why these veins normally appear large and swollen. So, how do we prevent this from happening?

Key lifestyle changes that can help prevent varicose veins

  1. Regular exercise and movement: exercise in general helps to improve your cardiovascular system by pumping blood back up to the heart and away from your legs and feet. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running or cycling are great ways to reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins and improve your cardiovascular health on the whole. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is often advised to avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time as this allows the blood to pool in our legs, putting strain on the valves in our veins. However, if your job and everyday activities prevent you from doing this, why not try elevating your legs when possible e.g. when you sleep, to help reduce this stress on the legs. For more information on exercise and varicose veins, click here.
  2. Loose clothing: don’t wear tight fitting clothing. Although the effect of clothing is mild, it can restrict your blood flow putting additional strain on vein valves. It is also recommended to wear compression garments, such as compression stockings, to help promote healthy blood flow by applying an even pressure around your legs and feet, and helping your calf muscles to pump blood back up your deep veins in your legs.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: it is important to ensure that you are a healthy weight to prevent additional pressure on your veins, making It harder for the blood to move away from your legs and feet and up towards your heart. In order to determine whether or not you are a ‘healthy weight’, use the NHS’ BMI calculator. For more information on weight loss and varicose veins, click here.

What should you do if you think you have varicose veins?

If you are ever in doubt about whether or not you have varicose veins, always speak to an expert vascular consultant like the ones we have in the Premier Veins team.

The consultant will perform a vein duplex ultrasound scan to assess blood flow and detect poorly functioning valves. They can then diagnose whether you have varicose veins and provide you with information on the best treatment plans available to you.

How can we help?

Here at Premier Veins, we offer a FREE, no-obligation mini-consultation for anyone considering varicose or thread vein treatment at one of our private clinics in Birmingham, Solihull, Leamington Spa and London. The consultation will provide you with an opportunity to:

To get started, click here and book your FREE mini-consultation or call 0333 366 2246 to speak to a member of our expert team today.

Give your legs a new lease of life

Book your FREE, no-obligation mini-consultation today

Clinic locations:

Birmingham

Solihull

Leamington Spa

Opening times:

Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 16:00

Give your legs a new lease of life

Book your FREE, no-obligation mini-consultation today

Clinic locations:

Birmingham

Solihull

Leamington Spa

Opening times:

Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 16:00