When the blood is not flowing properly, it pools up in the veins, and causes them to bulge out and become cord-like. General exercises can help work the blood out of your legs and back into your system.
Leg Exercises for Varicose Veins
- Leg Lifts – Sit on the floor/mat or lie on your back with your feet straight out. Slowly, lift one leg at a time from the floor.
Hold your leg in the air, letting the blood run down and back up your leg. Slowly, lower your leg back down to the floor. Repeat on the opposite leg.
- Calf Raises – Stand with your legs straight. Slowly, rise on to your tiptoes and then lower back down.
- Bicycle Legs – Lie on your back, bringing your legs in the air and bending them at the knee.
Slowly, begin to pedal your legs as if you were riding a bicycle. You can also do the same motion one leg at a time, alternating your legs between sets.
- Side Lunges – Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Step to the side with your right leg, bending your right knee at a 90-degree-angle. Your left leg should be at a slight ankle. To resume your starting position, slowly begin to straighten your right leg, bringing your leg back into hip-width stance. Repeat on the left leg. Remember to make sure your knee stays directly over your ankle when performing the side lunge.
The first exercise will be a simple straight leg raise, but with a hold at the top. Lie down on your back, and straighten out the leg you want to work. Bend the other one up for a target. Slowly lift the straight leg and hold it when it gets level to the other leg. If you can, hold it 5-10 seconds, and slowly come back down. Using gravity will help get the blood moving out of your leg as well as using the muscles as a natural pump. Start off with ten of these and work your way up to 20-25.
The next exercise will still be on your back. Bring both legs up in the air with your knees bent, like you are sitting on a bicycle. Now rotate the legs around like you are riding a bicycle. Try to do this for 30 seconds to one minute. You can also alternate sides pushing one leg out and bringing the other in, like a reverse stair stepper.
Now you will stand up. This exercise is a calf or heel raise. Use a counter or sturdy chair to hold onto if you have balance issues. Slowly lift your heels off the ground coming up on your toes, and slowly come back down. Start off with ten of these and work your way up to 20-25.
Finally, you will do a squat. Spread your feet out to about shoulder width apart. Try to keep your heels down on the ground, and stick your bottom back as you are squatting down. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. If you have balance issues, you can put a chair behind you. Start off with ten of these and work your way up to 20-25.
Are varicose veins always visible? Varicose veins usually announce themselves as bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin. They almost always affect legs and feet. Such deep varicose veins are usually not visible, but they can cause swelling or aching throughout the leg and may be sites where blood clots can form.