Varicose veins and running

Low-impact activity is best for vein health

Vein health

Healthy calf muscles are necessary for optimum leg health.

Now that summer-like temps are here, many people are motivated to start an exercise program. For some, that includes running. But what if you have varicose veins?

Although running won’t cause varicose veins, our advice to those with varicose veins who want to become active is to consider low-impact activities first. Try walking, swimming, biking or any other low-impact form of exercise.

Tips for runners

Because running is a high-impact activity, runners often experience vein swelling, which can result in leg aching, throbbing, heaviness or fatigue. If you’re already a runner — with or without varicose veins — here are some helpful tips to keep your legs as healthy as possible:

  • Wear graduated compression stockings when you run to reduce leg fatigue.
  • Run on softer, more shock-absorbent surfaces such as grass, sand, dirt or an athletic track. If possible, avoid running on cement or hard pavement.
  • Monitor your legs for any vein problems. If vein problems develop, seek evaluation by a vein specialist.

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Here’s to your vein health

March is DVT Awareness Month

Back of bare legsDr. Lisa Pavone is a strong supporter of vein disease awareness. “Venous health issues are prevalent,” she says, noting that as many as 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 have some sort of vein health issue, which could include:

  • Deep or superficial vein thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Phlebitis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Varicose and spider veins
  • Venous ulcers

What are the risks of untreated vein disease? If the valves inside your leg veins are damaged as a result of vein disease, the valves may not close completely, allowing blood to leak backward or flow in both directions, affecting leg health.

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