Healthy veins require movement. This means moving the legs, stretching, and exercising by any means. One of the most common ways to exercise for vein health is simple walking. Why is this so? Veins carry the blood back to the heart from the legs. There are valves in the veins to keep the blood from pooling in the legs. It’s the movement of the legs that promote blood return from the legs back to the heart. When the legs move, the muscles contract, and this contraction squeezes the veins, pushing the blood toward the heart up through the bigger veins. Not moving allows blood to pool in the legs. This can stretch the veins, causing inflammation, discomfort and in some cases, even clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis). This is one reason that DVTs are so common after surgery or injury of the legs, when patients are immobilized by pain or a cast or brace.
Thus to maintain vein health, keep moving. One way to track your progress is with a step counter, or pedometer, like the Fitbit, Garmin Forerunner, Microsoft Band, Jawbone or Runtastic orbit. There are many more brands to choose from. These are simple, inexpensive sensors usually fitted in a wrist band that can help track activity and motivate exercises. Many are quite simple. You wear it on your wrist, it syncs with your smart phone and it will keep track of how many steps you take daily. Check with your health provider for advice on how many steps you should set as your goal, but between 5,000 and 10,000 are popular goals. This may help reduce symptoms from your varicose veins by using the natural muscle contraction in your legs to help push blood out of the leg veins, relieving the pressure that can contribute to swelling, ache, tiredness and other symptoms of varicose veins.