Varicose veins are a common effect of aging, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of developing this irritating condition. Start putting these five top tips into practice now to keep your veins healthy.
1. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
According to a paper published in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, some studies show that obesity increases the risk of developing varicose veins, while others show that varicose veins are often more severe in obese people. Keeping your weight within the healthy BMI range of 18.5-25 may help to reduce your risk of developing varicose veins.
2. Rest Your Legs
Many people who get varicose veins have a job that involves being on their feet all day. When you spend all day standing, blood collects in the legs and puts pressure on the veins, which can cause them to expand outwards. Combat this effect by lying down and raising your feet above your heart for a short period several times a day. When your legs are higher than your heart, the blood can flow back into your body, releasing pressure on the veins in your legs.
3. Wear Compression Stockings
If your job doesn't allow you to take regular breaks to put your feet up, try wearing compression stockings instead. These are designed to apply gentle pressure to your lower legs to send blood back into your torso instead of allowing it to pool in the calves and ankles. Wearing compression stockings regularly may help to combat varicose veins.
4. Avoid Tight Waistbands
When you squeeze into pants that have a too-tight waistband, you may end up compromising your circulation. This means that your blood cannot easily flow out of your legs and back to your heart, so it pools in the veins in your lower body. Give your body a break by letting out your belt a notch or two.
5. Get More Active
Sitting still for hours on end can reduce circulation and put you at risk of developing varicose veins. Take regular breaks from your desk to get your blood moving.
Varicose veins are very common, affecting up to one in five adults. If you already have varicose veins, these tips will likely help to prevent them from getting worse, but they may not solve the problem. To get rid of varicose veins, you need to see a vascular surgeon to find out what treatment options are available for you.