Tag Archives: veins and exercise

5 Exercises to Improve your circulation in 10 minutes

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In only 10 minutes you can improve blood circulation in your legs by doing these five exercises. Consider doing them several times a day, making sure to rest in between.

10-Minute Walk:

Walk briskly for 10 minutes, making sure to take long strides to stretch and extend the leg muscles. If you sit most of the day at work, consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking a few laps around the halls.

Leg Lifts:

Lie flat on your back and raise both of your legs straight up. Hold them in place for two minutes; and then slowly lower them back to the floor. Rest for a few seconds and then repeat the leg lifts for two more minutes. Continue until you have completed five two-minute sets.

Circular Leg Exercises:

Sit on the edge of a table or bench that is high enough for your legs to dangle but not touch the floor. Make circular motions with both legs going in the same direction for two minutes. Rest a few seconds and then reverse direction for two more minutes. Continue until you have done five two-minute circular leg exercises, and then lie flat on your back once more to rest.

Toe and Ankle Flexes:

While sitting, bend and flex your foot and ankles with your toes stretched out and pointed upwards to work leg muscles and improve blood circulation. Do several repetitions of this for 10 minutes. This exercise is especially effective when done throughout the day while sitting in an office chair, on a couch or on the side of a bed.

Poolside Leg Exercise:

Sit on the side of a pool with only your legs in the water. Briskly, move your legs back and forth and up and down in the water for two minutes at a time with a few seconds rest in between. Do five two-minute sets and then remove your legs from the water. Stand and walk around a bit. Repeat the exercise as desired.

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Spring! The perfect time to start exercising!

As the springtime weather makes it’s way to our area, many are encouraged to take their activities outside. Staying active and exercising is a great way to promote vascular health and prevent painful varicose and spider veins. Physical activity also provides a myriad of other physiological and psychological benefits.

 

According to the American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine, 30 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to reduce both vascular and cardiovascular risk.  Recent research has also indicated that in order to maintain good health, we need to combine both aerobic activity along with strength and flexibility workouts.

 

Here are some examples of good workouts that have aerobic, strength and flexibility components.

 

Hiking

 

Hiking is great way to not only make the most of beautiful scenery, but increase the heart rate along with resistance as well.  If you are new to hiking, start with an easy to moderate trail that’s flat and averages around 1.5 to 3 miles, as you become more comfortable with the terrain and workout you can increase your distance and difficulty.

 

Yoga

 

The health benefits of yoga come both in physiological and psychological forms. Increasing flexibility can also increase circulation, which can help prevent the deterioration of veins. Yoga also helps relieve stress, which is always an additional benefit.

 

Swimming:

 

Swimming lessens the effect of gravity while still keeping the legs active, a big benefit for those who suffer from or are trying to prevent varicose veins. If you are new to swimming, treading water is a great way to begin to increase the heart rate and tone your arms and legs. If treading water is too difficult to begin with, simply walking along a pool floor or using a kickboard to move in the water.

 

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DID YOU KNOW?

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Some types of exercise may actually put more strain on your veins, such as yoga, sit-ups and weightlifting.

 

Simply put, exercise helps stem the progression of varicose veins and increases overall circulatory health. Aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on varicose veins, particularly when the activity utilizes the calf muscles of the leg. Since these muscles act as a physiologic pump of the lower extremity, the use of these muscles encourages the return of venous blood back into the truncal circulatory system.

 

Conversely, strenuous exercise that involves minimal aerobic activity and straining of the abdominal muscles actually has negative effects on the venous circulation. Increasing abdominal pressure can ultimately impair the return of blood back to the heart, further exacerbating venous reflux and venous insufficiency.  These exercises include prolonged abdominal posturing (yoga), sit-ups, crunches, weightlifting, and lunges.

 

Simple lower extremity exercises such as walking and jogging can help the circulatory system and facilitate the return of venous blood back to the central circulatory system.

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