Varicose veins are twisted, swollen, and sometimes painful veins that have become overfilled with blood. According to Women's Health, 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. While varicose veins can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common causes include genetics, pregnancy, and lifestyle issues. While you can't change your gene makeup, you can try the following lifestyle changes to prevent varicose veins.
1. Get Moving
If you suffer from varicose veins, it's important to stay active. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time without a break. When in a sitting position, avoid crossing one leg over the other. The best position to prevent varicose veins is to have your legs raised when resting, sitting or sleeping. If possible, raise your legs above your heart.
2. Check Your BMI
Body mass index (BMI) is used as an index for assessing overweight, normal weight and underweight. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight, while 30 or greater is obese. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can increase blood flow and reduce the pressure on your veins.
3. Build Muscle Tone
Varicose veins are commonly found in the legs. In addition to keeping your legs moving, it can be helpful to perform exercises designed to improve muscle tone. As you improve the muscle tone in your legs, you increase circulation which helps the blood move freely through your veins.
4. Dress Comfortably
Tight clothing can constrict varicose veins and escalate the problem. If you suffer from these unsightly veins, avoid wearing tight clothing, especially around the legs, thighs and waist. Even form-fitting clothing like leggings and panty hose can cut off circulation to the legs and waist, making it difficult for blood to flow.
5. Skip the High Heels
The shoes you wear on your feet are just as important as the clothing you wear on your body. High heels should not be worn for extended periods of time, as they can affect the blood flow to your legs. Opt for low or no heel shoes that better support your weight and can help tone your calf muscles.
If you suffer from varicose veins, there are numerous lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent the formation of these veins and to delay the progression of existing veins. For more information about varicose vein treatment, contact your local vein doctor.